Motivation to Complete homework

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by newkteacher, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. newkteacher

    newkteacher Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2007

    Today I planned a system to motivate students to do their homework in 6th grade language arts. Orignally I had planned to give each student a card printed on cardstock and punch a hole each time they turned in a homework assignment. I thought about it and realized that would be time consuming. So I ordered barcode stickers and have decided that each time a student hands in an assignment, I will place one of the stickers on the upper right hand corner. After they complete 30 homeworks the students can cut out the barcode stickers and hand them to me for some type of reward. I hope that this will get them to complete assignments and keep their papers. I am trying to decide on what type of reward. I am trying to make this like when you cut out proof of purchases to receive something in return.
     
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  3. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I do not reward for completeing homework assignments, if they do not complete it its a zero its that simple.
     
  4. CoachRyan

    CoachRyan Rookie

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    their reward is a good grade. Bribing kids is foolish, especially in middleschool
     
  5. reverie

    reverie Companion

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    I have to agree with Brendan. I don't give tangible rewards for students who have completed their homework. Sometimes when a few students have worked really hard on an assignment and finish early, I'll let them play a game or use the computer.

    Also, the barcode stickers are better (IMHO) than the hole punching because they could just punch their own holes right?
     
  6. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    My students do not have a lot of parental support. I didn't do a reward system last year but still want to do a simple one for this year. I was thinking I'd set up homework buddies where they call each other to encourage each other to do the work and reward them by having students move a card ahead one square on a pocket chart if everyone in their group did their homework. When a group gets to the finish line they will get some sort of small reward. I was thinking of making some sort of goofy trophy for each of my 3 classes and the group that wins gets to have their name displayed on their trophy until another group beats the challenger I would give them a simple reward as well, such as leaving class 30 seconds before the bell (mine like this a lot and administration is fine with it.), extra bathroom pass or maybe special priveledges throughout the whole time they are reigning champs like get breakfast first (for my class that I have during breakfast), leave to lunch first (for my lunch group). Not sure about my other class for a reward. Any suggestions are welcome.

    Your system sounds like it will work. What are barcode stickers?
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 25, 2007

    I'm on the "no rewards for doing HW" side of the fence.

    And your system sounds like a lot of work. Couldn't you just keep track in your grade book and pass on the reward when they hit 20?
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I agree.
     
  9. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    I like the 30 second leave ahead of time. I think they will go for that one and not cost a penny.
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I realize that Paperheart said it's OK with her administration. Anyone else thinking of it, clear it with someone first. Some don't like kids in the halls during classtime.
     
  11. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Oh, we'd be in *serious* trouble if we allowed students to leave class early, even by 30 seconds!

    I don't have a problem with rewarding kids for doing the homework because I think you are reinforcing positive behavior, but I would be concerned that it would lead to an increase in cheating.

    The bottom line is does it work for you? If it's simple for you to manage, and you see an improvement in the kids performance, then do it!
     
  12. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    We have homework detention for students who have 4 or more incomplete assignments during a week. The students stay after school, or come early, during the scheduled times. All of the 6th grade teachers take turns covering.
     
  13. newkteacher

    newkteacher Rookie

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    I wanted the students to have a reason to keeo their homework. I don't think that it will be to hard to just slap a sticker on the homework. When I said reward I should have clarified. I was thinking like a lowest quiz grade getting dropped. I used to be on the side of the fence where work that should be completed shouldn't be rewarded but the kids in this district are lacking serious motivation.
     
  14. Mrs.Gould

    Mrs.Gould Comrade

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    Although I also feel that students shouldn't be rewarded for doing their homework, I understand it could be necessary sometimes (lack of parent support, etc.) I was thinking of doing something along the lines of if a student completes, say 20, assignments in a row without being late, they'd get some SMALL reward or privilege. Or rather, I might make it a group effort. I don't know really, just throwing some ideas out there!
     
  15. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Jul 25, 2007

    I second that.
     
