Recently I came across Henri Picciotto’s writing on lagging homework. To say that this idea piqued my interest is an understatement. It had me up well past midnight last night trying to figure out how it would work in my AP Calculus classes. It fit so nicely with what I had been reading in Make It Stick (like this book needs any more publicity on the MTBoS) on spaced practice that it’s at least worth a shot to begin the year. So here’s what I have so far.
In class students will work through a new topic for a day or two, depending on the complexity. Whenever they’re done with the topic they’ll do an exit slip during the last few minutes of class as a check for understanding. They will then have the opportunity to self evaluate by placing their exit slip into one of three folders: Got It, Kind Of, Not Yet. I’ll give a quick pass through these and make sure I agree with their self evaluations. The following class period I’ll spend the first few minutes working with the Not Yet group on some remediation, while the Got It group works on extension problems and the Kind Of group works together on fixing their small mistakes and then moves on to the extension problems.
On the first day of each week, the class will get a handout due on Friday. That handout will cover material that was taught the previous week. So during the first week of school, in class they’ll be learning about evaluating limits, but at home they’ll be doing precalculus review problems. During the second week of school they’ll be learning about continuity, but their homework will be on the limit evaluation problems from the week prior.
I want to be able to give written feedback (without a grade) to my students on their homework prior to them taking an assessment on it, so that will have to come on week three.
So the work flow will be something like this:
Week 1 In Class → Week 2 At Home→ Week 3 Assessment
Classes don’t start for me until after Labor Day, so I have time to tweak and rework these ideas so your thoughts, comments, and questions would be really helpful.
Here’s the handout I’m planning on giving students explaining the system to them: