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cquine77 cquine77 is offline
 
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Homework Hassles
Old 08-12-2013, 05:14 AM
 
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Ok, so another school year is beginning in a few days. With that comes the frustration of kids not completing their homework on time or at all. I am wanting to get this problem corrected or at least manageable in the first weeks of school.

Here is what I work with and what I've tried:

-85% low income, several on the homeless side
-little to no parent involvement in and out of school
-an environment where kids know the will be passed regardless because former administrators make teachers give kids work until they get the D mark
-all students have to ride the bus too and from school; only a select few can find rides or walk home (not in the safest neighborhood)

I've tried taking recess, after school time, loss of other privileges, etc. Currently I penalize 10% for a day late, 25% for two days late, and 50% after 3 days. I usually have to take the homework if it is well past the 3 day mark, but at 50%.

What are some of your homework policies? I just want to get this frustrating habit under control sooner rather than later.

Thanks for your great ideas!


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Old 08-12-2013, 06:28 AM
 
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I give zero homework. That is no exactly my policy but our district does not support homework. It can't be graded, you cannot penalize students who don't do it, and you can't make students do it during break periods. So I've just stopped it. I do offer extra credit assignments but the only ones who do it are the good students anyway.

Truthfully, a no homework policy is a relief. We read novels together in class and complete all projects in class. It slows us down but at least there is no cheating. We are not even encouraged to make students do all their make up work! That irks me no end. However, in the end, it is a stress reducer.
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Homework
Old 08-12-2013, 07:03 AM
 
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I work in a very similar area and I always have had the same problem. i have learn I give something small that they can complete at home or in the morning before they get to my class. I usually only check about 10 homeworks a marking period. I do +, -, and 1/2. I do not tell them when I am going to check it. In the beginning I check almost everyday and as the marking period goes on I check here and there. I've come to learn if they do it fine if not oh well its not worth the stress. For the students who complete it, it helps their grade and the ones that don't it effects their grade.
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Would LOVE no HW policy
Old 08-12-2013, 09:28 AM
 
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I would love, love, love, a No-HW policy. I can't have one, so this is what I do:

Counts only as their effort grade:
50% for 1+day late
0% if not turned in

If they don't turn it in at all, they miss any in-class movies, any fun team activities, etc...until it's done. Eventually, it all gets done, but there's a lot of chasing for it to happen. I feel your pain.
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Appreciate feedback
Old 08-12-2013, 04:23 PM
 
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Thanks for the feedback on homework. I wish a no HW policy would work. Unfortunately, I don't think that would fly and my kids would take full advantage of that situation. I have taken things away from those who miss work and it just doesn't phase the same repeat offenders. I know it starts with the home, but it's my responsibility to make them successful. Cutting down the number of math problems has been considered as well.

Thanks for your feedback! Keep them coming! We can ALL benefit!


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Old 08-14-2013, 06:32 PM
 
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I only count homework for 10% of the grade, and it is completion credit only. I try to give kids as much class time as possible to get their work done. I have also done "ketchup" days where the students who have work to do get caught up and the students who were caught up get free time. I have board games, cards, and fun books (Where's Waldo, 3D, Magic Eye) that I sometimes would offer to make free time more enticing.
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Hw
Old 08-14-2013, 07:17 PM
 
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My policy is 10% off each day after up to three days. Day 4 it becomes a zero. I have my kids sign a homework contract as well, which gives me a paper trail to show parents. Usually kids don't believe my policy until they get their first quarter midterm report. Then they wake up as they realize I meant it!!
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Homework
Old 09-06-2013, 04:44 PM
 
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I have a "pink notice" policy (not my invention - can't recall the website just now).
A parent notice goes home each time a student has a missing/late assignment to cover when parents notice online grades are missing. They can't say they were not notified by the teacher.
A copy is kept on file.

Students begin homework in class and what they do not finish, they take home and it is due the next day. One day late is 10% off; two days late is 15% off; three days late is zero grade with no make-up. This policy is sent home the first day for parents and students to sign and return.
Also, we are required to type in an explanation any time we give a zero or exempt a grade. Parents can see this online also.
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Are we losing responsibility?
Old 09-07-2013, 10:51 AM
 
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Wow no homework! I have cut it down to barely anything, mainly if they dot complete it in class then they take it home but to not even encourage them to do make up work, where's the accountability? This scares me as they grow older that deadlines like taking responsibility for paying bills, completing projects etc are going to be a thing that gets pushed to the wayside because it never mattered for them before.
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How about no homework?
Old 09-07-2013, 08:49 PM
 
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(Pardon the cross post)

If you have high poverty, you will have more of a challenge.

I teach in a relatively high poverty school. Honestly? I try not to assign homework. I have the students do bits and pieces of bigger projects, with each portion of a project due by the end of the hour. Students who do not get finished are assigned a classroom detention with me after school--every day until they are caught up. This also requires a phone call home, during which I explain the situation to the student's parent (if I can get a hold of the parent).

Generally speaking, this works well for me. I don't have as many students as you do though. I usually have right around 80 students, so far fewer than you. With this procedure, I have 4-5 students who are regular repeat offenders.

Also, I look for different way to assess the kids. When I first started teaching, I would grade every single assignment. And most of them were written. Now my formative assessments are not always written (unless of course it is a writing standard that I am covering). Sometimes I observe, interview, or have them present in class. Sometimes they create models or posters. And yes, sometimes they write--but they may write in different formats too. For example, I had a student rap his persuasive essay. That was what he was comfortable doing. I video taped it so I could hear it a few times to get the thesis, arguments, and supports. This was a kid with a very low reading and writing level, but because I allowed him to create a rap, he actually participated in the research for his topic and produced a project that met the objectives of persuasion. Was it perfect? Far from it, but it was way more than he would have done had I said that he HAD to have an essay like everyone else.


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