  16. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

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    I am at a loss with homework. Last year, maybe two or three people turned in homework. I thought it was just me. I even got another teacher to come in and teach the same One lesson I taught a day ago. I assigned ONE math problem. Still, the same two or three people turned it in. It turns out the other math teachers have the same problem. One teacher had to change her grade weights just so kids could pass her class because kids don't turn in homework. Another math teacher has the same problem. 90% of her classes failed because they don't bother to do the math work, and she had the "higher" kids! I am coteaching with her in summer camp and she's a great teacher, so it's not her teaching either. I was thinking about monthly drawings for kids who turn in their homework every day, and even having a day of after school make-up work detention for those who don't do their homework. But I have come to the conclusion that I am not going to reward you for doing your homework, or punish you for not doing it. Your grade will tell it all. And there will be no makeup work anymore either. I am not going to have the problems I did last year with parents coming to me during the end of the year asking what their child can do to make up the work. I will put this on the parent letter as well and post it on the wall in my classroom- NO MAKEUP WORK! DON'T ASK! Grades will be posted online and updated weekly, so it's not like they won't know that they are failing.
     
  17. kyblue07

    kyblue07 Companion

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    Jul 26, 2007

    I can relate Terrence! That is the exact situation with HW at my school. It seems like a lost cause and I spend half my time trying to get missing assignments in so that students do not fail. I'm a firm believer in NOT lower my expectations and that students can rise to meet them; even the ones that have never followed through or been expected to do so. But, I have to admit, as I'm working out my 'system' of things for the upcoming year, I am seriously considering not having HW other than reviewing notes and studying for tests, quizzes. Everything else they finish in class. I even have students that I (me, myself, & I...not the students, and they are 8th graders!!!) am required to write in their daily agendas any HW any time it is given. Like I have time for that! Anyway, not giving HW feels like giving in to me, but I need to keep some amount of sanity.
     
  18. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Jul 26, 2007

    not trying to rain on your idea (to each his own) but I'll never forget what one of my credential profs said to my class "I don't reward them for doing their job, doing what is EXPECTED of them"

    ...a little reward here and there is ok...but it's more about going above and beyond. Just my 2 cents. Not saying it works for EVERYBODY.
     
  19. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I don't mind reward but then I work for elementary so it's a different ball of wax. My only concern with the drop a grade reward is the only students that will really do it are the ones that are motivated to do well (grade wise) to begin with. The ones skipping won't care. That's my prediction. But then again, what do I know about teenagers?!
     
  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    My students already have the attitude of "What's in it for me?" I see no reason to help perpetuate that attitude by rewarding them for what they should already be doing. The reward, I suppose, is a decent grade. If that's what they want, they need to earn it.
     
  21. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    How about this....

    Any 6 weeks that the entire class has completed their homework 100% of the time, you agree to dye your hair pink for the week. (One coach here did that and the kids ate it up!)

    In case that never happens, 3 weeks (out of the 6 weeks) earns 1 Freedom Pass (idea from another poster). 6 weeks earns 2 Freedom Passes. You decide what they do. Ideas: No Homework/No Grading Penalty, Chew Gum in Class, Extra Bathroom Pass (pass whatever your limit may be), 5 Points Extra Credit, etc.
     
  22. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I disagree with the philosophy of not rewarding or recognizing people for doing what's expected. Many of us are rewarded on our jobs when we do what is expected--in the corporate world more even more so than in education. Lots of principals reward teachers for perfect attendance or for consistently turning in lesson plans on time, etc... Many of us *wish* that we had principals who would do more of that.

    This original poster isn't talking about offering a prize *every time* they turn in homework. He's talking about rewarding consistent behavior over a long period of time. I think that's a good idea!
     
  23. kyblue07

    kyblue07 Companion

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    Jul 26, 2007

    Sometimes a reward can be enough to get a student motivated, which can be a first step. Once motivated, students often realize the satisfaction of completing and accomplishing something. But the reward can be the impetus that gets the ball rolling, so to speak.
     
  24. newkteacher

    newkteacher Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2007

    That is what I was trying to convey. I walked into the same district last year and thought they shouldn't be rewarded for what is expected. I changed my philopsophy after seeing the general climate of the district. I wish I could just let their grade reflect the missing homework but I want them to do homework because they really need the reinforcement.
     
  25. CarrieB

    CarrieB Companion

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    Jul 26, 2007

    I totally want to do that. Wonder if my principal would go for it, I know my APs would. Their goofy like that.
     

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