Marzano: Homework and Practice

This post is part of a series on integrating the McREL research on classroom instruction that works with videoconferencing.

Homework: Generalizations

  1. The amount of homework assigned to students should be different from elementary to high school.
  2. Parental involvement in doing homework should be kept to a minimum.
  3. The purpose of homework should be identified and articulated.
  4. If homework is assigned, it should be commented upon.


Use these to improve your practice.

  1. Establish and communicate a homework policy.
  2. Design homework assignments that clearly articulate purpose and outcome.
  3. Vary approaches to providing feedback (Pitler, et al., 2007, p. 187-188).

Practice: Generalizations

  1. Mastering a skill or process requires a fair amount of focused practice.
  2. While practicing, students should adapt and shape what they have learned.


Use these to improve your practice.

  1. Ask students to chart their speed and accuracy.
  2. Design practice assignments that focus on specific elements of a complex skill or process.
  3. Plan time for students to increase their conceptual understanding of skills or processes (Pitler, et al., 2007, p. 188).

Brainstorming for Videoconferencing

This is a tough one, because obviously kids aren’t going to use videoconferencing for homework, at least not room based videoconferencing! In addition, based on these recommendations, they really need to be able to do the homework on their own. If you’re teaching, you may want to review additional principles on assigning homework to refine your own teaching practice.

So, what about practice? How are students practicing skills already in videoconferences?

The first thing that pops into my brain is the Math Marvels format by Linda McDonald, Katy ISD. Sorry I couldn’t find them on your site, Linda!

There are many adaptations of this where two classes practice problem solving skills and then compare with each other the methods they used to solve the problems. I think this counts as practice right? Maybe this strategy best fits the math content area. What do you think?

If so, how do we improve our practice in giving students practice?

  • Do the students understand clearly what skill they are practicing?
  • Do they understand the expectations for performance?
  • Do you have practice schedules for practice outside of the VC time?
  • Are students evaluating their practice and adapting it to improve?
  • Are students keeping track of their improving performance?
  • Are there opportunities to practice specific components of the skill?

Hmm. Super Math Girl aka @sparky1fan, what do you think? Can we improve Math Marvels or are we doing it well already?

What other ways can you think of for practicing skills during a videoconference? Please comment!

Reference: Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

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