Grading homework for completion, not correctness.

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by teachin4ever, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. teachin4ever

    teachin4ever Cohort

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    Aug 16, 2008

    So, I have four math classes I'll be teaching, 6-8, and I decided that I'm going to give them points for doing their homework based on completion. Then, I'll give them weekly quizzes based on their homework that will be graded for accuracy.

    So should I still collect homework? I was thinking of having them put their homework out on their desks and while they work on their bellwork, I'll go around to each desk and give them points right then. But will this take too long?

    I'm curious to hear from teachers who use the point system - do you give them points in class or collect their work, give them points, and hand back their homework the next day? If you do the latter, when do you go over homework questions?

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!! :)
     
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  3. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    My students hand in their homework when they pick up the bellringer activity (in box and out box on my desk). I usually have time to flip through it at that time, but if I don't then I'll flip through it during their first classwork time (We have 110 minute blocks, so I teach two "classes" in one). I give full credit for about 80 percent completion (usually, that can change depending on the difficulty of the assignment, of if I can see that the student was really trying to do it, but just didn't understand). My main goal is to see how much the kids understood and what I need to go back over. I am almost always able to hand it back before the end of the class.

    Also, I do in class quizzes instead of homework quizzes. I would rather see them think through a problem than copy it from their homework. I can better see how their minds are working that way.
     
  4. Chas

    Chas Rookie

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    If the students catch on, they might hand in the same paper over and over again, or write basically anything on the paper just to get the grade.

    Sure you'll catch them at quiz time, but our goal isn't to "catch" them. If they have no incentive to do the homework, they don't learn responsibility from doing the assignments on their own time, and the low quiz grades will just make things worse.

    Just be careful, is all i'm saying.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Aug 16, 2008

    One way to take care of that is to require students to write the heading in pen. You could also use a highlighter to slash through the paper once you've checked it so that it can't be reused.

    I'm going to cut down on giving grades for completion this coming year. I've really thought a lot about the purpose of grades and grading. Grades, to me, should reflect a student's demonstrated mastery of a particular subject. Grades should be pure. Grades should not reflect effort, attitude, behavior, or attendance.

    This is not to say that I'm going to grade every single assignment and take off points for every single mistake. Rather, I plan to rely much more heavily on cumulative, summative assessments (like exams, quizzes, projects) for the bulk of the grades in the gradebook. The formative assessments and practice assignments will carry some weight, but probably a nominal amount and only enough to incite the students to actually do them.
     
  6. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Aug 16, 2008

    My kids do vocabulary homework in their composition notebooks. I glance at them quickly and stamp the page - a blue check for acceptable work, or a red thumbs down for missing work. They can make up the assignment and show it to me later, and I stamp the blue check over the top of the thumbs down. Later, when I collect notebooks to grade, I can spend more time looking at the quality of their work.
     
  7. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    In Social Studies all work is collected and graded for accuracy, every single assignment, every single time. Social Studies in my school has become an easy subject to these kids and don't put forth much effort. I also feel that in Social Studies the kids are not learning new skills, but just applying the same skills to a new topic or in a different way. By the time my kids see me for Social Studies they should be able to read for comprehension with accuracy, complete projects/essays (some types small or large), complete review sheets, or work on application type assignments like Interactive Notebook Work.

    In math however I grade for completion becuase they are learning NEW skills everyday and I do not expect them to be mastered yet like in Social Studies. I check math homework at the beginning of the period during the warm-up for completion and effort out of 5 or 10 points (haven't decided yet). I then give a chapter homework quiz at the end of each chapter in which they have to copy the answer. Classwork (they can ask me for help and work in groups) and the any review homework is collected and graded.
     
  8. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I'd hope, as the teacher, you'd be a little bit more observant than that. Checking only for completion is somewhat different than looking at a name on a page.
     
  9. teachin4ever

    teachin4ever Cohort

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    This was my thinking exactly. I don't want to grade them for accuracy on something we just went over in class that day. I want them to try the problems on their own and then come in the next day with any questions/problems they may have had. BUT, I still expect them to at least attempt every problem.

