Homework

Discussion in 'High School' started by nstructor, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

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    Mar 19, 2011

    To all middle school and high school teachers-

    How often do you give hw? How often do you collect and grade it? I've alway given hw daily and check it as my students are working on their beginning activity, however, I've been giving packets that are due on Fridays for various reasons: 1) it teaches them (or is supposed to teach them) not to procrastinate! 2) I have more time to prompt them and check their beginning activity, instead of marking of hw completion, etc, .

    Thanks for your help and ideas!!!!!!
     
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  3. KatherineParr

    KatherineParr Comrade

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    Mar 19, 2011

    Well, I don't actually give homework per se.

    I have a weekly syllabus that gives students all the reading due that week and when it should be completed. It also reminds them of anything due (outlines, papers, whatever).

    Now, they get a list of all that stuff at the beginning of each term, but the weekly syllabi help them plan for the next week. I often do two weeks at a time, so they can think about how to plan their lives.

    So the short answer is: never.
    The more detailed answer is that they have reading, writing, and study homework, but when they complete that work is largely up to them. As long as it's done when we need to discuss, test, whatever, they can plan the work as they wish.

    I do this for 3 reasons. First, my students are 16/17. They want a lot of control over their lives and they respond well to liberty. Second, my students are *crazed* they are in clubs, they run service projects, they dance/swim/build things, they are taking 4 APs, etc. I have no idea what each student's responsibilities are, so I prefer to give them more flexibility. That way, they can plan around events and I don't have to worry about placing undue burdens on them. Third, my school is college preparatory. Part of that philosophy is that students need to learn how to operate in a college environment. While some college courses have homework, nobody checks up on you the way high schools sometimes do. You do the work or you don't. So I try to give them a half-way version of this.

    It's working well, I think. Student feedback is positive. They especially like the freedom to flex the schedule when other courses are intense.
     
  4. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Mar 19, 2011

    I also give very little homework other than reading. My students keep a composition book that they use for both vocabulary and short responses; periodically (usually while they're taking a test) I collect the compbooks and give them a quick check grade. I keep a list of what I'll be looking for on the board, so they should be able to keep up. Most do an adequate job and get a check, which might be worth 18/20; an exemplary notebook would get the full 20 points, one that is lacking would get 15, and one that showed very little work would get 12.
     
  5. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

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    Mar 21, 2011

    My homework policies change for each of my classes and also throughout the year as I get my know students, but it's this as of now:
    1) Honors Global Studies (9th Grade): I collect and grade ALL homework I assign UNLESS it's something I deem difficult and not entirely based on the notes/reading. (If I give a worksheet that covers a primary source or text reading, it's getting graded. However, if I ask them to consider the ramifications of the tsunami that hit Japan, it's most likely not and will be checked by sight.) I also give all my homework ahead of time. I give students advanced notice (via syllabus for the unit) and provide everything on my new class website so they can download the materials ahead of time if I don't have them photocopied yet. I also allow 2 late passes for full credit per quarter because as we all know, life happens.

    2) Western Civilization (10th Grade): Most of their homework is in the form of articles, primary/secondary sources and very little text reading (although I photocopy passages from AP texts I like). Again, a syllabus is given but homework is rarely collected and graded. Instead, I will quiz them on it (5 short answer or 10 m.c.). I do this because many will enter AP in 11th grade and all AP 11th grade teachers use reading quizzes and plus, I like making students write weekly. I also allow them 2 late homework assignments.

    3) Honors U.S. History (11th Grade): Homework comes in the form of packets made up of primary sources, long articles (Time Magazine being a big contributor), etc. I give a reading syllabus and collect homework. I quiz weekly but the quiz covers multiple homework assignments. My juniors only get 1 late homework.

    All of my classes must write an essay in class and one essay at home per month. Although essays themselves aren't homework, the work associated with them are. I collect Works Cited pages and count them as a 10 point homework. (I want them to know MLA formatting and I also want to "force" them to get acquainted with using good sources--which also makes their at home essays much, much better.)

