A common frustration for teachers is students’ lack of retention of skills and the need to constantly re-teach skills that have been covered in previous years. Not surprisingly, this frustrates students too! The Mathsquad Homework Program is designed to give students regular opportunities to practice the skills they are learning in class, increasing retention and the efficiency in which they can draw upon each skill.
The routine and simple expectations around the Mathsquad Homework Program also makes the standard excuses for not doing homework redundant. Less excuses means greater participation, enabling students to reap the benefits of the program.
Why teachers will love the Year 7 Mathsquad Homework Program…
- Resources are premade and freely available
- Homework program is easy to set up and once in place is a routine which is easy to manage
- Students’ retention of skills and efficiency in which skills are recalled will be maximised
- Students’ progress can be tracked informally through the homework sheets or formally using Mathsquad Assessments enabling teachers to make informed decisions as to how best to challenge and support students’ learning.
Why students will love the Year 7 Mathsquad Homework Program…
- Homework is achievable and all students can be appropriately challenged
- Students can see themselves improving over time
- Students can see what skills they know and what skills they are ready to learn
- Students are given the time and space to improve their maths skills
Why parents will love the Year 7 Mathsquad Homework Program…
- Homework expectations are clear and easy to support
- Parents can see areas of weakness and provide assistance (either personally or through a tutor)
Accessing the Year 7 Homework Sheets
All Year 7 student resources, including homework sheets, are available free of charge to mathsquad members. Membership is also free and sign up is simple. Sign up by clicking here and access the homework files by clicking on the download icon on the homepage and selecting the homework bundle.
Q. What are some of the key features of the Year 7 homework sheets?
A. Some key features of the homework are listed below.
- Homework sheets available at two levels; Foundation and Core. The Foundation level mostly includes prerequisite knowledge from primary school and the Core level mostly covers content from the Year 7 curriculum. Levels are labelled discreetly to ensure attention isn’t unnecessarily drawn to students working at different levels.
- 40 sheets per level to allow one sheet per week for the entire year.
- Each sheet assesses the same skills in the same order to give students multiple opportunities to practice key skills.
- Skills sequenced to ensure prerequisite knowledge is covered in earlier questions.
- Space for working out.
- Correct mathematical language used throughout.
- Technology free and technology active questions.
- Worded questions covering a range of skills so students need to decide what maths needs to be used.
- Transition questions to increase productivity while transitioning from foundation and core.
Click here to access an annotated section of the homework book.
Q. Do the skills in the program align with the Victorian Curriculum?
A. The skills within the homework sheets have been designed to cover the majority of the Year 7 curriculum and key prerequisite skills from earlier years. Click here for a full list of skills covered and their connections to the 2018 Victorian Curriculum Content Descriptors. Note that not all curriculum outcomes are covered in the homework program due to either suitability of question type and limitations of space. Click here to see which curriculum components are not covered by the homework program.
Q. What is the easiest way to implement the homework program?
A. Print one booklet per student, choose a homework due day and correct sheets as a class for immediate feedback. Click here for a printable implementation guide unpacking the steps in more detail.
Q. Are there solutions available for the Year 7 homework sheets?
A. Yes, however they are password protected to stop students accessing them. Click here for information on accessing the mathsquad password.
Q. Are there other resources available to support students’ learning of the skills within the homework?
A. The main resource for this purpose is the Skill Development book. Click here for more information on this resource. The homework sheets also can be used as the basis of a Mathsquad Driven Program, using freely available mathsquad resources and premade implementation guides. More information on this found here.
Q. Is there a summary-type book that students can use to support them when they are doing their homework?
A. Yes! There is a pre-made book called a homework helper that is included in the homework bundle (details on accessing the homework bundle is above under the heading “Accessing the Homework Sheets”. The homework helper contains an example for each skill and key words with definitions. Click here to view a sample page of the homework helper. If you are using the homework helper it is advised that you introduce this approximately 4 weeks into the program (after the Book 1A has been completed by students). This gives you time to ensure students have a good organisation system for looking after their resources (for example, a display folder or binder) so that once distributed it is unlikely to be lost. An implementation guide for the homework helper (and awesomeness tracker – see below) is found here.
Q. Is there a a system in place where students can document the skills they can do over time to track their progress?
A. Yes! There is a pre-made grid called an “awesomeness tracker”. The awesomeness tracker is contained in the same PDF as the homework helper and when printed double sided makes a nice booklet where one front cover is for the homework helper and flipped over shows the cover for the awesomeness tracker. Click here to view a sample of what an awesomeness tracker may look like after four weeks of homework are completed. As with the homework helper, it is advised that the awesomeness tracker is not introduced until Book 1A is completed. In the early weeks of the program students are likely to have enough to keep track of (pardon the pun!) and just completing and correcting their homework will be enough. Another bonus is that completing three sheets worth of highlights in the awesomeness tracker at once is a more efficient process and students are likely to start seeing growth in some skills which is motivating. An implementation guide for the awesomeness tracker (and homework helper – see above) is found here.
Q. What other strategies can we use to get even more out of the Mathsquad Homework Program?
A. Heaps of additional strategies can be used…. Click here for a printable version of add-ons.
Q: What if a student can’t do any of the questions?
A: As with any established program there will be some extreme cases that are not catered for. There are lots of free resources online for example, addition practice sheets found at https://www.math-salamanders.com/free-addition-worksheets.html or mixed questions at https://corbettmaths.com/5-a-day/primary/ looking at the Bronze level.
Q. Once a student has mastered Core level, what should they do for homework?
A. Please refer to the Core Plus page for information on extending beyond Core level, including homework beyond Core level.
Q. Do you plan to make the sheets electronic in future so they can be automatically marked?
A. Personally, I think it is really important that students have practice completing mathematics by hand (with their hand being an extension of their brain) and having the opportunity to practice neat and appropriate working out where needed. I worry that making the sheets electronic will lose these benefits that are currently present with the hard copy homework system. Another worry is that using an online approach will result in a lower rate of homework completion as students have an additional excuse for not doing their homework if they have a flat battery or internet issues.
Q: How do we stop students just copying homework from their friends or getting help from a family member or tutor?
A: At the start of the year I email all parents with the following information. It doesn’t guarantee no copying, though encourages positive practices.
Dear Parents and Guardians of YY students,
My name is AA, I am your child’s mathematics teacher for 20XX. While I have only had a few classes with YY I am already pleased with how they are responding to some initial routines and classroom expectations.
I would like to take this opportunity inform you of the homework requirements in this subject.
- Students in YY are required to complete one homework sheet per week, with a sheet due each ZZ. The first homework sheet will be due this coming ZZ on the SSth of TT.
- Students may not be able to complete all questions at this stage of the year. As long as students give their best effort it is appropriate for them to skip the questions that they are unable to access at the moment.
- Parents are welcome to assist with homework, though of course this is not expected. Remember that learning to do skills independently is the overall goal so please ensure your child is able to follow your strategies. It also helps if you note where assistance has been given.
- If they lose their homework booklet an electronic copy of the sheets can be accessed… [referring to the online share point].