## Math: Frequently Asked Questions, Expectations

Download the Math Syllabus

*(pdf)*Q:

Q:

A: Assignments will normally be due about 10 days after they are assigned. So the homework I assign on a Monday is due by the Wednesday in the following week, but I would strongly encourage students to not wait until the due date. Get the homework done and turn it in early!

Q:

A: No. There are enough math books in my room for everyone, but you are welcome to bring your electronic version on a laptop or iPad to class, if you want to.

Q:

A: Of course that is possible, but then parents are taking on the responsibility of "turning in" the homework instead of the students, and I would like students to turn in something since I am not collecting homework. Students should also bring their homework spirals to class each day. I may do a spot check in class, and they may have time to start on assignments at school. The homework spiral is a great place to keep homework logs, too.

Q:

A: This is fairly standard practice in most math classes. Pen can be very messy because it is not erasable. Work done in pen in my class will not be accepted.

Q:

A: The simple answer is because the spiral quickly becomes disorganized and messy. Notes should be taken on notebook paper, and then put in a binder where they can be organized and re-organized.

A: Saxon math tests are cumulative so questions from each test can be based on any lessons covered up to that point in the school year. For instance, once the first 50 lessons in the book are covered, the next test would be based on the concepts from Lesson 1 to Lesson 50.

Probably the best way to study is to either go over lessons that caused any problems earlier or review problems missed on previous tests. The good news is Saxon math homework is about 80% review so every week's homework assignments also prepare students for upcoming tests.

Starting with Lesson 10, there is a test for every 5th lesson. I usually don't give all the tests possible, but I do normally try to give a test about once every two weeks or 2-3 tests per quarter.

Q:

A: These are my guidelines for take-home exams:1. Students are

2. Students are not allowed to use calculators on tests or quizzes, unless the problem specifically states that calculators are to be used. I think this would only happen on Algebra exams, if at all.

3. Parents are welcome to look over a student's exam. However, they are not to help students answer questions.

4. Specifically, parents may check for students' names on paperwork, that all problems have been answered, that answers have been properly copied from worksheets to the test/quiz, that all writing is done in pencil, and that answers are reasonable. I would strongly discourage checking exams for wrong answers, but it's okay to suggest that an answer is unreasonable (e.g.- 3 cats + 4 cats could never equal 53 dogs).

5. Finally, I discourage parents telling students, “This answer is wrong”. Rather, I would suggest saying something like, “You might want to look this problem over again...” The test/quiz should reflect what a students knows or does not know. This is important because it helps me plan for future lessons. I need to have an accurate idea of where students are in their understanding.

Q:

A: Yes, as long as "help" means all students do all the assigned work. For instance, if two students split an assignment and then share their work, they are only doing half the assignment each and that is not acceptable. Similarly, one student sharing answers with others is not really "helping" them.

*What are your expectations?*

A:My expectations are pretty simple: Do what I've asked you (my students) to do. If you're not sure why I've asked you to do something a certain way, ask. I am happy to explain! This includes checking your answers, taking notes, using pencil, and following my suggested homework format.A:

Q:

*When is homework due? How many days do we have to complete assignments?*A: Assignments will normally be due about 10 days after they are assigned. So the homework I assign on a Monday is due by the Wednesday in the following week, but I would strongly encourage students to not wait until the due date. Get the homework done and turn it in early!

Q:

*Do students have to bring their math book to class every day?*A: No. There are enough math books in my room for everyone, but you are welcome to bring your electronic version on a laptop or iPad to class, if you want to.

Q:

*Instead of returning the homework log each week, couldn't we just email you and let you know when homework is completed?*A: Of course that is possible, but then parents are taking on the responsibility of "turning in" the homework instead of the students, and I would like students to turn in something since I am not collecting homework. Students should also bring their homework spirals to class each day. I may do a spot check in class, and they may have time to start on assignments at school. The homework spiral is a great place to keep homework logs, too.

Q:

*Why are students required to do their work in pencil?*A: This is fairly standard practice in most math classes. Pen can be very messy because it is not erasable. Work done in pen in my class will not be accepted.

Q:

*Why can't students take notes in their math spirals?*A: The simple answer is because the spiral quickly becomes disorganized and messy. Notes should be taken on notebook paper, and then put in a binder where they can be organized and re-organized.

*Q: How often do you test, and how should students study for tests?*A: Saxon math tests are cumulative so questions from each test can be based on any lessons covered up to that point in the school year. For instance, once the first 50 lessons in the book are covered, the next test would be based on the concepts from Lesson 1 to Lesson 50.

Probably the best way to study is to either go over lessons that caused any problems earlier or review problems missed on previous tests. The good news is Saxon math homework is about 80% review so every week's homework assignments also prepare students for upcoming tests.

Starting with Lesson 10, there is a test for every 5th lesson. I usually don't give all the tests possible, but I do normally try to give a test about once every two weeks or 2-3 tests per quarter.

Q:

*What are your guidelines for test-taking at home?*A: These are my guidelines for take-home exams:1. Students are

__not__allowed to reference their math textbooks once they have started a test or quiz. I do however encourage students to use their notes on tests/quizzes. “Notes” are defined as anything written__entirely__in a student's handwriting.2. Students are not allowed to use calculators on tests or quizzes, unless the problem specifically states that calculators are to be used. I think this would only happen on Algebra exams, if at all.

3. Parents are welcome to look over a student's exam. However, they are not to help students answer questions.

4. Specifically, parents may check for students' names on paperwork, that all problems have been answered, that answers have been properly copied from worksheets to the test/quiz, that all writing is done in pencil, and that answers are reasonable. I would strongly discourage checking exams for wrong answers, but it's okay to suggest that an answer is unreasonable (e.g.- 3 cats + 4 cats could never equal 53 dogs).

5. Finally, I discourage parents telling students, “This answer is wrong”. Rather, I would suggest saying something like, “You might want to look this problem over again...” The test/quiz should reflect what a students knows or does not know. This is important because it helps me plan for future lessons. I need to have an accurate idea of where students are in their understanding.

Q:

*Can students help each other solve math problems?*A: Yes, as long as "help" means all students do all the assigned work. For instance, if two students split an assignment and then share their work, they are only doing half the assignment each and that is not acceptable. Similarly, one student sharing answers with others is not really "helping" them.