Assigning odds allows the students to check to see if they have the correct answer to every single problem that they attempt. This is important because I do not want them practicing 10 homework problems incorrectly.
Scenario One – Student gets a correct answer
If they do the first problem and see that they have it correct, they gain encouragement and confidently move on to the next problem.
Scenario Two – Student gets an incorrect answer
If they do the first problem and then see that it is incorrect, they know they did something wrong. Hopefully they will not continue to do the remainder of the homework incorrectly. A student that does an entire homework assignment incorrectly has not only gained nothing, but they have committed incorrect practices to memory.
My hope is that once they discover a problem is done incorrectly, they will research how to do it right. They can read their book, look back into notes, search the net, call a friend, ask a parent, or email me. I would rather a student not do the homework than do 10 problems incorrectly.
I will look at the students’ homework each day. I am not looking for the correct answers because they already have these. I am looking for the correct procedures. I want to make sure they each know how to get the correct answer.
I believe that homework should be practice. But for homework to be productive practice, students need to do homework correctly. This means having the answers to all of their homework problems while they are working them.