Homework Responsibility and Monster Equations

Yikes, it’s Saturday, not Friday.  I was so energized after a after a FABULOUS week of teaching and I couldn’t wait to blog.  I really meant to post last night,but I just didn’t have it in me!  So, here is my favorite Friday – on Saturday!

This week my “No Homework Responsibility Binder” blew me AWAY.  I have kids turning in late homework right and left.  Last year, when they didn’t do homework, they took their zero and moved on.  This year, they are doing it – even if it is a week later!  I believe that it is the format of the binder and the new incentive that I have offered for making up their missed homework.  I only check homework for completion.  At the end of the grading period, they have a homework completion grade that is equal to one test grade (50 points in my class).  Every time they do not have their homework, they lose 2 points.  It can add up (or rather, subtracts) pretty fast.  This year since I am not tracking missed homework (the binder does that for me) I am freed up to offer an incentive.  WHEN they make up their homework they get half credit back.  It’s working like a dream and almost every student has made up every homework assignment so far this year.  I’m in heaven.

I love my green, yellow, and red baskets (thanks @fouss) where students turn in EVERY paper and assessment!  They put their paper in the green basket when they felt they understood it well, the yellow basket is so-so, and the red basket is my “SOS – HELP ME I’m lost” basket.  If kids turn in a paper to the yellow basket but do very well, I always put a “Go Green”! on their paper.  I want them to be confident in their math abilities!

My other favorite this week is MONSTER EQUATIONS.  The kids can’t get enough of them.  I love their monsters!  When we moved to x/2 = 3 this week we got to draw HALF of a monster.  How much fun is that?  Then I got to say, “If HALF a monster can eat 3 people, how much could an ENTIRE MONSTER EAT.”   (** Note, I am also modeling this on the balance scale and then writing out the steps. **)  It really makes equation solving fun.  A student even made me three adorable monsters (with google eyes and everythign) and brought them to me Friday.  I meant to take a picture and post it, but forgot.  I will though – they are so cute!

6 thoughts on “Homework Responsibility and Monster Equations

    • Hey Jenn, That is a great question – and I even updated my post to include what they are for. The green basket is when they felt they understood it well, the yellow basket is so-so, and the red basket is my “SOS – HELP ME I’m lost” basket.

  1. I do something similar with homework and it is awesome!!! I have the best hw participation ever. After three missing assignments students have to call their parents and tell them they haven’t been doing their hw. It solves that issue! I do minus 5 for missing work, minus 1 for late. Mine is only a daily grade tho per my administration. I truly think its about having a system in place and sticking to it!


  2. Hi there,
    What do you do when kids put their homework in the green basket but are too embarrassed to put it in the red basket (because there aren’t any in there)? Or if they put it in the green basket because they think they understand, but really got it all wrong? If you only grade completion, these kids would squeak by, right?
    Also, I love your responsibility binder (which I have started in my sixth grade classroom) but I find students try to sit back and hide when they aren’t done and skip writing in the binder. Does this happen to you?? I, of course, find them later when I am entering grades and theirs is missing. Any suggestions are helpful.

    • My baskets are in the back of the room so students haven’t been shy about using the red basket. My baskets are mostly used for graded assignments. I only have students put make up homework in them and I don’t grade it but I do comment on it if needed. I only grade homework for completion and walk around the room to see who has it done everyday. (I don’t take it up.) I immediately send kids to the binder area if they don’t have it. I have one sneaky one and I will actually stand there until she gets up to go sign it. 🙂

  3. Though there exists logic in all of the these questions, test-takers must not scare and follow certain prescribed strategies inside TOEFL integrated writing. This is very relevant when you happen to be writing shorter things.

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