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MightyTeach's Message:

Way too much! No need to drill and kill!

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
MightyTeach 11-11-2019 01:49 PM

Way too much! No need to drill and kill!

Marcee 11-11-2019 12:18 PM

75 problems? You have got to be kidding me! Find some research that shows that this is ineffective and approach the teacher with it. There is a lot of evidence out there that shows this type of repetition is pointless. Is there a place for practicing math facts? Certainly. But if you know that 5+4=9 the first time, you don't need to repeat it 10 times on the same page!

msd2 11-10-2019 06:16 AM

"Are they fluency facts or actual problems he has to work out? That makes a huge difference."

Yes and no. 75 problems for someone who knows their facts well and is using the homework for speed is one thing as long as the student isn't so slow that each problem takes 30 seconds. For a student who doesn't know the facts and is expected to learn them by fluency exercises it is extremely wrong. Sadly many teachers are using fluency exercises to learn facts.

Claire 11-10-2019 05:56 AM

Are they fluency facts or actual problems he has to work out? That makes a huge difference.

Sbkangas5 11-09-2019 07:29 PM

All three of my kids went through a period of fighting me over homework. I sat down with their teacher and told them what was happening, and then we came up with a plan. I don't think homework is ever worth a fight, especially when they are that young.

apple annie 11-09-2019 05:31 PM

I regularly gave my second graders a challenge of 100 math facts in five minutes.

jov 11-09-2019 03:06 PM

Yes, I think that's way too much for a second grader. Echoing others, check your district handbook. Ours limits homework for second graders to 20 mins/day or 100 mins/week.

Haley23 11-09-2019 11:23 AM

I'm wondering if the idea is that they should have their addition facts memorized (or be working towards that) and that's the reason for the excessive repetition. If the child knows their facts, 75 problems could be completed easily in less than 5 minutes. If the child is having to do things like get out manipulatives and really think about each answer, obviously that's an entirely different ball game.

I'd honestly be surprised because at my school and others in my district, facts are not taught at all anymore. It's all about getting students to build number sense through what are often long and convoluted (IMO) ways to solve problems. But when I read about the assignment that's the first thing I thought of.

As others have said, definitely reach out to the teacher first and see if you can come up with a solution. Go in with an open mind and don't assume it's going to be a fight. Last year, I had a parent bring an advocate to an IEP meeting and was all prepared to "fight us" about his homework. She'd apparently been prepping for this meeting for weeks. We couldn't have cared less about the child's homework. I don't even believe in it, but it's a school requirement that we give it out. I had no problem writing in accommodations to the IEP that said the child would do 20 minutes of reading with the parent each night rather than the packets that were being sent home, and neither did the classroom teacher. Instead of simply asking, the parent stewed over this for months.

Gogogo 11-09-2019 10:17 AM

If it’s basic math facts (which I am guessing they are, since you say that he sees the same problems repeatedly.) — then 75 isn’t excessive at all.

kidsrterrific 11-09-2019 10:02 AM

My districtís homework requirements were the grade level times ten, so in second grade homework was twenty minutes- it was to practice math facts for ten minutes and read for ten minutes. Iíve been gone for five years but I believe that their requirements are still the same.

As previous posters have suggested I would check out this particular situation respectfully with the teacher.

Keltikmom 11-09-2019 07:12 AM

It sounds excessive at any age. Can he do them? Then he has mastered the concept and shouldn’t have to do it ad nauseum.

Is he struggling? Then he needs some reteaching and far less problems to keep him in his Zone of Proximal Development.

Check in with his teacher as others have suggested.

dutchgirl 11-09-2019 07:01 AM

Is this a basic facts addition sheet? Find out the reason for the homework. There are other ways to develop fluency.

Reading fluency means you don’t have to sound out words and understand them in context. Math fluency means you don’t have to count or figure out basic facts and can understand the value. It helps a lot for all of life.

choppie70 11-09-2019 07:00 AM

I would talk to the teacher with your concerns. Communicate that your son is starting to hate math. Math is so much more than just memorizing facts! Ask if there are any alternative activities that you can do with your son to practice. There are many card games that can be played.

I am thinking that the teacher is trying to develop fact fluency by doing the drills. Unfortunately, the term "fluency" is often misinterpreted as it is used in the CCSS.

Recent brain research has shown that this type of fluency practice in math often leads to math anxiety.

Lakeside 11-09-2019 06:58 AM

It does sound like too much to me, but I agree with talking to the teacher in a way you'd want to be approached, before you make a final decision.

