No homework?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by YoungTeacherGuy, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jul 4, 2012

    Another thread about recess got me thinking: What do y'all do with kids who don't do their homework? :confused:

    In my class, if a student turns in their homework for the entire week (I only assign one page per night--one side is a spelling worksheet and the other side is a math worksheet) the student will receive a star on "Mr. A's All-Star Board." Five stars in a row = lunch with me and ice cream afterwards. Yes--it gets expensive, but the kids have something to look forward to and it motivates them to get their homework done.

    I rarely have students not turn in their homework because everyone wants to have lunch & ice cream with me :D, but I don't have consequences for those who don't turn in their homework. I don't take away recess, mainly because the students who don't turn in their homework are the ones who need outdoors time the most.

    What do you guys do with kids who don't complete homework? Most of my colleagues assign detention (yes--we have school-wide detention in elementary school). Personally, though, I don't agree with detention at the K-2 level. :2cents:
     
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  3. sweetlatina23

    sweetlatina23 Cohort

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    I teach sixth grade. We have a school policy that if they don't do it they must stay after school and do it twice. Personally, I don't like it. Normally, I give them the zero and send home a parent note. In your grade level I think you should pull them half of their recess time. I know they need to release the energy, but unless you choose to keep them after school they still need a consequence. (keep them to do the assignment, or even before school.) Its not necessarily detention, just trying to keep them caught up. At that age, I hate to say it but its the parents fault, not the child's.

    As far as your ice cream rewards, could you do the frozen ones from the Dollar Tree. They are in a box, liquid juice then freezes after about 2 hours or so? It would be a lot cheaper. I think you should definitively keep your rewards. They seem to love it, and it motivates them.
     
  4. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

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    I taught first grade for the past three years, and I never had consequences for not turning in their homework. They just lost points for the homework assignments. I have had parents assign homework consequences for their own students who had no completed their homework, and it was to just finish the homework at recess. I had a lot of students whose parents couldn't really help them with their homework, so I tried not to punish them for it.
     
  5. Ilovesummer

    Ilovesummer Companion

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    I have the student put the unfinished assignment on a clipboard to finish. If they get extra class time, they should do it then. If they don't have any extra time in class, they take the clipboard to recess with them, and do it then.
     
  6. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    My GS is one who never does homework. We support, bribe, threaten, sit down with him. None of it works. We support the consequences at school--if they are appropriate. Staying in at recess does not solve the problem. He enjoys the attention and talking with the teacher. Giving him an appropriate grade is appropriate. We are trying to help him realize that there are consequences for his actions. We have warned him that he may have to retake a grade or subject. He doesn't believe us. It may happen, but we will support it, and not blame the teacher.
     
  7. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I feel like hw is such a complicated issue! My first thoughts are that homework should be done no matter what a) because the students need to practice whatever skill the homework covers, and if they're not doing it, they're missing part of the learning, and b) it goes back to that whole "real world responsibility" thing. However, so many things complicate this at the elementary level. If a kid already has the skill down (like a more advanced student), then that sort of negates the necessity for them to practice it through homework. But is it fair for them to get away with not doing it just because they happen to be a bright kid? I'm not sure. I think you can also argue that a kid has plenty of time to develop "real world responsibility" and study skills, etc. in MS and HS where classes are more differentiated to their skill level...but then again, is it ever too early to start them on these skills? Then of course there is also the issue of parents who can't or won't help, or kids whose parents don't even give them an opportunity to do the homework even on their own (if they're constantly carting them around places and the kid literally just can't sit down and do it). In my previous position I even saw instances where the hw sometimes did more harm than good, b/c an older sibling would sit down with the student and try to help. Admirable, but in the case of my students, their siblings often struggled academically as well and explained things incorrectly to the younger sibling- sort of "undoing" the work we did at school. My previous school did "lunch bunch" where if you turned everything in for the week, then you got to eat lunch with the teacher on Friday. The kids seemed to like this a lot, but given how many kids weren't turning in hw, it obviously didn't work for everyone or solve the problem. Particularly in 4th and 5th grades, it was often at least half of the class that had to stay in and do it at recess. This may sound selfish, but as a teacher I also don't want to give up my lunch time every day to babysit kids who should be at recess. I know some teachers thought it wasn't a big deal b/c they would work through lunch anyway, and they'd tell the kids they weren't allowed to ask questions or interact at all so they weren't bothering the teacher, but I prefer to eat in the lounge and don't want to miss out on that every day.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 5, 2012

    I'm in high school.

