Thursday, August 1, 2013

Managing Missing Homework

No matter how many times I stress how important it is to complete math homework in order to practice the skills we learned in class that day, inevitably, kids don't do their homework.  I usually have repeat offenders too (as I'm sure you do as well!).  I don't even collect homework.  I just go around the room, making sure that every student has it and show their work.  If they do, they get a 2.  If they don't show their work, they get a 1.  And if they don't have anything they of course get a 0.  I don't accept late homework because I post the answers on the Smartboard and we go over any questions, so you either have it or you don't.  As long as my students just try, they can have a 100% in homework for the marking.  Yet, for whatever reason, some just don't realize that homework is 15% of their final grade and not doing it can really affect their average.  It's very frustrating to me...

For this coming school year, I've created a form for kids to fill out whenever they don't have their homework.  This will (hopefully) make them more accountable.  I'm going to print the slips on brightly colored paper and leave them in a bin on my table at all times.  Anytime a student does not have homework, I'm going to have that student get a slip and fill out his or her name, math class, date, and what the assignment was.  Then, I'll have him or her check off the reason for not having the homework completed and sign it.  The slip also has a reminder to add a missing homework to their grade sheet in their notebook.  I'm going to place the slip in the student's personal file as documentation of the missed assignment (which will be very helpful during a parent-teacher conference!).  Here's what it looks like:



I have a slightly more general version (so it can be used for any subject) in my TpT store and in my TN store.

I'm also hoping to encourage more homework completion this year by rewarding the whole class when they have they have 100% completion.  I'm thinking of using the letters "HOMEWORK" for each class (an idea I got from here).  (I'm just going to use a notebook file on my Smartboard to keep track.)  Every time the class has 100%, they get a letter.  Once the class spells homework, the whole class gets a no homework night.  I'm not sure yet if they will need to just have 8 days of 100% or 8 days in a row in order to get the reward.  What do you think??


13 comments:

  1. I like the Missing Homework Slip. It reinforces the student's responsibility. Plus, it can be shown to parents (if necessary). I teach in a very small district. I use peer pressure to try to help avoid missing assignments. I bring in a small treat on Monday for the whole class if the entire class has no missing assignments the prior week.

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    1. That's a good idea too. I have a lot of students though, so that could be a lot of treats!

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  2. I like these forms! I make little symbols in my gradebook to keep track of whether the missing HW was from an absence or not, but I love the idea that I can pull these out for a parent conference.

    For the letters, I wouldn't expect 8 in a row unless you're doing some amazing award (better than no homework). I tried Homeworkopoly for the first part of last year (until I realized I just didn't have the 20 uninterrupted minutes it took me each week to do that) and there were students in every class who never managed to do all of their assignments in one week. I think 8 non-consecutive days is still a good challenge, but not something that's unattainable. Can you imagine how angry the students would be if someone broke the chain around day 6 or 7? Oh my!

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    1. Yeah I'll probably start with just 8 days of 100% (not in a row). Maybe I'll up the ante later in the year and do 8 consecutive days.

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  3. I like your missing homework slip. I have used them in the past, and my usual reason that I get is "I forgot" Parents love to see in their child's handwriting the reasons they do not have homework (especially since students in my school only get homework in math every night)

    I have never done the reward when the class has 100%. I may have to try that, and keep it posted (a competition between my 4 classes maybe?) I don't see all 4 classes each day, but only 3 a day (a rotating schedule), so I am thinking a competition between the classes that lasts for a marking period (the class with the highest percentage of homework completion gets something) Any ideas for the reward?

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    1. My kids love anything edible! Maybe a pizza party or some cupcakes? Sometimes I give 3 extra points on any test as a reward too.

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  4. I love this. I am curious Katie, I am a new teacher and you have some great ideas and since I am also going into middle school math I wish there was a way I could contact you with some questions. Is it possible to do that or can I post them here? Thank you.

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    1. I just added an "Ask Me Anything" widget on my sidebar. It's underneath the "About Me" section. Please send me any of your questions!!

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  5. Great idea! I have used the forms before, but last year I started using a No Homework Binder. The students fill out one sheet until its full. I like this because they see all the assignments they have missed all at once.

    As for as them not understanding the value of 15%, I made a pie chart to give my students a visual representation vs. the whole grade and will post it in my room.

    Both of these can be seen on my blog.

    Tori @ KelsoeMath.blogspot.com

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    1. I love the pie chart idea! Thanks!

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  6. I love your idea of giving them 2 points for full credit and 1 point for having the answers but no work! I moved from individual sheets (because I am a terrible filer and always lost them) to a "Responsibility Binder" for students who did not do their homework. I just use the ABC dividers from Staples in the binder. The ABC dividers made it easy to record their hw scores at the end of the grading period because they were in ABC order. The binder pages I created can be found here http://ispeakmath.org/2012/08/13/the-no-homework-responsibility-binder/ In fact, if they don't show work, maybe I'll have them sign and put a -1 next to their name? Love that idea! Thanks!

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    1. The binder is a great idea too. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. I cannot tell you how much I LOVE this idea! Every bit of it! Putting it on colored paper so it is bright and easy to find in their work folder. Good for parent meetings. Making the kids accountable... JUST LOVE IT! Thank you so much!!

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