Question about Homework Policy

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by AngelM, Jun 21, 2007.

  1. AngelM

    AngelM Rookie

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    Jun 21, 2007

    I will be teaching for the first time this fall - 2nd grade. I am curious how you deal with students who do not complete the homework. Most likely, their homework will be their basal story, spelling words, etc. (Just a small amount each night). Any ideas/suggestions for how to handle those who don't complete the assignments would be appreciated. Thanks!!
     
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  3. teachingmomof4

    teachingmomof4 Groupie

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    Jun 21, 2007

    We have a school-wide homework policy. Students who return their homework for the entire month get an extra recess, with the principal as the duty.

    In my classroom, students who return their homework each week get to participate in Friday Fun Centers on Friday afternoon (30 minutes). If they don't return it, they have to either finish it or read or write in their journal. Friday Fun centers is not an option. (They love them because they are the puzzles, stamps, stencils, drawing paper, etc. that we never get to use otherwise.) I have also told my kids (every year) if everyone brings their homework back each day for a month, I will buy them all pizza for lunch. So far, I have never had to buy pizza. :rolleyes: :eek:

    I am very strict with my homework, beginning in the first grade. They are expected to be responsible for it and I don't make exceptions. By the time my students leave me, I want them to be responsible and to realize that they make their own choices. When the excuses start coming (I didn't have time...My mom wasn't able to sign it all week...I forgot...Can I call my mom to bring it?) we again, talk about responsibility.
     
  4. Chevygirl97

    Chevygirl97 Companion

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    Jun 22, 2007

    I long term subbed for a 2/3 combo and the teacher checked off HW every day while the students were completing seatwork. If someone did not have it, she would give them a "bench pass" and the HW would be completed at recess/lunch recess. If students did have it, they rec'd a sticker on their sticker sheet (a full sheet=treasure box.) If ALL students had HW, they all got an extra sticker. Did it work all the time while I was in there? No. Did it work, I'd say, 97% of the time? Yes. She also used this as a team builder (cleanest table got another sticker) and as a positive reward throughout class (kind of a "Caught Being Good" thing.) She assigned the sticker passing out as a job to a responsible student. (Obviously she didn't want someone giving friends extra stickers, but that group was really on the ball and trustworthy, so no problems there!)

    I'm going to partially incorporate this in September (1st year teacher, 2nd grade, I'm right there with ya!) My only thing is the cost incurred in having a treasure chest. I've been thinking of other alternatives.

    Sorry, this turned into a sort of stream of consciousness!!
     
  5. OhThePlaces

    OhThePlaces Cohort

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    Jun 22, 2007

    I'm also a new teacher in 2nd grade! :)

    I will not be grading homework (my thoughts are, when it's done at home... who knows who is actually doing it... could be an older sibling, a parent, ect...so I don't feel comfortable counting it as a grade) but like the two posters above said, I plan to somehow reward the students who do complete their homework. I like teachingmomof4's suggestion of fun centers on Friday. :)
     
  6. elem_teacher3

    elem_teacher3 Companion

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    Jun 22, 2007

    This has been a source of frustration for me...I teach at a private school and it tends to be the parents who are trying to make the excuses for their children...talk about making me wanting to put on my angry eyes!!! I think I am going to send out a parental letter that will need to be signed...kind of like a covenant between teacher/parent. I am still mulling over details and I have to get my principal to sign off on it...but I think it might help the parents not to try and get their children out of homework responsibility.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 22, 2007

    Is there any way you can build in an occasional escape mode?

    This year for the first time I gave my kids a get out of homework free pass. They could use it once during the year, with the condition that they hold on to the pass.

    Could you distribute one or two to each parent, for those nights when things go nuts at home and homework just can't get done?
     
  8. MMRbella

    MMRbella Companion

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    Jun 22, 2007

    I student taught in a 2nd grade class. Our homework policy was-

    If a child brings in ALL of the homework (completed to the best of their ability) all week, on Friday afternoon, they get to pick something from the "treasure chest". (We kept track on a checklist).

    Having a missing assignment, however, results in a note home to the parent(s), and staying in at lunch to complete it.

    It was very effective.
     
  9. Ms.T

    Ms.T Comrade

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    Jun 22, 2007

    I have a hard time with this. (I teach 2nd, too.)

    On the one hand, I think kids need to be responsible. On the other hand, how much control do these 7 or 8 year olds have over their afternoon/evening? They might be dragged somewhere, they might have chores to do, etc. My school has lots of students with very extended families that show up unexpectedly and the kids are required to visit with them if/when family appears.