    I assign homework almost every night but I give 2 or 3 nights to do longer assignments. I compensate reasonably: homework ends up, typically, counting almost as much as 45% some quarters. And up until this year (new director), I said that as long as students did their homework, projects and essays, they automatically passed with at least a 65 avg. (I figure if they're willing to do the great volume of work I assign and do well on it, they don't deserve to go to summer school--even if they don't do well on my tests.)
     
  6. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    Mar 21, 2011

    Since I teach an elective class with lots of "hands-on" learning, I rarely give homework. Somehow, the Chemistry or Geometry homework seems to take precedence over my homework. That being said, I require all students to maintain a financial record book 12 months of the year as long as they are enrolled in my class. This includes summers and counts for a huge portion of their grade.
     
  7. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    Mar 22, 2011

    I give a homework packet on Mondays, due back Fridays. It's usually review or vocabulary work. Lately, we've been working on synonym vocabulary building and reading comprehension stuff to prep for testing.

    I kind of use homework for things they need to practice, but that I can't afford to spend class time on. Then, they do the work at home and we review and answer any questions in class on Friday.

    I also only give about a half hour's worth for the whole week.
     
  8. Born2beTeacher

    Born2beTeacher Rookie

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    May 16, 2011

    Like soccer dad, my homework policies are tailored specifically to my courses (which are about as diverse as they come :)):

    English 12: Usually I'll assign a chapter or two from the book the class is studying. Sometimes, in lieu of reading, I'll assign some grammar worksheets to switch things up (general consensus from my kids is that it only takes them about 20 minutes or so to do a sheet). I tend to be more lenient with the HW if the kids have a test/essay on the horizon.

    French 11 & 12: I assign a few questions each night from the students' workbooks, and a chapter of the novel we are studying. They also get a weekly vocabulary list that they have to know for Friday's "dictée". On my course website, I've created some quizzes they can complete at their leisure for "booster marks", and I've made some podcasts that they can listen to for helpful tips and advice.

    Physical Education 10: Not really homework per se (unless were are doing a nutrition/health unit), though I do strongly suggest that my kids eat right and excercise every day. I can usually figure out which of my kiddos heed my advice when fitness testing rolls around :)
     
  9. SciTeacherNY

    SciTeacherNY Companion

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    Jun 27, 2011

    I give HW more or less every night and I collect and grade it for correctness every day.
     
  10. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    Jun 28, 2011

    Like others, my homework policy differs depending on the course I am teaching.

    9th grade science: I give a weekly literacy skills assignment on Monday that is due Thursday. Other homework is assigned as we progress, usually it is finishing what we started in class. EVERYTHING is collected.

    Chemistry: Homework questions are assigned for each topic of study. They are checked at the beginning of the next class. Practice problems are also assigned and may be collected. Labs are recorded in a notebook and graded.

    Physics: Keep a daily journal which they record the warm-up and summarize the day's class. This is collected and graded every other week. Students also have a folder to keep track of assignments for the unit we are studying. That folder is turned in and graded on test days (NOTE: we go over 90% of the problems assigned in class). They also have a laboratory notebook to record all labs, which is graded.
     
  11. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    My freshmen English classes have outside reading requirements that they have to meet, but that's the only real homework they have.

    My juniors are expected to finish up anything we didn't finish in class (reading, writing, researching, etc.) to be ready for the next day.
     
  12. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Jun 28, 2011

    I do this also except ~ my calendars are based units, not time and reason #3 is kind of the same; my school isn't college prep but the courses are.
     
  13. LiteratureLover

    LiteratureLover Rookie

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    Jul 22, 2011

    When I was student teaching 7th grade, they were given homework on Monday, and it was due Friday. This was a routine my mentor teacher had, so I stuck with that.

    For the 12th grade I student taught, they mostly just had reading every night. Little things here and there. My AP class often had reading and some packets, or writing assignments also.
     
  14. The Fonz

    The Fonz Math teacher (for now...)

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    Jul 22, 2011

    I give homework every day except for test day...i usually write on the board "watch a good movie", lol.

    my homework is usually 15-20 math problems...i never give like 50+ problems unless it's a homework assignment over the span of the weekend or vacation.

    i collect it on random days and just go over it on every other day.
     
