Math Teachers (and other subjects), What's your homework policy?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by kdw1913, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. kdw1913

    kdw1913 Companion

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    Jun 14, 2007

    Sorry in advance if this has been asked before, which I'm sure it probably has. I will be teaching 7th grade math and plan to give homework regularly, but probably not everyday (I don't know yet). Anyway, my main question is, how do you go about grading homework? Do you give completion points, check for accuracy, etc? If you check for accuracy, is it for every assignment? I don't think checking for accuracy is feasible for 150 students, but if you do both accuracy and completion, how do you choose which assignment will be for which kind of points? Also, do you have them hand in homework, or have it out at the desk, or go over at the beginning of class, etc? I know there are lots of questions, but I'm just trying to get a handle on how I plan to handle homework. Oh, and what are your consequences for not doing homework? how long do you allow them to make-up the work/points? I want it to be meaningful and not just busy work and anything I have students do I want to provide feedback, but I just would like to get some ideas how you guys handle it.
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jun 14, 2007

    Homework daily Mon through Thurs.
    Unfinished homework is made-up in study hall the day it is late.
    I spot check homework and take questions in class on due date.
    I check workbooks once or twice per unit (small class) and grade.
    I give one grade per marking period for participation and effort.
    I give unannounced pop quizzes about once a week.
    I check notebooks whenever I get to them.
     
  4. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Jun 14, 2007

    What I do in both my history and math classes:
    - Homework is at least spot checked everyday (I walk around while they are doing a warm-up at the begining of class) for a grade out of ten points.
    - Homework is collected and graded for a grade of about 20-50 points every week. Sometimes I do this randomly. Other times I may collect that homework becuase it is a review assignment, open response, or something with personal answers.
    - Classwork is not always checked,but graded periodically. The reasons for doing so are the same for grading homework.
    - The consequences for not doing homework show in their grade, they are worth a combined 30% of their grades.
    - Late assignments loose 10% per day late. (1 point out of 10 for regular checked homeworks.)
    - Binders are collected and graded at the end of each unit. This allows me to check for notes and completion of assignments one last time.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 15, 2007

    I just finished my first year of 7th grade after a career of teaching HS.

    I assign HW every day. I tell the kids that it should take no more than 20 minutes of reall work. (No tv, no phone, real work.) At the end of that time they can stop. If they're consistently not finishing hte assignement they'll need to see me for extra help.

    I walk around the room with a highlighter and my grade book while the kids do a "do now" problem. I highlight each hw assignment; that way I know I won't see the same notebook later in the day. I mark down those that are incomplete or not done.

    I allow the kids to miss and make up (for full credit) up to 3 assignments per trimester. Beyond those 3, they're gone forever and will effect the grade.

    This year I ordered "get out of homework free" passes. Each student got one and put their name on it the first day. It entitled them to one day of no hw, full credit with no makeup. As I explained to the parents, this one wasn't about hw. I was trying to teach them responsiblity: to hold on to the pass until they needed it.
     
  6. AmyOwen

    AmyOwen New Member

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    Jun 17, 2007

    As a math teacher, I stressed the importance of practicing the skills that we learned in the classroom. One of my colleagues always said, "You can watch Michael Jordan shoot baskets all day, but without picking up a ball and actually practicing, you'll never be a great basketball player." I think the same is true for math. Students can watch the teacher demonstrate how to solve a problem at the board, but they do not realize the actual thinking process that they will need to go through, until they actually attempt the problem themselves. I always tried to end my class with a few guided and independent practice problems so that the students could assess their own understanding and ask any necessary questions before leaving my classroom. So I did give daily homework assignments, and the students knew that the homework would always be checked - either for completion or collected for a grade. I would never tell them which assignments would be collected because I always wanted them to assume that it was a possibility and attempt all of the problems. I know that there were some teachers who checked homework infrequently and without warning and the students became frustrated. They told me that they would do an amazing job on a homework assignment, guessing that it might be for credit, but then the teacher decided not to collect it that day. In my case the students knew that it would always be worth some credit - but it would not always be graded. On days that I checked for completion, it was worth 2 points. When I collected and graded the problems, I graded it out of 10 points. (Sometimes I chose a few presellected problems to grade if the assignment was lengthly. Other times, I graded all of the problems and just calculated a score out of 10.) Admittedly, this grading process was not perfect, but it was the best way I could find to manage the homework process without becoming too bogged down in all of the grading.
     
