Mrs. Baccaro's Classroom Webpage

How Should I Do Homework?

How Should I Do My Homework?


Sounds like a silly question, huh?  Open the book, do the problems, then get to bed!  Well, there are a few strategies that can help you learn more from your homework in less time


Before we even get to specific homework assignments each night:

  • Get organized!  I recommend a binder for math class with 4 separate sections for your notes, homework, assessments, and miscellaneous stuff.  When you finish the homework assignment each night, put it directly into the “homework” section of your binder so you don’t lose it – you don’t want to get a zero because you did the homework but can’t find it, right?!!!
  • Write the assignment in your student planner, calendar, or some other place where you can organize your homework assignments for all of your classes.
  • Get the phone number of a friend in our class, so you can contact them if you were absent from class. Now that this stuff is out of the way, here’s how to do your homework: 
  • First, write “I will work my hardest to earn a 5” at the top of every homework assignment.  Setting high goals and then striving to achieve them brings out the best in everyone.  Shoot for the moon; even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars!
  • Copy the original problem on your homework before solving the problem. 
  • Always show your work!  This is really important, even though it’s sometimes a pain in the butt. 
  • ALWAYS check your answer.  The answers to the odd numbered questions are in the back of the book.  For even numbered questions, check your answer with one of these strategies:
    • Substitute your answer back into the original problem
    • Pick a random number, substitute it for the variable in the problem, and make sure the equation is true
    • Other strategies we discuss in class
  • Once you’ve checked that your answer is correct, put a check  next to your answer.    Woo Hoo!
  • If you get the wrong answer, go back and try to find your mistake:
    • Repeat the same strategies from #1 (above) working backwards in each step of your work.  This will help you find which step contains the mistake.
    • Look at similar examples from the textbook, including the online tutorials on the textbook’s website.  Most questions can be answered from these videos, applets, and guided hints.
    • Look at similar examples from your class notes.
  • If you still can’t figure out the correct solution, put an  X  next to your incorrect solution. Now that you’ve done the hard work, here’s the easiest but also the most important part
  • The next day in class ask a friend, neighbor sitting next to your seat, or me for help on those questions with Xs .  How else will you learn to solve them if you don’t get the help you need?  Be responsible for your learning; do not wait until the quiz or test to get low grades, and wonder why you missed those questions!
  • Here’s a secret: problems assigned for homework are related to the questions asked on quizzes and tests!  (shhhhh, this is a secret that most students don’t realize…).  If you want to know how to prepare for the next quiz or test, start by looking back at your homework assignments.Pretty easy, huh?  Following these strategies will help you get better grades, all while making your studying time more efficient.  And who doesn’t want that?