During the Patriots play-off game last night at my in-laws house, I heard the familiar question asked, "Did you finish your homework?" Reluctantly, my nephew left the room to work on his math homework. He had 15 double-digit multiplication problems to complete. He also had to use two different assigned methods, FOR EACH PROBLEM.
I've read Alfie Kohn (The Homework Myth).
I've read the counterpoints to his thoughts.
I do understand the importance of math practice, which helps solidify the process of understanding.
But 15 problems?
And the double method for every single problem?
How about this idea - Three problems one method, three problems the other method and then finish three more problems using the method that works best for you. That way, you have time to reflect on what works best for you.
Isn't that the point - we want to help students understand that there is more than one way to reach the solution. Let's help kids identify what works best for them, and encourage them to use that method.