  7. ScottPhxAZ

    ScottPhxAZ New Member

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    Jun 18, 2007

    For homework, I usually assign about 20 minutes worth of the odds for which the answers are in the back of the book. I start most days with a homework quiz (bell work). It's "open homework" but "closed book". They use their homework to answer a handful of questions. Half the questions refer only to a page and problem number, and students are to copy the problem directly from their homework. If they haven't done their homework then they won't be able to complete them. The other half of the quiz is usually from the evens of the same section. (Note that these quizzes are delayed a day so that we can review homework first in class. Usually I do two homeworks in one quiz. The quizzes are 4 to 8 questions and I have them fold their paper into squares so as to make grading really quick.) On chapter quizzes (a practice test) I also let them use their homework. By doing this I no longer fight about homework. At parent conferences I can show these quizzes as evidence of whether they are doing their homework or not.
     
  8. kdw1913

    kdw1913 Companion

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    Jun 18, 2007

    I really like your strategy, Scott!
     
  9. apple25

    apple25 Comrade

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    Jun 18, 2007

    I generally don't assign homework, but rather have them finish up anything they didn't get to in class. Though, in my head I always try to calculate enough so they'll be doing some practice at home :) I assume they should be doing about 20 minutes a night - if for no other reason that they need to be comfortable solving problems without having to turn to a teacher for support.

    I circulate and check their homework as they correct from the back of their book. I give out participation marks based on their effort. Phone calls are made home by the student if homework becomes an issue. To be honest, I don't monitor it a whole lot - I'm letting them learn responsibility. If you forget your homework, and then can't finish an assignment or miss that portion of the test, don't complain to me about it! I'd rather them learn that now, than when the stakes are higher in high school and university. For most, it only takes one low mark to get them back on track (I have a special class this year . . . they are pretty motivated!!).
     
  10. ddb23

    ddb23 Companion

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    Jun 18, 2007

    Homework is assigned every night, with a goal of 30 minutes of work. I check for completion every day and then the students assemble all of their homework into a packet to be turned in at the end of the week. I spot check this for detailed work and accuracy. Daily HW = 10 points, the packet is work 25. If they miss an assignment I expect it to be in the packet. If not, they lose points again. So each week, HW is worth 55 points.

    db
     
  11. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Jun 19, 2007

    db, I'm not a math teacher, but this is an interesting idea. Do you go over the homework daily and are the kiddos allowed/expected to correct them? do you return the packets or file them? Thanks
     
  12. ddb23

    ddb23 Companion

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    Jun 19, 2007

    We review the homework daily and I expect the students to correct their work. In fact, part of the packet grade is that I should see evidence that they reviewed with us. I return the packets a few days later. The only things I file are the tests.

    db
     
  13. TXCoach7475

    TXCoach7475 Rookie

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    Jun 19, 2007

    I taught 7-8 Spanish the last few years. I finally found a policy that I liked. I usually gave homework 2-3 times a week, very rarely more than 4 times. I also gave class time for homework, as I was teaching Spanish and most students did not have a resource at home once they left school.

    For homework it was simple.....Homework was due the following day (depending on the assignment). If a student did not have it finished when collected, they had until the beginning of school the following day. If they did not have it at that time, they rceived 50% credit until their class period thatd ay. After that point, they received a 0 in the grade book for that assignment. I used to subtract 10% each day up to 5 days (50%), but that got to be ahassle trying to calculate daily point loss all the time.

    Other teachers had policies where students could turn in late work for full credit until the end of the unit or a an assessment (quiz/tst) was given and there were even a few who did not accept late work at all.

    I always graded assignments in class and then had students turn scores in to me so that I could record them. I also sometimes have students bring their assignments up and I would simply do a completion grade. It all depends upon the assignment.
     
  14. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Jun 19, 2007

    I forgot to add this to mine....

    Anything that is graded either for accuracy or completion is graded by me, not my kids. I feel that it is my job to grade not theres. When we go over something, after it is was checked for completion, I usually do not have them turn it in. However, I sometimes do random corrections check in which I collect papers after we go over them to insure that they actually listened while we went over it.
     
  15. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Jun 20, 2007

    I give HW nearly every day, about 30 minutes worth.

