How long do you keep homework packets?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Backroads, Dec 11, 2014.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Dec 11, 2014

    I do homework packets primarily to pass out spelling words for the week as well as an overview of what we're studying. The grade is 100% "are you capable of turning in homework?" based.

    Anywho, I had a mom call today to handle her daughter not turning in homework. The solution she asked for was the missing homework packets... from two months ago.

    Now, I'm happy enough to put together a few packets to help this girl practice turning in homework, but I did have to explain that I don't keep homework that long. I make a couple extra copies a week for backup, but after so long any remainders get tossed.

    How long do you keep old homework/assignments?
     
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Dec 11, 2014

    I scan everything into my computer, so, basically, indefinitely. This has the advantage of making it easy to reproduce the sheets, share with a colleague, attach to an email if I am out sick, and the list goes on. Maybe not the answer you were looking for, but a reality in this digital age.
     
  4. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Actually, that's a brilliant idea. Filing cabinets are becoming obsolete for me as I do this with things I like. I never did consider homework a biggie to keep, but if I keep up with my "it's practice" philosophy it might just be something to take in habit.
     
  5. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Dec 18, 2014

    I correct and send most of it back home.
     
  6. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    I make a new homework sheet on my computer each week or every two weeks. But I save over the old one because I'm not about to fill up my computer with dozens of homework assignments. (Just the assignment, not actual worksheets.) So if this parent had a child in my class, she'd be out of luck. I would offer additional practice in an area the student may be struggling with.
     
  7. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Dec 19, 2014

    My homework sheets only involve circling the choice of reading & math activities (I teach first grade, so they write the name of a book and choose counting, addition facts, etc.). I look at them every day and write notes if they're not at least claiming to do homework. Then I throw them away at the end of the week. We're not technically required to do homework, and the homework sheets are similar every week so it's not a big deal. :)

    Keeping homework forever sounds like a lot of extra work, but I could see that being necessary for some grades/subjects.
     
  8. GaryBerry21

    GaryBerry21 Rookie

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    Dec 19, 2014

    I save all of mine on Google drive so I can pull them up and print anytime
     
  9. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Dec 20, 2014

    I don't save paper copies of anything. My life is on my flash drive. However, everything I use is made by me so it's a lot easier than having to scan things in.
     
  10. Froreal3

    Froreal3 Companion

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    Dec 21, 2014

    I let parents keep any homework. I have enough paperwork piled up.
     
  11. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Dec 21, 2014

    Same except I can't pretend to make everything from scratch. I have many PDF files I've pilfered from the internet.
     
  12. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I really despise clutter and disorganization! Piles of papers everywhere make me cringe.

    As a classroom teacher, I'd check off the kiddos' homework packets (for completion), then return to them. I never graded homework; I only glanced at it for completion. The nightly homework assignment would reinforce the concepts I taught in class that day.

    As an administrator, I've seen the good, bad, and ugly. The other day, I needed to drop off a Chromebook to a teacher. She wasn't there, so I left it on her desk. There were stacks of papers all over the room. I felt claustrophobic and had to leave ASAP!
     
  13. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Dec 23, 2014

    We have that teacher with the piles of paper in my school too. I don't know how she stands it.


    I only check hw for completion too. Did you ever have parents that had an issue with that? Sometimes I get a parent or two who says, "well you don't even grade the homework" or even "you don't even check the homework."
     
  14. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Dec 23, 2014

    At Back-to-School Night, I would let parents know the following (regarding homework). I also had them sign that they understood these four things:

    1. Nightly homework reinforces whichever concept(s) I taught in class that particular day.
    2. Students should need minimal assistance.
    3. I only check to see that it's complete--I don't grade it!
    4. I don't take away recess for incomplete homework; however, I do reward those who've turned in their assignments for the entire month.

    Since I was very upfront about my policy, I rarely received flak.
     
  15. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Dec 24, 2014

    I also save everything on my flash drive - homework, in-class assignments, PowerPoints - but I save paper copies of handouts until the end of the semester. Then I trash them.
     
  16. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Very clear. Said pretty much the same thing except I usually have 3-4 parents at back to school night. Maybe I should send something home instead next year.
     
  17. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    What if a student doesn't do or turn in any hw all week? No consequences?
     
  18. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Dec 31, 2014

    Honestly, I never experienced that.

    I'm not exaggerating when I say that no one wanted to miss Lunch Bunch. On the last Friday of the month, everyone who turned in their homework for the entire month would eat lunch in the classroom, watch a movie, and have ice cream.

    I clearly remember one time, a student forgot his homework in the car. Mom came running in the classroom and said, "My son forgot his homework folder in the car. Here it is--he'd freak out if he missed Lunch Bunch!" :haha:
     
  19. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I think that's the great thing about rewarding students for making good choices. No arbitrary consequences are needed. The natural consequence is that you don't get the reward, in this case Lunch Bunch.

    All homework in my class is optional. Students who turn it in get to move their clip up each morning for demonstrating responsibility and ownership of their learning. Students who don't turn it in leave their clip at the starting point. No one loses recess or any other arbitrary consequence. They just don't get rewarded for making a good choice. It has worked well for me. I do have students who don't turn in homework, but it's usually because they don't have home support. I wouldn't want to punish them for something outside of their control anyway, so I find that rewarding those who at least attempt the homework works well.
     
  20. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Dec 31, 2014

    My homework consists of 4 sight words, practicing the handwriting of the weeks letter, a page from our Saxon phonics program and now that the second semester will start there will also be a reader from phonics. I put it in at the beginning of the week and take it out on Thursdays. Many of my students don't even look at it. I can tell because everything is in the same exact spot that I put it in. I don't give grades for homework but I can tell who does their homework and who doesn't. As for how long do i keep it? The sight words and the handwriting page I can make anytime as it is made from the internet. The list and readers from the phonics program I only have a certain amount of those and if I run out I run out until I get more next year. I don't think I have ever had a parent ask me for homework from weeks ago but I could get most of it if I needed it.
     
  21. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    This is me. And I actually used to be that teacher! But one year, when I was actually off teaching for a couple of years, something snapped and I went minimalist. I'm still fixing a lot of bad habits, but I've improved tremendously from where I was. I'm still not as neat and clutter-free as I would like, but I do feel sick when I do have clutter on my desk and it never stays there long.

    This is the reason why I toss paper copies after so long and why so many "copies" are actually PDFs on the computer. My filing cabinet now only holds what I actually need to keep on paper, and then various binders of assessments and what not. I don't even like to keep binders out in view.
     
  22. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I don't check the homework either. No parent has complained yet. I wouldn't even do homework except many parents at my school love homework. Next year I'll probably cut it down to the spelling words for practice and maybe homework based on individual need for the odd kid here and there.

    It's funny how parents love certain things. Our school subscribes to Raz Kids. We teachers barely do a thing with it, mainly leave it to pure practice for the kiddos, but parents love it. One teacher chose not to bother it with it this year, and she had a few parents threaten to move their kids from her class. So silly.
     
  23. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    The parents who complain are usually the ones looking for an excuse when I talk to them about helping their child with the homework.

    I would assign less homework if my principal didn't make such a big deal out of it.
     

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