Homework Help

NEED HELP WITH MATH OR MATH HOMEWORK?

What if…

YOUR CHILD DOES NOT KNOW WHAT THE HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT IS

  • Check your child's agenda every day to see what homework they are responsible for doing. They should have something written in their agenda for each class, each day, even if it is just what they discussed in class. If your child is not recording the assignments, discuss the importance of being organized and writing the assignment down every day.
  • If in doubt, ask your child's teacher if they could initial your child's agenda each day to verify they have written down the correct assignment.
  • Some teachers post homework on the Marston Middle School website: Click on Faculty then the teacher you are looking for Homework on to see if they have a link to homework.
  • Have your child exchange phone numbers with a friend or classmate so they can call when they need information regarding the class and/or help with an assignment.

YOUR CHILD SAYS THEY ALREADY FINISHED THE ASSIGNMENT

  • Have your child show you their paper and compare it with the assignment written in their agenda or posted on the Marston web-site. Make sure they did all the problems assigned, showed all work - not just answers, and followed directions. (Go a step further and pick a problem for them to explain to you.)
  • If this becomes a frequent reply from your child, contact the teacher to verify that all assignments have been completed. You can also see what work is missing by logging onto PowerSchool.

YOUR CHILD IS NOT UNDERSTANDING THEIR ASSIGNMENTS

  • If your child needs additional help, one of the best resources is the textbook's "Homework Video Tutor". For each section in the textbook, there is an online tutor that teaches the lesson to you. The web-site is www.PHSchool.com. You need a code for the section you want help with. The code is listed in the book in the margin of the homework problems. There is a different code for each section. These video tutors are excellent. They can be listened to over and over again and can also be listened to in Spanish. You do NOT need a username or password.
  • Many teachers require students to take notes in class which give an explanation or step-by-step process on how to solve the problems. The textbook also gives explanations and steps and many examples for working out the problems. Have your child read and study these examples and try them again on their own without the help of the book or class notes.
  • Many teachers offer tutoring before school, during lunch or after school. Encourage your child to attend, whether it is for one problem, a whole section of problems, to verify finished work is correct, or to just sit and have a quiet place to work on homework. Coming in for help can only help your child, not hinder them. Check with your child's teacher to see if they offer tutoring or check the Marston web-site under Departments/Math/Tutoring for a list of all Marston teachers who are available to help.
  • If the assignment is from the textbook, most of the answers to the odd numbered problems are in the back of the book in the Selected Answers section. Students can verify their answers or find an answer to a problem and then try to work backwards to help understand the process.
  • Ask your child to show you their homework after the teacher returns it, to learn where they're having trouble and where they're doing well. See if your child did the work correctly.
  • There are also many other on-line tutorials that you can search for yourself or see the list of web-sites posted on the school web-site, again under Departments/Math/Recommended Web-sites.

YOU ARE NOT SURE OF YOUR CHILD'S PROGRESS

  • Contact your child's teacher by email or phone call.
  • Go on-line to PowerSchool for seeing your child's current grade and any missing assignments. If you do not have a username or password, call the school office for information.
  • Speak to your child's counselor about starting a Weekly Progress Report. It can be filled out by one or more of your child's teachers each week so that you can know their current grade and citizenship and if they are missing any homework.

WAYS TO CONTACT TEACHERS/COUNSELORS

  • Email: Go to the Marston Middle School website: Click on Faculty then the teacher you are looking for an email address for, every teacher will have an email address listed.

OTHER WAYS TO HELP YOUR CHILD AT HOME

Help your child understand and learn to love math. Here are a few simple ways you can interest your child in math.

  • Make studying, not just homework, a daily habit. Students can always review lessons, read a book, or work on practice exercises during quiet time, even if they don't have homework. Don't ask your children if they have homework each night - assume that they always have homework or studying to do.
  • Give your child a quiet place to do their work where they have enough room for all their books and papers and good light to see.
  • Establish a regular time of each day to do their homework. No play/tv/computer/electronics until homework is done.
  • Have your child show you the completed assignments before they go to school the next day. Make sure they did what was assigned by checking it against what they wrote in their agenda or posted on-line.
  • Ask them questions about their work or what was discussed in class that day. Who, what, when, where, why questions are always a good starting place to spark a discussion.
  • Let your child be the teacher. Have them explain to you the process they used to solve a problem and actually have them work out one of their homework problems, step by step, explaining why they did the step they did.
  • Remind your children how proud you are of them when they complete their work, how they are being responsible and conscientious - skills that will help them in all areas of life.
  • Don't tell your child you hate math too.Math can be frustrating, but don't make it worse for your child. Don't say things like "I hate math too!" Instead, say things like, "I had trouble with math too. But I wish I stuck with it and figured it out like you're doing."
  • Make sure your child knows jobs require math.Use your job or the job of a family member as an example. Being good at math can help you get a better job.

Guidelines for Helping Your Child with Math Homework

From the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Many students try to avoid it, but teaching and learning research indicates that children who spend more time on regularly assigned, meaningful homework, on average, do better in school, and that the academic benefits of homework increase as children move into the upper grades.

Why do teachers give homework?

  • to help students understand and review the work that has been covered in class
  • to help students be better prepared for new topics taught
  • to see whether students understand the lesson
  • to help students learn how to find and use more information on a subject
  • as link between school and home that shows what children are studying

Research shows that when homework is turned in to the teacher, graded, and discussed with students, it can improve students' grades and understanding of their schoolwork.

Homework causes trouble in many households. Relax-remember whose homework it is! Think of yourself as more of a guide than a teacher. Don't take over for your child. Doing that only encourages him or her to give up easily or to ask for help when a problem becomes difficult.

The best thing you can do is ask questions. Then listen to what your child says. Often, simply explaining something out loud can help your child figure out the problem. Encourage your child to show all work, complete with written descriptions of all thinking processes. This record will give your child something to look back on, either to review or to fix a mistake, and can also help the teacher understand how the problem was solved.

Asking the following kinds of questions can help you and your child tackle the challenges of math homework:

  • What is the problem that you're working on?
  • Are there instructions or directions? What do they say?
  • Are there words in the directions or the problem that you do not understand?
  • Where do you think you should begin?
  • Is there anything that you already know that can help you work through the problem?
  • What have you done so far?
  • Can you find help in your textbook or notes?
  • Do you have other problems like this one? Can we look at one of those together?
  • Can you draw a picture or make a diagram to show how you solved a problem like this one?
  • What is your teacher asking you to do? Can you explain it to me?
  • Can you tell me where you are stuck?
  • Is there someone you can call to get help? Can you discuss the problem with a classmate?
  • Would using a calculator help you solve the problem?
  • Would it help to go on to another problem and come back to this one later?
  • Is there a homework hotline at your school? What is the phone number for it?
  • Why don't we look for some help on the Internet?
  • If you do only part of a problem, will the teacher give you some credit?
  • Can you go in before or after school for help from the teacher?

Remember, parents should support homework-not do it!
Besides supporting your child on homework, show the importance of learning math by helping your child connect math with daily life. Point out your own activities that involve mathematics, such as deciding if you have enough money to buy items on a shopping list, estimating how long it will take to make a trip, determining how much carpet or wallpaper to buy for a room, or developing a schedule to complete a series of tasks. Talking about these everyday situations will give you a chance to increase your child's appreciation for the usefulness of math!

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