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Students not doing homework
Old 09-21-2014, 06:43 PM
 
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Another question from my daughter is teaching fourth grade. She has a number of kids who don't do homework. If she keeps them in for recess, she has to keep them the whole time since they go to the park for recess. She has an after school commitment a couple days each week. She sends things home and they don't get signed. As far as a positive reward, they don't really care. She does have punch cards for spelling tests and multiplication quizzes.

It is a high poverty area. Most families speak Spanish. She does not. Some kids bring in homework in their parents' handwriting.

Any suggestions?


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Old 09-21-2014, 06:54 PM
 
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Stop giving it...there is no research to support homework improving anything and if she feels she can't do anything about it, then assign them reading and forget it. Tell her to work on things she can change, and maybe as she gets more experience with her population/school she will be able to look at it again. I don't have this issue, but after 18 years I have looked at a lot of research on the topic and the research does not really support homework.
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Old 09-23-2014, 06:22 PM
 
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I like the "quit giving it" response, but we are expected to give homework.

Today I heard a great response from a student. We use "PAWS" as rewards - little printed pieces of paper. I have been handing PAWS very consistently for homework. Today we had our PAW store where students were able to "buy" certificates and inexpensive goodies I buy like Mechanical pencils, little spiral journals, whatever I can find for cheap!

After we had finished "buying" I heard my student who has a tough home situation and hasn't been doing homework comment that he was going to start doing his homework so he could have more PAWS for next time! It's a lot of work, but I loved hearing him say he was going to be responsible - he doesn't have support at home to help with that, so I guess whatever works!!!
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Old 09-24-2014, 06:28 PM
 
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I use a homework club. Check out the link below. At the end of each month, I do a popcorn movie during lunch for the kids in the club. They love it!

http://4thgradefrolics.blogspot.com/...-what.html?m=1
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Homework
Old 09-27-2014, 04:08 PM
 
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I give a homework grade for math and language arts at the end of each marking period. That averages to about 30 or so assignments for each subject, so I subtract 3 points from 100 for each missing or late assignment. Each is weighted as a test grade

You could try similar and show students their current grade! Letting them see that they have a "test" that is only a 66 could be motivating.

Our school has a "homework table" in the cafeteria during recess time, supervised by an aide or teacher. My new policy this year is that if you don't have your homework you'll be doing it at recess, no excuses or "three strikes" like I did last year. Maybe your school needs similar. Students can eat lunch while they work.


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Old 09-27-2014, 07:53 PM
 
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I agree with Star Wars...I would stop giving it. What is the point? It's a battle she'll always fight and probably never win.

In high poverty areas, kids often go home to chaos, taking care of themselves and younger siblings, less support from families. I'm not saying they are all like this; it's just more prevalent in high poverty areas.

These kids (and teachers like your daughter) have enough battles to fight. I wouldn't bother with homework-especially with what research suggests.
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Old 09-28-2014, 02:57 AM
 
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I guess I'd start with individual interviews with the kids. There are likely several very different reasons for why they aren't doing homework, and so different supports will work. -

If they don't have time because of adult-like responsibilities at home, reduce the number of problems they have to only the most important ones and/or give them an extension on the due date if they have more time on the weekends.

If they don't have the materials at home, try to put together some "homework kits" from donated supplies (Donors Choose, a local church or college, anywhere you can think of to ask).

If the child is struggling with the material and the parents' own education levels or language issues keep them from being able to help, would it be possible to hook the kids up with older students in their own neighborhood who they could ask? (I'm not sure what the rules are in your school about seeing records of students not in your class, but maybe the secretary or nurse, who has a contact card on everyone, could help? Or the teachers of upper grades might be willing to ask for volunteers in their classes just by general area?)

If for some kids it really is just not wanting to do it, and parents are not willing to enforce it, I would have said a reward (though I would go shorter than monthly, to avoid kids who make one mistake giving up totally for the rest of the month). --- But you said they don't care about those, so what about "pink slips"? I've seen them in several rooms. Students who don't bring in their homework have to fill out a half-sheet form including their name, the date, what the assignment was, and why they didn't complete it (ex: left the assignment at school, did it but forgot it at home, was "too busy", etc.) Make it a real pain to fill out - have to write the whole date out, lots of boxes to check for the different reasons, a complete sentence at the bottom on how they can avoid the problem next time, etc. Maybe they'll figure it's easier to just do the homework in the first place.