Do your research first - for example, finding out the district policy on HW (like "10 minutes per grade level per night" or whatever) and making sure you've read the directions yourself.

Also, prepare a list of questions to ask his teacher. I might go with:

  • Is this regular homework, or does it include unfinished classwork?
  • How long do you expect this to take the students?
  • What mastery goal are the students working toward with this practice?
  • How does my child's progress compare with the rest of the class on this?

(I wouldn't ask, but I would wonder, if the teacher came from one of those "drill and kill" tutoring centers you hear advertised on TV?)

Ultimately, after listening to the teacher, you'll have to decide what the most necessary lesson for your kid is at this time, and either back up the teacher (learning to get along and deal with stuff) limit the amount of time he spends on the HW (practicing work/life balance) or changing the assignment to a form of practice that works better for him (preserving enthusiasm for the subject).
3leggedtable 11-09-2019 06:50 AM

What does the student handbook say about homework time? Ours is very specific. For second grade weekly homework is to be no more than 1.5-2 hours for all subjects.

Good luck.

anna 11-09-2019 06:31 AM

Is this an addition fact drill sheet where perhaps a second or two per question is expected to complete it?

TeacherPK6 11-09-2019 06:06 AM

I agree with the others about respectfully talking with the teacher, but then not making him complete all of them. That's way too much, even more so when you consider that that's just the math component of hw!

Tiamat 11-08-2019 10:41 PM

If he takes one minute per question, that's an hour and a quarter per night. Six and a quarter hours per week. His entire homework in Year 2 shouldn't be more than 20 minutes a night and I believe that's too much. It's excessive. Put your feet down firmly.

DeeDee3073 11-08-2019 09:44 PM

That's way too many. I can remember having HW assignments like that in the 90's. Complete #1-75 odd only. But I was in high school and it was too much depending on how long the problem took to figure out.

I would talk with the teacher and see as the other person noted whether this is a district requirement or teacher preference. How much work are they doing in class? What is her idea of proficiency? How long does she estimate each problem will take the child? And, finally what is the schools HW policy in regards to overall amount of time.

desert flower 11-08-2019 09:31 PM

I donít assign homework. I wouldnít make him do it since it ruins your evenings.

kahluablast 11-08-2019 08:01 PM

Truth be told, throughout your son's life, he is going to have teachers who do things that make him dislike the subject. That's life. I think this is more of an opportunity to teach your son acceptance, hard work, persistency, resiliency, dealing with stress, etc.
While I agree with this, it is also important to remember the age of this child and what the purpose of homework is. This kid has at least 10 more years of school to get through. Also, time for kids to play and interact with family and friends is also extremely important. 5 problems might be okay. 75? Why?

I would be respectful, but I would talk to the teacher, and if need be, I would put my foot down. Set a reasonable time limit. Ds works that long and is done. But do talk to the teacher first.
arsabl 11-08-2019 07:57 PM

That's too much. Kids need to run and play. Build forts, ride bikes.

While grading my homework tonight, I smiled when I read one of my students reported going for a walk with his mom every day. I give students academics they can do or they can do other fun things, too. I just need it recorded. Itís fun to see who does chores and who helps cook. Grading this or rather reviewing them, is a fun task.

VivianCP 11-08-2019 07:56 PM

Agreed, that is too much for a 7/8 year old. Poor kid! I'd hate math too.

Is there some reasoning that the teacher or school has given for this? (Not that I think there would be a valid one, just wondering.) Is it for sure homework? Not something he was supposed to complete at school and didn't? Although that's still too much. I wouldn't make him do them all either. Just enough to practice & show that he gets the concept.

Teacherbee_4 11-08-2019 07:53 PM

Gather more they have work time in class? Is it a requirement for the school/district?

Before going to the teacher, think about you would want to be approached in this situation. Address it in a way that isn't criticizing, is accepting of the teacher, etc. Don't overstep bounds, just kindly gather your own information.

Truth be told, throughout your son's life, he is going to have teachers who do things that make him dislike the subject. That's life. I think this is more of an opportunity to teach your son acceptance, hard work, persistency, resiliency, dealing with stress, etc.

bGracie 11-08-2019 07:32 PM

Yes, I wouldn't make him do them all. After being in school all day, he doesn't need to spend all his free time doing homework.

SpedQueenBee 11-08-2019 07:27 PM


My 2nd grader is assigned 75 addition problems each night. He fights with me every night. I'm so over it. He's started saying he hates Math.

Does anyone else think 300 of the same problem each week is overkill!

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