    Thanks for bringing this up, Brendan! :)
     
  10. teachin4ever

    teachin4ever Cohort

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    Most definitely!! :)
     
  11. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Teachin...the idea here is that they gain the courage to strike out on their own and learn to make mistakes and learn from them. I find my students are LESS likely to cheat because they know that errors won't count against them.
     
  12. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    No problem we have had this discussions many times before and Wig can phrase it much better than I can.
     
  13. Chas

    Chas Rookie

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    I'd hope so too. Keep in mind that i didn't start this thread!
     
  14. math_teacher

    math_teacher Companion

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    Aug 18, 2008

    I grade for completion. I think it is most important for math homework to be reviewed in class the day after it is assigned. If you collect the work then you dont have the chance to go over their questions. Especially if the next lesson builds on the previous - not answering questions immediately gets messy. While I do not agree entirely to giving into the instant feedback that these kids crave --- waiting a day to go over questions does significantly dimish their desire to ask questions because its old news by that time. I require my students to write down every problem even if they get stuck to show that they tried and several times a year we talk about strategies to use when you get stuck on homework (call/text/im a friend, use textbook, email teacher, etc) and they are pretty good at putting a decent effort into their homework knowing they will get to ask questions the next day.
     
  15. Mr D

    Mr D Comrade

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    I check homework for completion, since it is usually a new skill that is being practiced, and also because you can't really tell how much a student actually knows from doing the homework, since they could have had varying amounts of help doing it.

    I check homework while the students are working on their warm-up. If I wait, it piles up and I end up doing it several days later, which is not an ideal situation. I also like this system because after I check everyone's homework, we go over and correct it in class, so the students get feedback on how they did right away.

    In the past, I have included homework in grades, but like Cassie said, I want grades to become more reflective of what the student has actually learned. So this year, I have decided to factor completion of homework into the students' citizenship / conduct grades instead, and base grades completely on assessments such as quizzes, tests, projects, ISNs, etc.
     
  16. fuzed_fizzion

    fuzed_fizzion Comrade

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    The 7th and 8th grade math teachers at my school have students put their homework into a spiral with their classwork and notes. Then on Friday they select one or two homework questions for students to copy their work from their notebooks onto a sheet of paper. They only give long enough to copy it not to do the problem. This is what they grade for completion as well as the correct answer. They love it! It also provides students with some flexibility in when they complete their homework. We would love for them to do it every night, but many of our students are responsible for sibilings or something else and just don't have the time to get homework done every night.
     
  17. angeluv73

    angeluv73 Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2008

    In my district HW doesnt count in their grades-ONLY FORMATIVE ASSESSMENTS. So I tell the kids HW counts:whistle: or else 7th graders wouldnt do it at all. When they are doing their warmups I check the HW for completeness, I stamp it, then we go over it, and they correct it. I collect it just to look like I am putting it in the gradebook. I pass it back with some kind of mark that shows I looked at it(its already been corrected by the students) I do keep track of who ISNT turning in HW for confrences, parent phone calls, etc. i think math HW needs to be reflective of what they are learning currently or review, not difficult (hopefully if they were paying attention), and practice of a skill. I am going to do the friday quiz thing though! thanks!
     
  18. sciencegurl

    sciencegurl Companion

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    Aug 19, 2008

    I find that I get completely overwhelmed if I check every assignment for correctness. Like math, in Physical Science we often have problems where new skills are being practiced. I have practice problems the kids work on. They know that most practice problems will not be graded (I post answer keys the day after to check work), but I do RANDOMLY collect problems for grading. This strategy allows me to see samples of their work and also keeps the students on their toes. I also do a week-end quiz where they can use their homeworks (hopefully they've been correcting their errors0 and where I give new problems to test for understanding.
     
  19. deserttrumpet

    deserttrumpet Comrade

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    Aug 19, 2008

    I will often pick a hand ful of questions that I grade. The rest of the assignment is checked for completion. This keeps them on their toes - they don't know which questions I will pick to grade.
     

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