    I spot check for HW as the students work on the warm-up and after I've taken attendance.

    We go over the warm-up then we grade the homework together. They get immediate feedback and I save time. They write a grade at the top. Sometimes I record the actual grade and other times I record a completion grade. It depends on a lot of factors but mostly I give completion grades when too many students do poorly on an assignment or if I am hard-pressed to enter grades for the report cards or sometimes just because I want to make sure any student who did their homework gets a boost.

    If a child truly demonstrated effort, strategies and a little something extra (i.e. attended tutoring, class participation, or active listening during a lesson) I will not record a grade below 70 for homework.

    I took Alice's advice about the 3 strikes and you're out rule last year and it worked beautifully!! Thanks, Alice!! I did 3 per 6 weeks though...homework is a major issue here so that is about as tough as I can reasonably get.
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 21, 2007


    The 3 was actually a pretty random number. The idea was that sometimes life gets in the way of homework. I realized that before I had kids, now I really see it. Sometimes you do the family dinner for your brother's birthday, or your younger sister has a fever of 105 or the dog has to go to the vet... life gets in the way. I would much rather a student not do his homework until the weekend than to copy it in homeroom or on the bus. The idea is still: you're acountable, but, big picture: it's only homework.
     
  17. Bitsy Griffin

    Bitsy Griffin Companion

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    Jun 21, 2007

    I've done several things that have worked with varying degrees of success.

    I've not checked homework at all, but gone over it in detail and then had a quiz. This is my favorite. They get to use their homework to help them.

    I've checked for completion. 100, 50, 0 - second favorite.

    I've not checked it at all. (That was dumb, but I gave it a try.)

    Included it as part of a notebook check. (too much work)
     
  18. sdzbgdr

    sdzbgdr Rookie

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    Jul 7, 2007

    Grading HW, etc.

    I am probably closest to Scott on this.
    I also give answers to homework and tell the students to show all work (SAW) as to how to arrive at the final answers (odds have answers in the back of the text). For classwork I walk about the room and grade final answers. Students who get a lot of classwork done get a lot more feedback in the form of red marks and hints from me. Then the students keep the cw, take it home and use it as a guide to do their homework on the same paper if room. For hw I give a few easy problems, a couple of intermediate problems and one hard problem. The next day I collect the cw/hw and quickly spot check the hw. I continue by placing the papers in piles by neatness, completeness and the red highlights on the cw portion. I have a 1 point pile for F's, a 2 point pile for D's, a 3 point pile for C's, a 4 point pile for B's and a 5 point pile for A's.
     
  19. Chocolate_N._O.

    Chocolate_N._O. Rookie

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    Jul 8, 2007

    I do homework one time a week on the first day of the week whenever that falls. Usually that means Monday nights they have homework, but every once in a while, we have a Monday holiday, so the first day of the week is Tuesday.

    9 weeks in a grading period, but you get 10 Mondays out of it most of the time. If they don't have 10 Mondays, for grading purposes, I give them the credit for 10.

    Either way

    10 homeworks worth 10 points each - 5 if late or incomplete - 0 if not done.

    10x10 = 100 for a test grade

    about a week before the end of the grading period, I go through and tell them

    Kid A - you are missing homeworks 1,4, and 10. I have each HW assignment we have done written on the board for the entire 9 weeks, they then would do HW 1, 4, and 10 (or whatever they are missing) and turn them in for a late grade.
     
  20. kevo2005

    kevo2005 Companion

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    Jul 8, 2007

    I don't teach yet, but I think what I am going to try is random homework checks, at least once a week, but assign it every night. That way they have to do it, but at the same time when I do binder checks if they have all homework assignments done and in their folder I will give them the points toward the notebook grade. Also, my teacher did two grades for homework that she checked 1.) for accuracy and 2.) for completion.

    But since I haven't actually gotten to try this yet, who knows.
     
  21. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Jul 9, 2007

    I do not teach math, but I do teach chemistry and physics. I give 20 points for homework every grading peiod. I check their homework everyday. If they do their homework 50% of the time, they will get 10 out of the 20 points. The answers are up when they walk into class and they immediately begin checking and working on a daily question while I walk around and check both roll and homework at the same time. We start class by going over the daily question answer and answering any homework questions.
     

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