    My kids are allowed to miss, then make up for full credit, up to 3 homeworks per marking period. (Hey, sometimes life gets in the way of homework.) Beyond that, they're gone forever and will effect the grade.

    I also have a 20 minute rule: if your math homework takes more than 20 minutes (of real work, not phoning/texting/Xbox/eating) then you can stop. If you were the only one, I'll expect to see you at extra help. If it was everyone, then the error was mine-- either I have to reteach or the assignment was too long.
     
  9. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I give all of my homework at the beginning of the week; I collect it at the end of the week. I get that they have six other classes and lives outside of school, so I let them work at their own pace within that week. If they don't do it, it's a zero, and I don't take late work - I had around 175 kids last year. I'm not chasing after every one who doesn't do homework.

    There are, of course, always extenuating circumstances to be taken into consideration.
     
  10. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    My students are allowed to turn in late work all grading period long, for full credit. I do this for several reasons, but the most important one is that sometimes my 5th graders simply leave it at home, even though it is done. Yes, I really do believe them.:)
    I have started a "lunch bunch" with a colleague. I keep track weekly of those students who have turned in their work on time. Those students who have completed their work-on time-for a month have lunch with me. They bring their lunch trays up to the room, and I provide a small treat. Not too great of an expense, and they love the time with me and my colleague.
    I don't keep kids in at recess to complete work. We do have a Friday "Rethink" time when those who are missing work come in and complete the missing work. Many of my kids take advantage of that.
     
  11. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    In my room, since the homework is essential to their learning we go over the work in class so that students can ask questions and see where their mistakes are. That poses a problem for students who don't complete their work because they either see and hear the answers or have to sit in the hallway (thus giving them time to do their homework).

    For these students, I'm planning to make it a bit more difficult next year. I plan to offer a different set of problems. So, for homework you may have problems 1-10 evens but if you choose not to complete the assignment then you will have 1-10 odds. It'll be a little more time consuming on my part to create a second task for some things, but with differentiation we usually have 2-5 worksheets on the same skills and plenty of problems in their books.
     
  12. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Here's what I have concluded about homework at my level (grade 2):
    1) I only give homework in three instances: when kids need extra help outside the classroom; when kids need to practice a specific skill for fluency; or when I want the kids to create something as a family project because I don't have the time, information, or materials to allow them to do as good a job in class (ex: family tree or treasure from trash recycling project).

    2) I only give about 4 or 5 problems. It shouldn't take more than 20 minutes for a second grader, I think!

    3) I don't count homework as a grade, but the kids don't know it. I can't really grade something that a child didn't understand or have help with OR that a parent may have given a LOT of help with, and in second grade at my school we give M for Mastery, etc. so there's really no point in giving participation grades, imo.

    4) If a child doesn't bring back homework, I put the homework assignment on a clipboard and allow them to work on it when they have free time, or at recess if they haven't finished by then. I provide help and guidance as needed.

    5) I don't lecture a child for not having homework. I simply call out the numbers for people who didn't turn in homework and ask them to retreive it for me if they forgot to turn it in and have it in their backpacks. Then I give out clipboards (usually 3 or 4) to those who don't turn it in. If they offer excuses, I simply say, "Please complete it when you get a chance so that you won't have to miss any recess."

    6) I call parents the first time a child doesn't bring in homework. This serves three purposes- the child gets the idea that I WILL call the parent when needed, I get a better idea of how much help a student will be getting at home with homework, and it gives me a chance to better explain my homework policy to the parent and answer any questions.

    7) This year I will be keeping a No Homework NB- Just a page for each student that says, "I did not bring my homework because..." then a column each for the date and the reason. I think this will be good documentation.
     
  13. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I consider homework optional and I only send home projects requiring multiple skill practice. The children who return the homework get to give their presentations in class.

    I am really over homework battles. I prefer to pick my battles over things I can control...work completed in school.

    I work my students extremely hard all day and I want them to have time to be children when they get home.
     
  14. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    They get an "H" on their punch card (good punch cards [has 15-17 of the 20 possible punches- it varies by quarter] can be used to bump up a classwork grade at the end of the quarter [up to 20 points]). They get a note in their agenda so their parents are aware. Next day no homework? Same thing- another H, another note- this time warning the parents that it will be a zero if I don't have it the next day. STILL no homework? A third H, a note saying they received a 0, and a 0 in the grade book. It rarely gets to that point.

    EDIT: Besides reading and studying vocab, their only homework for me is finishing unfinished classwork. So if they were on task, they should never have more than a few questions/problems to finish up at home.
     
