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Homework Consequences
Old 01-04-2018, 05:39 AM
 
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Hi,

Happy New Year!!

During our Winter Break, it has given me time to reflect on how I can be a better teacher to my 5th graders so they can be MORE successful as they are entering Middle school.

I have a very chatty group, some of my students are just flat out disrespectful, and very irresponsible. In addition, they are lacking in completing ALL of their assigned homework and there is always an excuse or NONE at all for that matter. Their homework is as follows:

TECHNOLOGY - School Wide requirement
1. Reading Plus - 10 lessons per week (I decreased the amount to 7)
2. Lexia - 80 minutes or less weekly (depending on the student's level)
3. Imagine Math with Journaling - 10 lessons per week (I decreased the amount to 7)

4. Pearson Lesson (Math) & Math Spiraling Review
5. Language Arts Spiraling Review

It does seem like a lot; however, most of the time, the students are able to complete their technology homework during Centers. So basically, they only have #4 and 5 to complete outside of school.

I need and want advice on how I can hold them MORE accountable for not completing their assignments and be MORE responsible; I will say that there is minimal support from the parents as well.

I worry about their success because their non-completion of their Math homework because it effects the outcome of their quizzes and assessments. I have requested conferences from parents with little or no response.

I am at my wits end and need to start off the New Year in a positive mindset and pass that along to them so they can change their habits.

So again, I would appreciate it very much for any advice you may have to offer.

Thank you very much and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!


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Old 01-04-2018, 06:05 AM
 
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That is a huge amount of homework, and as I parent, I probably would have already talked with you and/or the principal about it. That would basically dictate what my family time would be like all of the time! I see that you lessened the req'd and give time in class (which takes away from the vision of homework, btw...) but...

What I would do is start rewarding the students doing homework. Have a little ice cream bar party. Or bring cookies and do that. Something to motivate positively. Get some excitement going with kids who DO the work.

Don't worry about negative consequences. Quizzes and grades are the negative. Emphasize students who did homework and it shows.
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Old 01-04-2018, 06:36 AM
 
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I would decrease the technology components to 4/5 a week so that all will complete them during centers. I would use the LA review as an eye opener/Do Now during day, either first thing or when they return from lunch. That leaves just the math review, which should be fine. Then maybe you could have a short time on Friday afternoon as a "catch up period." Those who didn't complete assignments do it then, and those who are caught up have free choice of educational games.

Good luck! I teach first, so consider my frame of reference!
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Old 01-04-2018, 08:58 AM
 
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Thank you for your input.

I will continue the positive reinforcement with the homework policy.
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Old 01-04-2018, 09:00 AM
 
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Thank you. I do take into consideration the overload; therefore, the spiral review can and usually is completed in the morning as a 'Do Now'.


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"Catch"up and "pick"les time
Old 01-05-2018, 06:57 AM
 
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In my sixth grade class, we have weekly ketchup and pickles time. I share the grade with one other teacher, and we split them for this time. All work due throughout the week is checked off by Friday morning. If the student turned all work in on time and did not have any time in the stay in room, they get to be in the fun room to pick non-electronic games or activities for half an hour. If they did not meet those goals, they are in the silent room working on the assignments that were not finished (catching up). If they are in the ketchup room for behavior only, they silent read. If the entire group makes it into pickles for a week, we will watch a short movie during that half an hour. I have done this for several years now, it has been a great motivator.
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Old 01-06-2018, 07:57 PM
 
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So, the main commentary I have is about Reading Plus. First of all... it is an extremely boring program. I have had students from below to advanced in 2nd-6th grade work on it. Pretty much universally kids hated it. The passages are boring and students who struggle are stuck with the same few passages for a very long time. Last year when I taught 5th/6th I required only 3 SeeReader lessons per week (I asked them to pass the 3 though) and they had 20-30 minutes every single day to work on it in class without interruption. Even my high students had a hard time always getting them done. The passages are long. I am not sure who thought 10 was a good school wide goal but I'd feel that is excessive.

I will note though that every 5th grade teacher I've ever talked to seems to struggle with homework getting done. I don't know if it's just an age where they suddenly get bogged down with it or if it's this age where they start to care less about getting work done.
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:44 AM
 
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I had a class once that was having a hard time being responsible about homework. I really do t give a lot of homework, but the problem with them seemed to be mostly one of forgetting to take it home or forgetting to bring it back. I challenged my kids and posted a big sign outside my door: 100% Homework for _____ days. I hyped it up a lot and promised a popcorn /movie party if we got to twenty consecutive days. Each day we would make a big deal of changing the number. The kids keep each other accountable.
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Ideas
Old 01-15-2018, 06:50 PM
 
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I think that it is a good idea to consider a consequence for incomplete homework especially when the parent support is minimal, because this is what will happen in the next school year as 6th graders, so it is important for them to be prepared or they will have the same issues in a higher grade level and may fall behind tremendously if they are never held accountable. Some ideas I thought of are taking away recess, any down time during the day be made a homework completion time assuming they would rather have the down time so they feel the impact, even staying after school if you are willing to stay a few minutes so not only he gets the time and maybe help but so the parent can start seeing the consequences as well.
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Old 01-16-2018, 01:55 AM
 
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I will have to agree that Reading Plus is not my favorite either. Therefore, I decreased the amount to be completed regardless of the school wide expectation. With that being said, I do have a couple motivators for them to complete it - donuts for combos and pizza coupons for those that increase a level.

Since I taught 3rd for 5 years and they always did their homework, I guess I am realizing they don't have the same mentality as they did 2 years ago. My only concern is they will be in 'shock' when they enter Middle School; I am just trying to prepare them as well.


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Old 01-16-2018, 08:39 PM
 
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Students should be held accountable for things the teacher controls. Since a teacher can't be in the home parents are in control. Punishing a student because he/she doesn't have parental support is not only unfair it exacerbates the student's negative attitude towards school. Essentially the teacher is telling the student, "It's unfortunate you are not being brought up in a caring, loving environment where your parents, for whatever reason(s), don't or can't support schooling. Therefore, I have to punish you for the conduct of your parents." A logical consequence would be to have the parents miss recess.

Homework has never been proven to teach responsibility. Madeline Hunter has argued, "Teachers are wasting too much time collecting and grading homework. If the idea behind homework is to find out 'who has learned' versus 'who has done' the teacher will never know for sure who did the homework - student; parent; sibling; friend? If the teacher wants to find out if students are learning she/he should give a short quiz ON the homework. This will separate the doers from the learners."

Consider: Some teachers try to be proactive to prevent missing homework. Instead of punishing students after the fact for a dysfunctional home life they offer a voluntary homework time after/before school in lieu of doing homework at home. Since the teacher is in control during these times any goofing off, dawdling etc. would make any consequence logical.
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Homework
Old 01-28-2018, 04:00 PM
 
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I've read some good incentive ideas on this thread, but I don't have anything new to add. This is mainly because I'm not allowed to give consequences for students who do not do/return their homework. I can only encourage them to do it and inform the parents if the work isn't received. I always reiterate that completing the homework will help them understand the concepts more. I did want to say that I understand that every home is different and it's important to have parents on your side. But no matter what the circumstances are I think 5th grade students ought to be able to do their homework or at least what they can of it and return the work to school without the help of their parents. I teach second grade and I don't accept "my mom didn't put it in my folder" excuses from them. I tell them "your mom isn't in my class, you are, and you're responsible for bringing the work back." "Now what are YOU going to do to solve this problem?" We try to come up with a plan for the student to put it in their folder as soon as it's finished and put the folder in their backpack.
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