4 RESEARCH REPORT Effect of Daily Math Home Practice and Number Talks on

4 research report effect of daily math home practice

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4 RESEARCH REPORT Effect of Daily Math Home Practice and Number Talks on Automaticity of Basic Math Facts Metacognitive processes are important for students to achieve mathematical fluency. Metacognition is a process which involves thinking about one’s own thinking. Students engage in the metacognitive process when they analyze problems, select appropriate strategies to solve them, regulate the problem-solving process and check the validity of their answers (Canadian Child Care Federation and Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network, 2010). This process is strengthened when they engage in mathematical conversations (Parrish, 2010). We have found the daily exercise we used (“number talks”) to be a pivotal vehicle for student development of efficient, flexible, and accurate compu - tational strategies that build upon the key foundational ideas of mathematics. Classroom conversations and discussions around purposefully crafted computation problems are at the very core of number talks. These are opportunities for the class to come together to share their mathematical thinking (Parrish, 2010). We also found home practice beneficial in reinforcing what was taught in the classroom. Homework and practice has a long history of support (Stokke, 2014), but there are two sides to the issue. Cooper, Robinson and Patall (as cited in Protheroe, 2009) found gener - ally consistent evidence for a positive influence of homework on achievement. Marzano and Pickering (as cited in Protheroe, 2009) found that the relationship between the amount of homework students do and their achievement outcomes was found to be positive and statistically significant. Harris Cooper (as cited in Protheroe, 2009), a researcher with a long-time interest in the issue of homework, points to the few carefully controlled studies that have found positive links between homework and student scores on end-of- class tests. To illustrate, one study found that second-grade students who were assigned math homework did better than comparable students who were not assigned homework (Protheroe, 2009, p. 43). However, Kohn (2006) and Pawlowski (2014) disagree about the benefits of homework on the grounds that providing students with algorithms and having them memorize facts does not encourage creativity and exploration. Protheroe (2009) adds that the precondition for students doing homework is that they should understand what teachers have taught in the class so they won’t be discouraged, misunderstood and develop bad habits. Cooper (as cited in Protheroe, 2009) summarized three benefits for students doing home practice: (a) long-term academic benefits, good study habits and skills; (b) better self-dis - cipline, organization, and independent problem solving; and (c) greater parental appreci - ation of and involvement in schooling. However, Marzano, Gaddy, and Dean (as cited in Protheroe, 2009); Cooper (as cited in Protheroe, 2009); and Shellard and Turner (as cited in Protheroe, 2009) warned that students’ home practice needs to be a clearly divided responsibility among teacher, students, and parents. They specified the teacher’s respon
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