  15. GoldenPoppy

    GoldenPoppy Habitué

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    If homework isn't turned in when it is due (usually the next day), students get detention. Their parents are called and they stay after school to complete the assignment. If it isn't completed during detention they get graded on what was completed. Don't go to detention (which happens very infrequently), the grade is a zero.
     
  16. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    The only consequence I've given is a 0 on that particular hw assignment that didn't get done. Our kids have only a 30-minute break for the entire day (well, I give them an extra 15 minutes in the afternoon), and I don't really want to take away recess time (but I will as a consequence to very poor behavior choices).
     
  17. MissScrimmage

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    I teach grade 1, and the only regular "homework" they have is home reading every night. I hope that reading is already part of their family's routine, but if it isn't this encourages it.

    I occasionally send home a special family project that only their family can help with (i.e. interviewing a family member, writing about a family tradition, etc.)

    Grade 1s are little. They leave me exhausted every day. I want them to go home and relax and play.
     
  18. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    I couldn't agree more with this statement. I do give homework, but I also know that it is less than the other 5 teachers in my building.

    One of the teachers, gives so much hw that every year she has at least 5 parents either complaining to the Principal or making calls to the district. So far no one has made her budge, but I strongly feel that she gives too much. On a side note, she isn't a parent... maybe that makes a difference.

    On the plus side, parents and students who come to me the next year (she's 5th grade) are SOOOO willing to do my hw assignments. The worst offenders in her class are some of my shinning stars. LOL
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012
  19. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Just realized I didn't answer the original topic, hahaha.

    For upper grade, there are 6 teachers and 5 of us have always agreed to have a hw room once a week during morning recess. Any students who didn't do their hw went to the hw room to finish it. They are allowed (by most teachers) to go to recess when they finish. This worked well until some of the teachers started to notice that each day all of the kids were from one class. Then they started to get irritated and it stopped.
     
  20. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Great policy Alice!
     
  21. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    I teach 6th. I don't take late work unless a parent writes a note, and then I only take it if there was some kind of family emergency.
    After 3 missed assignments I start giving lunch detentions and after school detentions after 6 missed assignments. If they are getting to after school detentions I start having them come to me during homeroom or lunch to complete it. I also send home letters after a few missed assignments that the parent signs and returns letting them know their child has not been doing homework.
    I grade homework for completion and separate the homework based on if they got it or if they didn't. I review with whoever didn't get it.
     
  22. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    When I taught 2nd I don't think I really had consequences. I would talk to the parent if the student was constantly missing assignments. There could be a loss of communication about what the student has for homework.
     
  23. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    I love the ideas in this thread!

    Not turning in homework has been a chronic, widespread issue in my school. In fact, the former principal increased the length of each class period so that the teacher could cover more material (and therefore, in theory, there was no need for homework). The thought was, "they're not going to do it anyways, so let's just stop giving it".

    However, we all know that homework is not just extra practice outside of class. It is used to breed responsibility, independence with a certain skill and accountability. Because of these reasons, I still assign homework (around 10 problems for math 2-3 times a week, some sort of vocab or reading assignment once a week for LA). Of course, very few of them turn it in. When I'm co-teaching next year and have 200-300 students and only 10-20 turn assignments in...what can I do? Calling home to everyone is impossible, and they typically do not return things sent home to be signed by a parent.

    My colleague assigns paragraphs that the student must copy. If a student forgets a homework, they get a 3-4 paragraph essay on "why homework is important" to copy, word for word. What are everyone's thoughts on that type of consequence?
     
  24. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    What are they learning from this consequence?
    I believe that consequences should be logical. Copying from a paragraph is not logical to me for missing a homework assignment.:2cents:
     
  25. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I agree. That time would be better spent doing the original assignment. When I taught grade 6 I rarely gave homework, but when I did I expected it in on time. I usually called parents after the first time homework was forgotten to touch base with the family and make them aware.
     
  26. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    And then again, THIS sounds good, too!! :D
     
  27. teachgrade5

    teachgrade5 Comrade

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    I do this also. Unfortunately, it is always the same students who do not turn in their homework. When I have discussed these issues with the parents, they know their child isn't doing their work. I am looking at ways to help these kids next school year as I getting tired of them not getting help when they need it.
     
  28. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    In my previous position, and I know it's going to be the same in my new one- most of my students' parents don't speak English. So it's not as simple as just making a quick phone call or sending a note home. I'd have to set up an interpreter to make the call for me, and I know they're incredibly swamped, so I only used them when it was absolutely necessary (informing them about meetings or conferences, etc.)
     

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