I'm a 12th year math teacher and I've tried several homework collection ideas over the years. With increasing student numbers (170 this coming year), I'm looking for more efficient ways to collect/record homework. I'm trying to avoid collecting homework everyday but also want to keep kids honest. I've walked around in the past and done a check-off and may use it again this year. I've heard of other teachers using homework quizzes but have never been a big fan. Any other creative ideas out there?

My wife is a math teacher, too. Her system for her kids is: homework is checked daily. As they go over the homework in class, it is the kids' responsibility to correct their homework. To ensure that they pay attention and actually correct the problem, she has them create "Work Packets." These packets are due the day of the unit exam and will have say a worksheet from one night, a class problem from another, and a textbook assignment from a different night. She will then check 3 problems from each ditto collected for a classwork grade. Students LOVE this system believe it or not because it boosts their grades. Both my wife and I are against homework quizzes (especially in math!). However, for her geometry class, every night a different kid takes home an overhead and solves the given proof. Then, they go over it the next day and spend the first 15 minutes solving that proof and looking at was done right and wrong. She does not count it for accuracy but effort. She knows which proofs can be solved easily and which ones can't. Therefore, the assignment may count as 5 points and is based off of effort.

Last year I used dice to determine homework. I rolled one die and if it landed on a 1 or a 2 it was graded for completion. If it landed on a 3 or 4 I graded it for completion and the accuracy of 1 problem. If it landed on a 5 or 6, then I collected it and graded it for completion and accuracy of all problems. The kids really liked it. I found a large foam die and students took turns rolling. I also changed up what class period I rolled the die as well. It was nice because they had to do their homework because there was no guarantee what number we'd land on.

As the kids do the Do Now problem(s) on the projector (frequently SAT prep) I walk around the room with a highlighter and my gradebook. I know what the 2nd or 3rd problem looks like, and that's what I'm expecting to see. (So it's not yesterday's notes!) I highlight a line through their assigment.(so it's not the same notebook a friend showed me 3rd period.) It doesn't have to be right, just done. My kids are allowed to miss, and make up for full credit, up to 3 homeworks per marking period. I also have a 20 minute rule. At the end of 20 minutes of real work (No email, texting, snack,etc) they can stop. If they were in the minority in not being able to complete the homework, they need extra help ASAP. If the whole class had trouble, either I assigned too much or they didn't understand and I need to backtrack. At the end of the trimester, I determine their homework average.

Back in my other life (when I taught math) I would do an "open book quiz". It was always one question and students were allowed to have their notebooks open (but not textbooks). I picked one question from the homework and put the number and the question on the board. Students had a limited amount of time to do it so either they immediately knew how to do it and could get it done or they copied from the homework they had completed the night before. I would take them in and then mark the one question each evening. I did this a few times a week to get a homework mark. My thought was that if they could complete the question that quickly then they really didn't have to do the homework to know the material. I also had a rewrite policy and students were allowed to rewrite quizzes/tests but had to show me that they had done all relevant before rewriting. So if they had missed a bunch of homework and then did poorly on a quiz or test and wanted to rewrite they were backtracking a lot before they could rewrite. Students started keeping up on homework for that reason alone. Homework in math is a tough one because we assign the same thing to all students but they really all need different amounts of homework.

Thanks! Thanks to everyone who posted such interesting ideas! I like plurple's idea about collecting the row but then talking to kids with zeros. I think it really makes a difference to kids when they know they won't go unnoticed and you conference with them. I also like Alice's 20 minute rule. Thanks again!

For 7th graders This past year I started using homework packets. On Monday the students would get their packet for the week. Each day it would be check for completeness on a 1-4 scale 4 being 100 3 being 80 2 65 1 59 or they were given a number based simply on how much they finished that night.This also helps for those students who try but may not get the answers correct. At the end of the week the whole packet is collected. The students receive a grade for how often it was turned that week and for correctness. During the week they can ask for help for any problems or arrange for extra help. The students seemed to do well with this because they always had a chance to make up work or if they knew they were going to be busy they could try to work ahead. It also helped parents understand that my students really did have homework every night. It's not a bad system if you are able to plan your homework a week ahead. Hope this helps!

I have been doing a collection sheet...during the do now/class starter, i walk around and check homework and if they did it to my satisfaction they get a stamp (custom stamps can be made cheap online...3 dollars or so...or you can buy one from the teacher store) Then when the sheet is filled (each one holds 10 homework assignments), I do a collection and count the stamps. It is the students responsibility to do homework and not lose the sheet...if they lose the sheet, they lost up to 10 homework assignments!

One teacher I subbed for in our district used dice as an incentive for completing homework. She had a jar full of dice on her desk and one student would pass these out at the beginning of each period - with each student getting 1 die. She also had 3 large fuzzy dice that she kept. Students would roll their dice first and remember their number. If ALL students had completed the homework, then the teacher rolled all 3 of her dice. If even one student did NOT do the homework, she only rolled 2 dice. Any student that that matched either (or all) of the teacher's dice got a piece of candy (and, yes, they got 2 pieces if her dice rolled the same number twice). That was one of the most creative homework incentives I've seen. My CT would assign homework, then allow the students to choose up to 3 question the next day for her to work on the board BEFORE grading the assignment. If they got the problem wrong, they could correct it at that time. Then they switched papers and graded their neighbors homework. Sometimes the CT went over the problems (if time was short), other times, she would let the students work each problem on the board and explain the answer. The entire process only took about 15 minutes total. Students graded the papers, returned them to the owners and then passed them forward. When the CT collected them, all that was left to do was record the grades. As for myself, I use "Bonus Questions" at the beginning of most classes and these come from the textbook software, so they follow the same content and format as our books. Student have a limited time to come in, get their materials ready and complete the bonus question. The question counts as 1 "bonus point", which is added directly to the 2nd lowest quiz grade for the marking period (their lowest quiz grade is dropped completely). Students can easily raise their quiz grades by at least 1 letter grade and sometimes 2 if they get enough bonus questions correct. As for homework itself, I have students complete their assignments in a journal, which I collect once a week or every other week and check for completeness. They also must show their work for each problem. Homework is graded on effort, not accuracy. As long as they attempt each problem and show their work, they get 100% on their journal assessment. This counts 10% of their overall grade for the period. Students can also write "I don't understand this problem" if they run across one they can't figure out, but they can't use that for the entire assignment. Sometimes, I use worksheets to do "spot checks" when working on particularly important content. This allows me to check an individual homework assignment (rather than a collection of assignments) for a HW grade. It also allows me to assess their understanding of the material we are covering at the time.

I really like the idea of choosing 1 HW problem to put on the board. I may use that when we go back from Christmas Break. Of course, the one time I allowed the kids to actually have an "open book" pop quiz, they BOMBED it. hmy: I had expected them to do great since they could actually look in the book, which gives specific sample problems to illustrate the different concepts. It even tells them which sample problems to look at for each section (ie, For problems 1-8, see Sample Problem #1). Even with that, about 60% of the students FAILED the quiz...and not just by a little. Some made scores that were below freezing. :dunno:

It seems that they need to be taught to use their textbook. Maybe a quick lesson using the textbook would be a great idea before trying something like this again.

In the beginning the principal said if a student has to do the work then the teacher has to take the time to check it. I have had large classes and tried to grade everything every day. I had little time left for planning. After many years of that (more than 10) I now give the answers, students check their work and if they can not figure out how to get the answer, they ask me. I check neatness and completeness, but not every detail. Now I have time to prepare for class.