How do you handle homework excuses?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by HorseLover, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. HorseLover

    HorseLover Comrade

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    Sep 12, 2013

    Any suggests on how I should handle "not homework" excuses? I very often hear, "I didn't do it" or even "I won't be able to do it tonight" because of various reasons such as going out to dinner, ball practice, etc. Some of my homework IS for a grade. My leaning is to be of the mindset that it is still important to get it done...so they need to talk with their parents about doing it before or after their evening plans, but wondered if any of you had other thoughts or suggestions?
     
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  3. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I use the "sports ticket or concert ticket" analogy. If they say they left it at home, I say if you left your Arizona Diamondback tickets at home, would they let you in to the game? They say no. Then, they get the consequence.

    If they say they have a baseball game, I say that school comes before sports. If you don't have time for homework they should consider not playing sports. They don't use this excuse again. Our school has sports and no homework on game day means they can't go to the game. Students know it and I don't remember a student not turning homework in on game day.

    There are exceptions. Life does happen. I have allowed miss homework for emergencies for a sick relative and things like that. This happens no more than once a year.
     
  4. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

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    I don't. I tell the students if someone is dying, being born, or your house catches on fire, then you have a reason for not doing it. Other than that, I don't take anything as an excuse.
    The kids laugh, but they start to understand that unless it's something major and life changing then there's no valid excuse.
     
  5. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

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    I allow one missed homework per marking period without it hurting their grade. (If they don't miss any, they will get a bonus point at the end of the marking period.)

    Other than that one freebie, they have to have a very good excuse--family emergency, illness etc. Dinner and ball practice are not emergencies in my book---they are 0s.

    Besides this, I always try to allot the last 5-10 minutes of every class period to homework so that they may start it and ask questions about it in class.
     
  6. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    No excuses unless there was some sort of emergency. "I left it at home/in my locker" I always answer with "well I made you cupcakes, but I left them at home/in my locker" If they say they didn't have time I tell them they always have time. At school we have 15 minute breaks between each class, so they have time to do it at school if they have no time at home.

    Basically- if you don't have your work when I ask for it, it's a 0.
     
  7. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    What is the value of the student doing the homework? Is it practice? Is it the actual assignment?

    If they don't do any of the homework, but know the material, ...
     
  8. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    3 free passes per quarter, no questions asked is the way to go in my opinion. It doesn't have to be an emergency, but once they are used, they are used, unless there is some very extenuating circumstance.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 13, 2013

    My high school kids are allowed to miss, then make up for full credit, up to 3 assignments per marking period. It doesn't matter to me what the reason is.

    The reality is that sometimes you get home and mom tells you that you have an orthodontist appointment. Or it's your sister's concert and you have to go. Or it's grandma's birthday. Or the dog has thrown up on your bed. Or you're coming down sick and need sleep. Sometime life gets in the way of homework.

    Plus, to be totally honest, I would much rather have them make it up over a weekend than copy it from someone on the bus or in homeroom.

    And I also have a 20 minute rule: spend 20 minutes doing 'hard core math"-- no phone, no text, no Facebook, no oovu (or however you spell it)-- 20 minutes doing math, then close the book.

    Either you're the only one who struggled, in which case I expect to see you in extra help, or everyone struggled, in which case it's my problem. I may have given the wrong page, simply underestimated the difficulty, or taught less thoroughly than I had thought.

    But, as I explained to the parents Tuesday, Math is not like surgery. If you get confused while in surgery, you really need to stick with it until you figure it out. There are no math emergencies. If you get really stuck, relax... I can help you figure it out tomorrow.
     
  10. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I always give at least two days for assignments (except vocabulary). This helps a lot!
     
  11. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I give a week for homework. Since I've started, I see a HUGE difference in a) the amount that gets turned in (way more!) and b) the quality (much more thoughtful). I know this doesn't really work for math, but it's great in other subjects.

    Still, I'll have a kid with an excuse about sick parent, hospital trips, etc. I tell them that I need an email or phone call from Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Auntie, Responsible Adult Currently In Charge Of Them. Most of the time, I hear from an adult confirming the story. Then I'll grant an extension. Sometimes, I don't hear from them, make a call, and find out the kid was lying. In those cases, the zero stands.
     
  12. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    The majority of my kids have home lives that make my head spin so I'm pretty lax with hw. I keep track of missed hw's using class dojo because a lot of times I used to get parents at conferences in november with no idea that their kids didn't do their hw. (And these are 3rd graders, silly me I assumed their parents were actually checking their hw and not just believing the child when he or she said they did their hw.) Sometimes a simple conference and stressing the importance of the hw with the parents, showing them how it's affecting the student's classwork and how many assignments they've missed does help. Other than that there's not much else I can do but keep them up to do at lunch everyday and that's the last thing I want to do.
     
