How do you check homework?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Deeena, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. Deeena

    Deeena Cohort

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    Jun 1, 2010

    This is my 3rd year teaching and I still am not satisfied with the way I check homework and I'm thinking of changing things for next year (sorry for the long post).

    I am hoping that people can offer suggestions on ways to check students' homework without wasting a lot of time. I'm not checking for correct answers, just that is was completed. Here was my method earlier in the year:

    The students arrive at 8:00 and they complete their morning warm-up. During that time I check to make sure that they completed the following:
    1. reading log
    2. math
    3. spelling/and or some other language arts related activity
    4. other- anything else that may have been assigned.

    My problem with this method was that it wasn't until about 8:40 by the time I got started with language arts (this includes checking homework and correcting the morning warm-up.) Also, later that evening when I looked at the work more thoroughly, I would see that students did not always complete the assignment and then I would have to track that student down the next day to re-do.

    To save time in my morning, I currently collect the homework without going around and checking it. Then, after school I check to make sure it was all turned in. The problem I'm experiencing with this method is that when students do not do the assignment, I have to remember to have them do it at recess the next day. Sometimes I forget...

    Basically, what I would like to know is...
    1. How do you check homework?
    2. How do you check in a time effective way? My language arts time is from 8:00-10:00 and I really cannot waste this precious time.

    I appreciate any suggestions!
     
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  3. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Jun 1, 2010

    In the first 10 minutes of class, the students begin their morning work (daily gram). During that time I do HW check. From the beginning of the year I go over very thoroughly what I expect...

    I call the names of the students and they answer with either...
    * "Yes" if they completed all of their homework
    * "None" if they did none of it
    * "No Math" if that was the only thing they didn't do
    This is not a time for explanations or excuses. Its yes, no, or what is missing. Thats it.

    If they are missing something, they go to the homework room during recess to finish it. As soon as they are done, they can go to recess. If they lie during homework check, its automatically a week of recess and lunch detention. No one lies.

    We correct HW during that subject (math during math, etc) and I collect it then.
     
  4. missidy

    missidy Rookie

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    Jun 1, 2010

    i get my kids to all stand up. sometimes we do a yoga pose and they are completely still and quiet. I look throught the homework papers and call student names when i see their paper and they then sit down. My standing students didn't complete their homework. Works very well when just one thing is due...when it's more than one i get them to move somewhere else in the room while i check the second item (again calling their name when i see their paper, and they move accordingly)
     
  5. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Jun 1, 2010

    I don't give a lot of written homework, but I check it by doing a quick scan before checking. It's not a perfect system, but I stick with it. I don't collect their homework, just see it at their desk.
     
  6. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Jun 1, 2010

    I only give homework in one subject most days. I find that a couple things happen with homework- either a kid doesn't get anyone to help him/her and does all the problems wrong, or a parent helps too much. I also find that families are VERY busy and it's difficult for them to take the time needed to do a good job on homework. For this reason, I don't put a lot of stock in homework- don't count it for a grade at all.

    I take up folders in the morning and sort through them quickly, removing the homework, while students are working on the morning bell ringer. I have the folders numbered and quickly put them in number order before taking out homework- that way I can tell if a student's work is missing. I just scan the page and see if the work is complete. If it's missing or incomplete, I have the student do the work during recess. We "grade" homework together in class sometime after recess.

    I also don't make long homework assignments. No more than 10 Math problems, usually. If they can't do 1, they can't do the other 49, you know?

    I honestly think homework has only two purposes: teaching responsibility and getting help from parents when a student is struggling. Anything else is a waste of time. It's not a good indicator of a student's abilities- esp. if parents help too much, and it's not really the best time to practice skills- after school is out and everyone's just ready to home and relax...so I use it to teach responsibility. They know they need to be responsible for their homework- NOT their parents. And, occasionally, I use it to get the parents to see where their children are struggling and offer help.
     
  7. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Jun 2, 2010

    This is pretty much my procedure, but I have a log sheet to record whether the students did the homework (this will be part of their "Work Habits" grade). And I don't do the checking -- one of my students checks to see if the homework has been done and records it in the log.

    We also review the homework during class time.

    This is the most popular job in my classroom, so all the students do a very good job :)
     
  8. **Mrs.A**

    **Mrs.A** Comrade

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    Jun 2, 2010

    I just finished my second year of teaching and I have decided that I hate homework!! :| Next year I am doing homework packets so I only have to deal with it on Friday. If they don't turn it in on Friday then they go to study hall during fun Friday.
     
  9. tryin

    tryin New Member

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    Jun 2, 2010

    I agree with Queenie. I collect homework on Fridays. I don't give a grade. I will do a quick scan sometimes to see what was done, but that's about it. Homework to me, is a reinforcement of what has been done in class, but I think after working hard for 7 hours in school, kids deserve some relaxation. I don't want to take my work home with me everyday.

    If you truly want to check it-how about giving that task to some of your more responsible students. Assign each child a number or letter and have them put that numbe/letterr on homework. Your "homework checker" can just quickly scan the pages and give a check or plus sign or an X or - on a chart.

