Math with Matthew

March, 2017
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Homework in Math Class

Leaving the debate about whether we should assign homework, let’s address why we assign homework in the first place. Many educators claim that it is what we have always done and what our teachers before us did, so we should do it too. We might feel that we have become a slacker as a teacher if we don’t require it of our students. There do come times that we need students to spend energy outside of school practicing a skill that we no longer have time to work on in class. So if you do want to assign homework:

First, understand the purpose of homework and the importance of selecting appropriate homework that is tied directly to the daily objective or Essential Questions. You should preview the homework assignment during the summary phase of the lesson. Give the students time to understand what the expectations are for their work at home.

Second, homework should just be basic practice of the skills. It should be focused on procedural fluency. The purpose of math homework is to practice the skills learned in class. Selecting particular questions to be done for homework is an integral part of daily preparation. The questions selected should have a direct relationship as to what occurred during the lesson.

Third, recognize the amount of time that the students will be required to spend on it. For elementary school students, math homework should be no more than ten minutes daily, for the typical student. Twenty minutes is the maximum recommended daily homework in middle school and thirty minutes for high school students. Although we want our students to be the best math students possible, they need to live a balanced life.

Excerpt of Teach Math Like This, Not Like That: Four Critical Areas to Improve Student Learning available Summer, 2017.
Dr. Matthew Beyranevand is a mathematics education teacher, coordinator, professor, and coach who helps teachers and districts increase students’ engagement in mathematics while improving student learning and achievement. Through professional development, as well as analysis of school mathematics documents, Dr. Beyranevand is able to help teachers and schools with their mathematics curriculum, instruction, assessments, and vision.
March Conference Presentations.  On March 5th, Matthew will present Making Math Music Videos: Increasing Student Interest at SXSWedu in Austin, Texas. On March 10th, he will co-present Using UDL and Technology to Support the Whole Child at MassCUE in Worcester, Mass. On March 24th, Matthew will present on Solving the Same Problem Multiple Ways at ATMIM in Worcester, Mass.  Finally, on March 30th, Matthew will present Exploding Dots at NELMS Annual in Providence, RI.
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Growth Mindset. Matthew is an official supporter of the With Math I Can campaign that pledges to stop saying "I'm not good at math", persevere through difficult practices, & help students to embrace their mistakes as part of learning.  I blog regularly for the campaign. Here is my last one. The math music video Teach Me Like You Do was created to help spread this important message within math education. Consider learning more and signing up!
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Connecting High School Students to STEM Internships. Matthew recently was appointed to the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council.  One of the missions of the council is to create high school STEM internships with Massachusetts companies.  Help grow and support the Commonwealth's thriving innovation economy and system of work-based learning.  If interested to have interns or even to just host a smaller event, please contact me to learn more. Remember that Girls are All About that Math!
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