  13. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I accept no excuses. Whatever the reason, students fill out a homework slip and have mom and dad sign it if they don't have their homework. I clarify this with parents at both Back to School Night and parent-teacher conferences. I also tell students that needing two homework slips throughout the quarter will have no negative effect on them. After that, it begins to affect their effort and citizenship scores. I've never had a true emergency situation on my hands though, and if I ever do, I'll tell the student to still fill out the homework slip, but add a note that the slip will be removed from my files as long as the missing homework is turned in by a reasonable amount of time.
     
  14. Sm2teach

    Sm2teach Companion

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    I only give homework that I am certain the students can do without the help of a parent.

    That being said, for the excuse of having ball practice, I proceed to tell them the story of how my son almost caused his entire baseball team to forfeit a game because I would not allow him to play until all his homework was done. He was still sitting in the car working on it up until 2 minutes before the game was supposed to start. They then know that I have no sympathy for ball practice. If this doesn't work, I offer to call their ball coach and ask him to change practice times. I have seriously talked to the coaches of our little league about students who had frequent homework problems (with permission from parents). After having to do extra running at practice, they often straighten up.
     
  15. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Sep 14, 2013

    In 2nd grade, I'm really just working towards teaching them responsibility. I try not to give a lot of homework, but I do send math home when I think they could use the extra practice.

    When they tell me it isn't done, their excises are usually "I had to play Madden last night" or "My mom told me I couldn't do it" (LOVE that one! ;) ). I remind them that going to school is their job, and homework is not a choice. I explain that homework is a top priority when they go home.

    I know that some kids don't come from households where parents have routines set in place, so I try to help the child create those routines, which is a big job for a 7-year-old! As a whole class, I have them share when they do their homework (right away when you get home, after dinner, in the morning, etc.). Sometimes hearing what other kids do helps them get ideas. I had a boy last year who didn't have that home support, so I would talk to him about how he should check his folder right when he gets home and do his homework right away (before playing Call of Duty or watching Walking Dead :rolleyes: ). He actually finished it more often when I started doing this.
     
  16. DrBill

    DrBill Rookie

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    Sep 23, 2013

    Hi

    It depends on the age of your students. If your homework is meaningful and an important part of the education you give your students, then you should by all means treat it that way. I would suggest:

    1. No excuse accepted by students. If you cannot do your homework then I will need to hear that from your parents and I will work it out with them.
    2. Late homework will not be accepted for any reason, but can be made up after school with me until the end of the unit.

    Good luck, and feel free to give me a goller if you have any more questions,

    Dr. Bill
    PD Corner
     
  17. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I'm pretty strict about HW. Even if a parent writes a note, I still give a consequence UNLESS there was a death, a visit to the ER, or something pretty serious. If it's a "we didn't have time" or "He left his worksheet at school" I still dish out my consequence.

    However, it can get tricky. For example, I have a homeless student this year who has zero support from mom and he's very, very low. I very quietly don't give consequences to this boy. Instead, I try to give him time while we wait for busses.

    I like the concert ticket analogy. I'm going to use that one ;)
     
  18. live

    live Companion

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    I always start homework with the kids in class, or at least do a few of the questions to get them started. That way, if they have any questions, they can ask me before they take the rest of it home to finish. They can never use the excuse, "I didn't get what to do," because they have a chance to ask questions in class. Most build momentum and don't want to stop, but I make them put it in their homework folder and take the rest home.

    I started doing this last year with middle school students, and saw a lot more homework being turned in. I've continued doing this with my elementary kids this year, and nearly all homework is turned in every day, including from kids that have limited support from home (I make sure they know how to do it before going home). My only exception is the student who's backpack is apparently a blackhole, and the only time I've ever seen work returned was with red juice spilled all over it.

    With that said, I don't accept many excuses, unless their reasons seem earnest.
     
  19. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I agree having them start does help, but there will always be those students that an hour later don't "get what to do".
     
  20. live

    live Companion

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    Oh, absolutely. Just like the students who "don't get what to do" 30 seconds after helping them during classwork. What works for the majority won't always work for the few. I tell students that I'm here to help them and give them what they need to learn, and all I want for them to do is truly try. So usually even if they don't understand the hw, they'll come in with their attempts and it'll help me see what we need to talk about when we review hw as a class.

    I see homework as practice, and never expect them to be 100% while practicing.
     

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