    Alternatively, you can set aside 10 minutes each day to quickly have students as a whole group check homework. If they have any answers that are incorrect, just circle them, write the correct answer and then move on to the next problem.

    back to my soapbox:

    Now that my daughter is in first grade, I see just how much effort has to go into completing homework. My son never had a problem, but DD is different. It's such an effort with her. I think homework is a form of communication between parent and teacher and child. If the child is struggling to complete the hw, then the parent should be questioning the teacher. Far too often, the homework becomes another assignment/chore for the parent to complete. Most of the students who can complete it independently aren't the ones who really need the extra practice.

    I think hw is just one of those things parents just expect just like friday spelling tests. I like to give out packets on monday and have them returned on friday. That gives parents more flexibility to work around their evening schedules.
     
  10. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Jun 2, 2010

    I kind of like the idea of having it as a job. :D

    I also no NOT give a lot of homework. They are supposed to read 20 minutes per night, but there is no way to prove that. I give Math homework most nights, but like Queenie its minimal, usually odd (out of 16-20 problems).
     
  11. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Jun 2, 2010

    About 2 months ago, I started having it as a classroom job to "check in" homework. (I'm in a Christian school, and I also have to listen to memory work during this time.) I have a clipboard, and the helper calls each student over to put their homework in the baskets. They then check it off on a clipboard, and report to me if anyone is missing things. Added bonus--all work stays in ABC order, making it easy for me to note who was absent, etc. The downside is that either they keep things we're going to check in class or I have to hand them back. msmullenjr, I like your system. I might have to do something like that next year...
     
  12. Deeena

    Deeena Cohort

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    Jun 2, 2010

    Wow! Thanks for all of the suggestions. I agree with many of your opinions about homework. I try to give the district suggested amount of 30 min. a night (not including reading log). My school's population has a lot of parents that want homework and lots of it! I've had several this year that have even asked for MORE! I do not give a grade on homework either, however I do make sure to check for completion. As far as students doing things wrong, I always assign review in math. I never give math homework on concepts that we are currently studying. This way, the students get a refresher on previously learned concepts and I don't have to worry about them practicing something wrong at home. I rarely have had students have trouble with the math homework. Msmullnjr- I like your method. It seems quick and simple.
     
  13. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    Jun 2, 2010

    I check all homework that I assign. I edit all of their spelling work as well and conference with those who continue to make the same errors. I make comments on all of their writing assignments. I comment on each of their journal entries as well. My students look forward to reading my comments. I've received many, many wonderful comments from parents over the years because of the way I mark homework assignments. I don't mind the work. I personally feel that if my students take the time to do their assignments then I should take the time to correct them.
     
  14. renmew

    renmew Rookie

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    Jun 2, 2010

    I put this time into classwork and projects, but not homework. With 34 kids, no aide, and a family of my own, that is just too much. Someone else already mentioned that some of that work may have been done by parents anyways.

    I spend 10-15 minutes of the morning correcting homework as a group. They simply raise their hand when I ask who did not do the assignment so I can keep track. I offer half credit for late work, but if you lie and I will find out, then a grade of 0 will stick. After 3 late assignments they earn a detention.
     
  15. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    Jun 3, 2010


    I have it as a job too (my administrative assistant)- it was one of my most popular jobs.
     
  16. noreenk

    noreenk Cohort

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    Jun 3, 2010

    With a lot of input from this forum, I finally created a homework tracking system that works for me. I use Homeworkopoly (TONS of threads about that on here), so one of my student jobs is Homeworkopoly Helper. That student is responsible for checking homework first thing in the morning after they unpack; all other students are responsible for placing their agendas and all homework assignments on their desks before starting their daily warmups (usually math). I make a point of selecting HHelpers who tend to finish warmups quickly and without difficulty since their job cuts into their independent work time.

    The HHelper uses a thin binder that is our class homework log. Each page has a spreadsheet-type table that lists all the students on the left side and has blank areas at the top for the names and dates of homework assignments. The HHelper is only allowed to give completion grades (check plus, check, check minus) and I usually brief them on what constitutes a check plus and a check minus - students can skip a problem or two and still get a check (90% credit), and those with check minuses have to revise their work during recess/lunch or take it home to turn in the next day. Any homework that needs a number grade the HHelper collects in the binder and turns in to me. Any students who do not have a homework assignment must write their initials in the homework binder, which I show parents at conferences so they get an idea of how much homework is being completed over time (and they can see exactly when and what was assigned). I like the student initial part because that really holds them accountable and it's VERY easy for me to do a quick visual check and see who is and isn't doing homework regularly. There is so much info is recorded on each page, yet it doesn't take up a lot of room and I keep the sheets all year long.
     
  17. hac711

    hac711 Companion

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    Jun 3, 2010

    I like that homeworkopoly thing...I will def. check out for next year. I like the fact that the kids take ownership for their missing work. Thanks for the suggestion!!!
     

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