My homework LIFESAVER this year has been my “No Homework – Responsibility Notebook“. Students who do not do their homework sign this binder. Every time they sign it deducts 2 points from their trimester homework grade. It’s so easy to keep up with and the students now know to just go and sign it when they come in class. It is zero maintenance for me! I do not “grade” homework right or wrong, but they do get a trimester grade for homework.
- I usually assign about 10-20 minutes of homework a night, Monday – Thursdays.
- I do not give homework on the weekends, but do expect students that are behind to spend some time catching up.
- I give students the answers to their homework before they do it. I expect them to check each answer as they work, so they don’t do 15 practice problems incorrectly.
- The homework is always easier than the work we do in class. I do not want them to struggle at home where I can’t help them. I just want to reaffirm the main ideas in class.
- I have created Concept Help Pages for students to go if they are confused. If they email me and then work on these pages I do require them to have completed homework. In this case they must come visit me before school for extra help.
- I do not collect and grade homework. I would rather spend my time planning engaging lessons!
- Each day I walk around and really examine everyone’s homework while they do the warm-up. I sometimes make students redo it.
- I do not grade their answers right or wrong since I give them the answers in advance.
- Students who do not complete their homework must sign the “No Homework – Responsibility Notebook“. This deducts 2 points from their trimester homework grade.
- About half-way through the year I have an increasing number of 7th graders that start skipping their homework. This year I started having them come in at lunch to complete it. Next year, I am going to put this rule into effect day one.
I think independent practice is so important in math. Especially since our classes are 50 minutes long. Since I do many discovery lessons, we barely have time to get to the main ideas much less give them time to practice enough. Their homework score adds up to a major test grade. Next year I am going to reduce it’s worth however to equal a quiz grade. I would also like my students to do their homework more “neatly” next year but I haven’t figured out how to frame that yet.
I actually switched up homework this week in 7th and it was a nightmare. I did not give them the answers and I we checked it together. I had them mark what they missed and then I collected it so I could look at it. So now I have 5 giants stacks of “graded” homework on my desk that I have barely glanced at. I don’t know how teachers that actually grade homework get it all done!