  15. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Jul 22, 2011

    I just copied and pasted the stuff below from my "classroom plan" that I am typing up for next year. I believe I am teaching remedial 7th grade math kids, so homework will be very light and tied to the weekly quiz I am giving. The most they will get is 15 simple math problems/night but it will depend on how each child does on the quiz. If a student gets a 100 on the quiz on Friday then s/he will only have 5 problems. If a student gets a quiz problem wrong s/he will do two problems like it on Monday.

    I may add another day of homework, depending on my student's needs, but I am trying to make this school year very simple for grading and management.

    1. Monday only….Based on correcting weekly quiz. After tests, Monday
    homework will be spiral review.
    2. Grade is extra points on quiz if makeup questions are correct. ¼ credit if an
    attempt but not correct. (a 60% quiz could be an 80% if all homework questions are correct. 69% if no homework questions correct but still complete. Five review Homework questions are based on completion (100%-totally complete with work shown, 70% partially complete or with no work shown.) (1 homework grade and extra points on quiz)
    3. Homework sheet is 2 questions for each quiz question (10 total) plus 4 spiral review questions from previous lessons plus 1 vocabulary definition in their own words question.

    So, the homework will also be an opportunity to improve a failing quiz score and I need to offer at least one way to improve a failing grade (requirement).
     
  16. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jul 22, 2011

    I teach an elective, so I don't give daily homework. I do give projects that must be done at home, and sometimes will give study guides or things we don't finish in class as homework. My students have 8 classes, so I try not to bog them down each night.
     
  17. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    Jul 22, 2011

    KatherineParr, I wish I was that organized. Well, really I wish they'd stop jerking the schedule around so much, that would make it easier. Think you've got a good plan? Well, guess what, Wed. is a special assembly and Friday is a half day and that activity you planned for Monday actually took until Wednesday anyway . . . sorry. Just seems like that's how it always goes for me.

    This thread is really making me think about homework. I try to be up front with my students; I tell them that I won't assign homework unless I think it's important for them to do, and that means they might not have it every night. My admin, however, think that there Must.Be.Homework.Every.Night. and I could get in trouble if there's nothing listed on my plans. I am trying hard to find a balance . . . I too have HS kids and I think they should have more flexibility about organizing themselves. Time to rethink HW, I think.

    I have read that at some schools in England they call homework "prep". I really like that idea - it's not just work for work's sake, it's prep for the next day. Wonder how I can get that idea across to my students? Wonder if it would work if I had 2 kinds of HW on the board, "prep" and "long term"?
     
  18. KatherineParr

    KatherineParr Comrade

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    Jul 22, 2011

    Dovian, I feel your pain.

    My school does a great job of scheduling in advance. So I can look at our shared Google schedule and know exactly what's happening when. Also, the work is pretty predictable: a chapter from the text plus an article to read or a few documents (it's about 65 or 70 pages most weeks). Everything else we do in class.

    In theory, they have homework on any given night. If they're reading 10 pages per night, for example, then they *do* have nightly homework. But I don't care whether they do that or read all the material in one night. And my students tell me that they break it up in a variety of ways. So some students end up doing history homework every night, and others do it one night and take careful notes, then spend the rest of the week on other things.
     
  19. MrBiology

    MrBiology Rookie

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    Aug 7, 2011

    Do you experienced teachers feel that not giving much homework is a bad thing? I'm going into my 1st year, and I don't really plan on giving much homework (for a variety of reasons). I really only plan on assigning homework if its something the students could finish up from that class on their own and wouldn't take them long. (finish answering a few questions on a worksheet or something). This doesn't include any long-term projects that'd be done outside of class.

    I am strongly against "giving homework just to give homework"
     
  20. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    Aug 7, 2011

    I assign homework for two purposes--either to reinforce what I have already taught or to prepare students for the following day's lesson. In my 9th grade classes, my homework serves primarily as reinforcement. I assign it a few times a week so students can apply the content/skills they are learning in class. In my 12th grade AP class, homework usually consists of reading assignments that will be the focus of the following day's discussion. I provide students in that class with an assignment calendar every three weeks.

    Some teachers in my department assign very little homework, and prefer to have students do everything in class. I guess the manner in which you assign it and its importance to your overall lesson all depends on your teaching philosophy.
     

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