Can giving less homework help produce better students? Kansas middle school math teacher Joel Wazac thinks so. Once known for giving heavy homework loads, Wazac reduced assignments this semester to twice a week, after noticing that his students’ homework scores were generally lower than their in-class grades. More often than not, the low scores were the result of the students not finishing all the problems assigned. Wazac’s students now get shorter, ungraded take-home assignments, and then meet in groups to discuss their answers, with an occasional follow-up “homework quiz.” Wazac is proud of the results. “Their grades are now reflecting more of what they know, not what they did at home,” Wazac said. “They understand their work better, and they communicate about it. Also, in a group setting, they have accountability. It’s working; the number of Ds and Fs is down 10 percent over last semester.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.