Homework Resources and Common Questions

Students in Precalculus, Algebra2/TrigA and Algebra2/TrigH complete many of their homework assignments online. Using MathXLforSchool.  This website provides instant feedback on the correctness of student work.  Students using the site also have access to similar example problems, videos explaining the concepts, and guided instruction to help solve the problem step by step.


 Students in Algebra 1 and Algebra 1A are are completing homework online using the mathspace website.  Like MathXLforSchool, this site provides students with videos and guided instruction on how to solve each problem.  Students can work on this platform using the mathspace app on most phones and tablets.  By working on a touch screen device, students are able to write their work using a stylus.  This software then converts each step to typed text and checks the correctness.  This process gives students instant feedback on each step of the problem and allows the teacher to see all of the students’ calculations.


What online resources do you recommend for homework support?

The first online tool to check is Schoology or the math teacher’s webpage.  You will typically find posted notes, homework guides, and possibly other online tools identified by your teacher to give you extra help on a particular topic.

One of the most popular online tutoring tools is Khan Academy, which has videos on a wide range of math topics.  Students who are looking for help in Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2 may also find Purple Math  a helpful website.  This site includes links to lessons, learning forums, homework guidelines, and a study skills self-survey.  The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) has a host of useful resources for parents looking for ways to help their children improve.

The following website is an additional good resource for homework help: http://www.virtualnerd.com

Finally, many classes use an online graphing calculator application called Desmos.

How can I find out more information about homework expectations in my student’s class?

All teachers post homework calendars on Schoology and/or their webpage.  Teachers’ individual homework guidelines are explained on the course syllabus, which is also posted on Schoology or their webpage.  These guidelines include the purpose of homework, expectations for student work, explain how students receive feedback on homework assignments and give suggestions for how students can get their questions answered. 

Typical ways that teachers provide feedback on homework include posted solutions, review in class, small group discussion, or correction by a student TA.  As a department, we are committed to providing answers to all assigned problems either in the back of the book (BOB), posted online, or distributed in class so that all students can self-assess their work.

How is homework evaluated and counted towards students’ grade?

Recent research shows that grading student homework results in lower scores on quizzes and tests.  Peer and self-assessment seem to be more effective strategies of correcting homework.  Alfie Kohn outlines three consistent effects of letter or number grades:  grades tend to reduce students’ interest in the learning itself, grades tend to reduce students’ preference for challenging tasks, and grades tend to reduce the quality of students’ thinking.  For this reason, most teachers count homework as an effort or participation grade.   In other words, if students try hard and attempt all of the problems they will receive full credit. 

How does the teacher give each student feedback on his or her work?

Every student should receive feedback on their work during class using formative assessment. Using formative assessment strategies, a teacher gains understanding of what students know (and don’t know) in order to adjust instruction so that all students meet the learning objective.  Math teachers are continually monitoring student work throughout the class period by listening to students’ small group discussions, checking all the class answers using mini-whiteboards or electronic surveys, collecting “exit tickets” and giving feedback on one problem, etc.  An important part of formative assessment is formative feedback  that communicates information to the learner that is intended to improve student learning.