I don't like it...
But that's my opinion and I know I am in a minority for most teachers. :)
Over the past couple of weeks, I've received some emails from fellow AP Stat teachers with some suggested blog prompts and one question in common was regarding Homework and how I handle it.
I've tried about every possible Homework method... grading for completion, grading for accuracy, Homework quizzes, and every other idea I've read and I hated them all.
My philosophy is that if I use my time in class well, very little time should be needed outside of class. My class is active from bell to bell, with very little downtime. I have the opportunity to work with my students for over 250 minutes a week... that's a lot of learning time!
Do they have "outside of class time" requirements? Sure! They need to study for tests and quizzes, work on some projects, come in for tutoring if their grade falls, etc, but I don't assign traditional Homework.
Here's an example of how my class works from this week:
Monday/Tuesday - we worked on the JellyBlubber activity to learn the different sampling methods. Students took samples using each of these methods and graphed their averages on the board.
Wednesday/Thursday (Block Day) - We started class with a card sort of 32 sampling designs that they had to sort into the 7 sampling methods. Great discussions happened during this time and the ideas from Mon/Tues were solidified. We did some reading/writing in our Chapter Reading Guide to summarize what we had learned. We did an AP problem on Cluster vs Stratified to further clarify the differences between those and did a Gallery Walk to read how others explained the differences in the two methods.
LONG WEEKEND... We had a PD day yesterday plus Labor Day weekend...
Next Tuesday - Our warmup will be a problem set with 10 sampling designs that they have to identify.
Why do I do this? It's the idea of the Curve of Forgetting...
If I had only mentioned Sampling Methods on Day 1, then never again, the student retention would be low because it only went into Short Term Memory and quickly forgotten. However, by reinforcing it on the Block Day and again next week, and then again when we study for the Unit Test, it moves it into Long Term Memory and each time the amount of "remembering time" is reduced.
I don't assign traditional Homework because I don't want them only to see the concept on Day 1 (and that night), never to see it again. I use "Problem Sets" most days as a warmup so that we get that 24-hours-later boost in memory instead of using those problems for traditional Homework problems.
I also don't grade "Homework". The grade in my class comes almost entirely from tests and quizzes. That way, the kid that doesn't need as much practice isn't penalized, and since most work is done in class, I get higher completion rates than I did before. :)
All in all, I'm happier without the "Homework" beast and my students and parents are happier, and to me, that's the part that is really worth it! :)