As for the homework in the parents' handwriting, I have no idea. That one's just wow.
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Students will appreciate you...
Old 09-29-2014, 10:35 AM
 
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Oh, the comment "Stop giving it"... if only! Every year I inherited students from one teacher who had taken on that philosophy; those kids always had the most difficult year because homework doesn't just mean homework; it develops a wide-range of skills such as time-management that are not isolated from a student's overall achievement potential. Please don't surrender; follow some of the great suggestions about evaluating the home setting and even the quality of the assignments; down the road your students will appreciate the skills you instilled in them.
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No more homework!
Old 10-07-2014, 01:01 PM
 
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I agree. I would stop giving homework, and give more grades for classwork. If the students are able to show that they can do the work in class, but struggle outside the classroom because they are unable to ask questions, then its just hurting them to give zero's.
Another idea for the punch card could be a homework pass. If the student gets a certain amount of punches on the card they can receive a homework pass. They can turn in the pass if they forgot their homework or did not do the assignment and they will not have a grade for it.
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Common struggle...
Old 10-08-2014, 01:59 PM
 
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Unfortunately not turning in homework is a very common struggle, not just in public schools but private schools as well. I teach in a private school and have been dealing with a student this year who refuses to turn in his homework. I have had conferences with his parents, and he is aware that the reason he has such low grades is because he doesn't turn in homework. His parents claim that he is doing the work, but somewhere between home and school he isn't getting it turned in. So he will just get the grades he gets. I told him today that if he would actually do his homework he would have a much higher grade.

Some kids just don't care if they turn it in or not. Personally, I am pro-homework. I don't assign a ton of work though, the only thing they have to turn in daily is a spelling assignment each night. I believe that by doing homework it helps prepare them for later on in life. In middle school and high school they will have projects and homework for multiple classes and multiple teachers. By doing homework now it is preparing them for that, plus it is also preparing them for college where most of the work is done on their own.

Not trying to turn this into a debate over whether or not homework should be assigned. This is just my opinion and personal experience with it.

As far as parents doing the homework, I have had that issue before as well. I give the child a zero on the assignment and let them know that it is because they need to do the work themselves and not have the parents do it for them. (This was a major issue last year with one of my students. Her parents were upset about it, but I stuck to my guns and once they realized I wasn't backing down they stopped doing the homework for her.)


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Homework Issues
Old 10-09-2014, 04:36 PM
 
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I teach fourth grade, and I do give work that can be completed at home if they cannot complete it at school. Every night we ask our students to read 20 minutes at night and study their math facts. In my and my co-worker's rooms many of the students who have good time management skills finish the other assignments before they ever go home. We never assign work for grades for homework, only skills they need to practice. Twenty percent of their final grade is for the work, but only for an honest effort and/or completion. Good luck to your daughter on her educational journey.
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Old 10-13-2014, 10:17 AM
 
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Sounds like she could use a three-prong approach: carrot, stick, and re-teaching.
1. Come up with reward. This needs to be frequent. I would say weekly. Can she get together with another teacher and have one teacher give the kids a bonus recess and the other teacher stay with the kids that didn't do homework? Can your daughter offer free time or computer time in the classroom while she works with the ones that didn't do homework? Many holidays are coming up and fourth graders like to listen to music and do holiday crafts.
Another thing that works well is using "No Homework" tickets to reward students that work hard in class. Tie these to the amount of work they do in class. Announce when it is a "no homework" opportunity, but DON'T tell them how much they have to do. At the end of class tell them, "If you finished number _____, come up and get your No Homework Pass!
A third reward is letting students choose the amount of homework/grade they want to do. Have C level. B level, and A level homework.
2. Come up with a consequence, like missing these special activities. They could also miss Morning Meeting (if she does one) to do homework.
3. Reteach the expectation of homework. Give the kids some time each day that is designated homework time. "Work the room", helping students who you know need it the most. Create individualized contracts for repeat offenders, gradually increasing the amount of homework they do over time.
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Old 12-28-2014, 01:01 PM
 
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I use the Homework club in my 4th grade classroom. Using this has really helped this year. You can download the materials at tpt for free. I do my homework club every 3 weeks depending on how they have turned in homework. After the break I might go back to every 2 weeks.
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