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General Homework Tips

Getting Organized

  1. Provide a study place. If possible, have the following materials readily available: graph paper and notebook paper, ruler with both metric and standard units calculator, (graphing calculator is preferred), dictionary

  2. Many children need assistance in organizing and maintaining a notebook. Help them develop a system for organizing and maintaining notebook and notes. In CMP student texts there are few worked examples for students (or parent/guardians) to use as templates for solving similar problems. Student notebooks are an invaluable record of successful strategies and reflective summaries. Your child's teacher may have specific tips on keeping and organizing a notebook. This is a crucial part of your child's mathematical education, and an important aid to parents and guardians as well.

  3. Help your children develop a system for writing down assignments, as well as keeping track of progress. Some schools provide student planners or assignment sheets, but that does not mean children use them consistently. Check to make sure that they are being used consistently and appropriately.

  4. Help your children develop a system for taking meaningful notes. Frequently, note taking is taught during class, so it may just be a matter of seeing if your children are taking and using notes.

  5. Encourage your children to identify study buddies or another math student they can call to work with on assignments, get clarification, find out about makeup work, etc. Some parents have established study teams and times, so that students have planned opportunities to study together after school. Check with your school to see if they have extra help available.

  6. Encourage and expect children to get work done on time, to stay caught up, to get help in a timely manner, and to correct errors in work. You may want to help children go over incorrect or incomplete work and talk about how the work could be improved.

  7. It is generally expected that middle school students know the basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts as well as whole number computation. If your children are not proficient with these skills, help them master the needed skills.

Suggestions for Homework Help

In helping children learn, one goal is to assist children in figuring out as much as they can for themselves (e.g., constructing meaning). You can help by asking questions that guide, without telling what to do.

Good questions and good listening will help children make sense of mathematics, build self-confidence, and encourage mathematical thinking and communication. A good question opens up a problem and supports different ways of thinking about it. Here are some questions you might try; notice that none of them can be answered with a simple "yes" or "no." By using these questions, and by referring to the notebook that students create and use in class, you will be building on in-class experiences and contributing to your child's success.

Solving a Problem