Completing homework
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Thread: Completing homework

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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    Default Completing homework

    Not debating the entire concept of whether homework is a good idea or not, but whether solving a problem without actually doing all the legwork to get there, counts as "doing one's homework."

    Tiven brings home worksheets that have instructions like, "Help the bunny find the carrot. Draw a line connecting each square that contains a 3, 4, or 5." There is a grid of addition & subtraction problems. Rather than do all the problems & then find the 3s, 4s, and 5s, she does the first few, finds the pattern, and then only does the problems that help take her to the end. Last night she did 11 out of 42 problems, but she argued that she had done her homework because she found the line from the bunny to the carrot, and that's what the instructions said to do.

    I remember arguing with my geometry professor in high school when I wouldn't show the details but got the answer correct anyway & he tried to mark me down. On tests, sure, I can understand why he'd want to see that I can actually do the work. But if I can compute the hypotenuse of a right triangle in my mind, why bother writing the formula & calculations out? It's just homework, which is supposed to enforce the learning done in the classroom, and I obviously had it down because I got good grades on the tests. Needless to say, I'm on Tiven's side in this one. I'm not a fan of "homework for homework's sake."
    Last edited by Spacers; 10-06-2011 at 07:28 PM.
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    Sorry, I'd make her do it (and would've sided with your teacher too). Yeah, you may have done it in your head/figured out the pattern without doing all the problems, but it's good to follow the instructions/show your work sometimes. Not only for you... but shows the teacher that you DO understand the correct way to do xyz. It's also good practice and review. I don't think it's a good standard to let a child "pick and choose" what instrutions they're going to follow when the teacher has given specific ones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Princess&ThePea View Post
    I don't think it's a good standard to let a child "pick and choose" what instrutions they're going to follow when the teacher has given specific ones.
    The instructions on Tiven's homework last night didn't say anything about doing all the problems first. Nor did the worksheet on Monday when she pulled this stunt the first time. In fact, last night, she simply drew the line first without doing any of the problems. When DH made her go back & do the problems, she only did the ones that had an answer of 3, 4, or 5. Her argument was that the instructions only said to help the bunny by connecting the squares with a 3, 4, or 5. And she was right about that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Princess&ThePea View Post
    Yeah, you may have done it in your head/figured out the pattern without doing all the problems, but it's good to follow the instructions/show your work sometimes. Not only for you... but shows the teacher that you DO understand the correct way to do xyz.
    Isn't that why they give tests? Homework is supposed to be for practice & reinforcement; tests are for the teacher to see how well you've learned the subject.
    Last edited by Spacers; 10-06-2011 at 07:58 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    The instructions on Tiven's homework last night didn't say anything about doing all the problems first. Nor did the worksheet on Monday when she pulled this stunt the first time. In fact, last night, she simply drew the line first without doing any of the problems. DH made her go back & do the problems, she only did the ones that had a 3, 4, or 5. Her argument was that the instructions only said to help the bunny by connecting the squares with a 3, 4, or 5. And she was right about that.
    And I would naturally assume if the teacher sends home a homework sheet to do, that they are to do all the questions on it. Helping the bunny by connecting the squares would be done after finding all the answers... or if my child did that first (doesn't really matter what order as long as it's done... and done correctly), I would then have them go back and do the uncompleted ones... for practice.

    Isn't that why they give tests? Homework is supposed to be for practice & reinforcement; tests are for the teacher to see how well you've learned the subject.
    Exactly... homework is for practice/reinforcement. What better way to practice/reinforce for tests than to do/show all the work?

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    As a Math Tutor and someone who LOVES math, yes, you have to do all the work. No matter how tedious and ridiculous it sounds. And getting kids to do that from the very beginning with the easy stuff will get them in the habit of doing it all the time. So when they get to higher math like Calc and have to do proof were one question can take 5 sheets of paper and if you don't write down every little detail you will miss something, they will be used ot it.

    Her teacher is doing her a favor by getting her in the habit of doing every step. I think you are enforcing bad habits that will make it harder for her later on. When I work with my math students I tell them all the time "use as much paper as you have to and right down EACH STEP!!" For instance if you are adding 4+(5-3), then your paper should look like:
    4+(5-3)=

    4+(2)=

    6
    Now maybe it is common sense to just write 6 and do the problme in the paraenthasis in your head, but writing out each step ad nauseum will 1.help you get into the habit of looking at each step in order, 2. help you to check your work and see where you might go wrong, and 3. get you ready for harder math.

    Make her do the work and don't make it seem like it is ridiculous and tedious. Homework is not just for practice but also to get ready for the next step.

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    I don't know if its technically 'right or wrong' to not do all the work to get to the answer but I do think it can be a disadvantage in life study skills to skip it.

    I never studied......and then when i finally *had* to in order to understand things, i despised it. I think the same applies to homework.

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    The one with Tivens worksheet is kind of a gray area for me. Especially as she did do as requested. If I was her teacher and wanted all the questions completed, I would try to make that clear next time

    With doing all the work for math: The teachers job isnt just to teach the subject and give a test. A good teacher makes sure that at least most of the students are understanding and capable before he gives a test. Requesting that students do the work helps to show him this. Especially in highschool where so many students 'help' each other by allowing friends to copy, it is important to actually see that a student knows what they are doing.
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    I dont know any teachers that give homework for homeworks sake. I know that when I was doing geography homework I needed to show my work so that a. my teacher could see I understood it and b. if I made mistakes my teacher could look at my work and determine where I was going wrong.

    I would make her do all the work, if the teacher didnt want her to do all of it then you just taught her a great lesson in going above and beyond the expectations
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    Quote Originally Posted by ftmom View Post
    The one with Tivens worksheet is kind of a gray area for me. Especially as she did do as requested. If I was her teacher and wanted all the questions completed, I would try to make that clear next time

    With doing all the work for math: The teachers job isnt just to teach the subject and give a test. A good teacher makes sure that at least most of the students are understanding and capable before he gives a test. Requesting that students do the work helps to show him this. Especially in highschool where so many students 'help' each other by allowing friends to copy, it is important to actually see that a student knows what they are doing.
    Right. I just want to add that one of the biggest mistakes kids make is being overconfident in their work by skipping the steps and racing through the math problem only to find that because they didn't show the work and raced through it, some of the answers were wrong. Had they slowed down and shown their work, they score much better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimPossible View Post
    I don't know if its technically 'right or wrong' to not do all the work to get to the answer but I do think it can be a disadvantage in life study skills to skip it.

    I never studied......and then when i finally *had* to in order to understand things, i despised it. I think the same applies to homework.
    I totally agree with this. Having a quick mind is great and can allow a person to cut a lot of corners.....till a point. At some point diligence and discipline are going to be required to learn harder or more advanced concepts......and I think that a child who has not learned those skills is at a disadvantage, quick mind or not.

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