Tuesday, December 29, 2009


It's the new year and I'd like to go back to school with a shiny new homework policy & system. Let's hear it from all of you. How do you do homework?
1) how often?
2) how many problems?
3) how do you grade it?
4) how is it connected to their overall grade?
5) how do you correct it?
6) do kids do it?


  1. 1) 3-4 days a week.
    2) It depends on the problems--sometimes only one or two problems with many parts. Sometimes many short, skills practice problems.
    3/5) I have been trying to have kids score their own homework this year. I stamp homework during warm up time to indicate that kids did try to do it before class. I then put the solutions up or work problems together. Kids then give themselves a score 1-4, based on my general rubric. That is a little wierd, since the rubric is really for indidividual problems, not a whole assignment, but its working out okay. I like kids grading themselves for a couple reasons. The most obvious: I don't have to do it. I was getting really frustrated last year by the number of assignments I was grading that had clearly been copied. What a waste of my time, giving kids feedback who hadn't even done the problems themselves. It also created conflict when I didn't give points for copied work, etc. I also wasn't very good about grading the same day, so kids that did do the work didn't get immediate feedback. Now kids know when they get problems wrong and can ask questions right away to figure out why.
    4) Homework is 10% of their overall grade.
    6) Do kids do it? Some kids, some times. I'm sure some kids still copy. Some kids just do not do homework. Some kids do every assignment.
    I am definitely leaning towards the camp that doesn't count homework much in the overall grade. I will still give it, because I think it is good to practice what you've learned in class. I think it is a good place for skills practice/automaticity work.

  2. I am trying something new. Never tried before. Here goes:

    I will give about five problems a night. Students are responsible for doing at least three.

    I will record the HW assignment as either being done to standards (those being at least three problems done thoroughly -- thereby earning "1" point in the gradebook...to be posted later in attempt to get students to focus less on grades) or as not being done to standards (scoring a "0").

    The key to my new plan will be to give the student one positive comment and one suggestion to change per assignment. I am developing "texting" code to speed things up. (For example, news = Not Enough Work Shown or ttmp = Talk To Me Please) I will NOT be writing a numerical score on the HW. This will also be done in attempt to get students to focus more on learning.

    My source and motivation for this change was again Jo Boaler's 'What's Math Got to Do With It?'

    I am nervous about burning out grading. But maybe I will learn how to do this quickly.

  3. I'm in a middle school. Students get homework 2 times a week. It is due the next day. They get either 1 point for doing it or 0 for not doing. I do not collect the work, but we do spend a few minutes going over it in class the day it is due.

    Homework is only worth 5% of overall grade.

  4. I love the text message language you are developing JP. Kid friendly and efficient. Let us know how it goes!