A few weeks ago, some of the classes in Year 9 trialled a new online homework system we will be using from September called ‘Sparx Maths’. Sparx Maths is the updated version of Hegarty Maths, and although it was initially met with mixed responses from some students, the vast majority think it is an improvement on Hegarty Maths overall.
Although the set homework does usually take a little longer to complete, the additional time spent doing the homework is very useful practice and revision for future assessments, including our GCSEs. This is because the main difference to the traditional online homework tasks, is the addition of ‘bookwork checks’. For each question that is answered, the accompanying ‘bookwork code’ must be written in your exercise book along with the working out and answer for that question. This is very useful practice for assessments and exams because it allows students to become familiar with writing out their workings for each question (which is something which you must do because it can get you method marks at GCSE), and it can also be used as revision material.
When revising, students can go through their prior homework and use them to revise all different areas of Maths and also use their old homework as example revision questions. Furthermore, the videos on Sparx Maths that accompany each question, in comparison to one per homework on Hegarty, gives students a greater, in-depth introduction to each topic and are very useful sources to use if you are struggling with your work.
In addition, there is an added times tables feature which is part of the weekly homework. When this is completed well, we are rewarded with online stickers, which some of the students really love because they are cute and fun! We can collect sticker packs which gives students motivation to practise their times tables, something which is important in Maths.
Therefore, despite the slightly increased time to do the homework due to having to write out all the answers, Sparx Maths is an improvement on Hegarty. It will hopefully ensure that all students have the best possible homework experience available to them.