    Also, I view homework as extra practice. If they are continually not doing it, that is a problem. If it is once in a while, it doesn't bother me.

    Also (sorry, this is getting long :rolleyes: ) I don't really like to correct a pile of worksheets everyday. Then if I just glance at them, I feel bad to not return them.

    Maybe I will do random checks of homework and give out a sticker occasionally. But I don't have the time to go through and actually give out stickers every day.
     
  10. etcetera83

    etcetera83 Cohort

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    Jun 22, 2007

    I do the sticker sheet as well, but they only get stickers for HW. When the sheet is filled (there are 25 spaces) they get a homework pass for the night. No money involved. For team building I use scoops of popcorn.
     
  11. etcetera83

    etcetera83 Cohort

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    Jun 22, 2007

    Alice,
    I really like this idea! Sometimes parents would write me a note with valid excuses (I felt). This would let the parents know up front that I'm flexible and understand that life happens. How would you get it to the parent? Send it home with beinning of year packet, open house, etc? Thanks for the idea!
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 22, 2007

    I did it with my 7th graders this year and placed all the responsiblitity on them. As I explained to the parents, it was all about responsiblity, not homework.

    But you can go to www.vistaprint.com and order some of their free business cards (just don't order anything after checking out; people have run into problems there.) Make them up to order and give 2 or 3 per child in the back to school packets. Explain that you understand: sometimes the dog dies or it's grandma's birthday or dad leaves for out of town and homework just becomes a huge hassle.
     
  13. etcetera83

    etcetera83 Cohort

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    Jun 22, 2007

    Thanks!
     
  14. AngelM

    AngelM Rookie

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    Jun 22, 2007

    Thanks so much for the suggestions. These are some great ideas. I had not thought of the sticker chart/reward system, and I do like that. I student taught in 6th grade and used homework passes (in rare instances) to reward good behavior. These were tremendously motivating for students, so I may try that again, too.

    Chevygirl - you were talking about the treasure chest and the expense involved. I have two daughters and we are constantly accumulating stuff - kid's meal toys, party favors, etc. When my youngest daughter was in K, her teacher put out a plea for parents to donate any unused items like these for her treasure box. The response was overwhelming - she got tons of stuff. Just a thought for a way to potentially keep a well-stocked treasure box . :)
     
  15. Ms.T

    Ms.T Comrade

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    Jun 22, 2007

    I was just on Oriental Trading Company. There are a few treasure chest options for under $15, with LOTS of toys/prizes. (I can't remember how many, but maybe 50 things?)

    I like the homework pass ideas, too.
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    also take a look at www.smalltoys.com

    Their shipping is cheap and their prices are good. I've never had a problem with delivery.

    (And, no, I don't work for them :) )
     
  17. Chevygirl97

    Chevygirl97 Companion

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    Jun 22, 2007

    etcetera83..LOVE the popcorn idea!!!!

    I found that some students in the 2/3 were SO responsible and on task that they had 25 stickers in no time, and others (one little guy in particular that I'm thinking of...:angel: ) just could not care less.

    I love the HW passes, I just don't want to make it into a punishment for those who don't turn it in (like some other people posted, it's not always the child's choice, things happen and the parents are the parents.) Maybe a "Do 1/2 of the Problems" or "Skip a spelling assignment"??

    Thank you for the treasure ideas. It got me thinkin...I'm pretty crafty, and craft stores sell those foam sets. I could make a billion little foam thingys (pencil toppers, bookmarks, etc. in packs of 30 or 40) It's my "art therapy" and besides, I can always recruit the hubby, my lil' sis and my mom to help stock it up. AND add the passes. Hmmmm... I just love this forum!!

    Bottom line, I hate homework. (Still, but for different reasons!!:p)
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2007
  18. etcetera83

    etcetera83 Cohort

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    Blushing :eek: .... thanks! We have a popcorn party when the container is filled!
     
  19. Chevygirl97

    Chevygirl97 Companion

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    How big is the container?
     
  20. etcetera83

    etcetera83 Cohort

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    It's a small disposable plastic handy-made container. It would hold a can of soup easily. I hope you get the idea....I seem to be rather vague in my description. Anyway, I have two containers and use a tablespoon scoop to scoop the kernals out of one and into the other. That way when it's filled, I can scoop in reverse!
     
  21. Chevygirl97

    Chevygirl97 Companion

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    Oh!! I was picturing this big container and popped popcorn!!!:D

    I am SO going to use this!!!!
     
  22. Chevygirl97

    Chevygirl97 Companion

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    Jun 22, 2007

    Just ordered cards...THANKS!! I did a "Treasure Chest Treat" so I can fill in anything I want...YAY!
     

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