Saturday, November 4, 2017

My Current Solution to the Homework Problem

I seriously hate grading homework.  But, kids are kids, and if you don't do something with it, they simply won't do it.

Even worse, it seems like some kids just copy the homework off of someone to just get it done.  Or, they use one of the readily available apps to scan or input the problem and immediately get the answer.

I've tried many methods of checking homework...walking around the room and giving points for completion, giving short homework "quizzes" on problems from the night before, giving no homework, collecting the homework and only checking one or two problems, giving online homework, etc, etc, etc.

Nothing was working for me, and last year I got to the point that I stopped checking it altogether.  I assigned it, but I never checked it.  I went over it the next day.  Not surprisingly, the kids that faithfully actually did the homework and asked questions got better grades, but I couldn't seem to get through to the others the necessity of giving homework.  Checking the homework seemed like such a waste of time - and when I did check it, it took soooo long.

So, I thought about a different system I could use all summer.  This is what I came up with and it seems to be working for me right now.

Each day I assign homework as usual.  I go over it the next day.  I take some questions, but I don't do all of it.  I pay close attention to the questions that I think the kids will have problems with.

This continues throughout the week.  Students keep all of their homework that has been assigned in a binder.  I keep track of the assignments on the board.

On Friday, I give a quiz during class.  The quiz covers whatever we have done that week.  {I rarely give chapter or unit tests}.

During the quiz, I collect the student's binders and give each student a homework grade for the entire week.

The grade consists of points for completion and I might check one or two problems for correctness.  I entire this one grade into our online gradebook as their weekly homework grade.  If I take any points off, I enter a comment which tells the reason for taking off points.

Students get their binders back at the end of class.  My homework check is done - it hasn't taken any class time.  Students get points for work they have done and I don't have to take papers home!

In addition, in my PreCalculus and Calculus classes I have written sets of short homework problems that have QR Codes right on the page.  Students can immediately check whether their answer to each question is correct.  This seems to encourage them to try every problem.  This packet is also part of their binder.  Even if I don't ASSIGN a page on a specific topic, students have that page to practice with the answers already included.  (If you're interested, check out my PreCalculus and Calculus Homework sets here: PreCalculus Homework , Calculus Homework )

Do you have different methods of checking homework?  I'd love to hear about them in the comments section.

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1 comment:

  1. This is a really interesting and unique way to check in students' homework! Are the quizzes that you give homework quizzes, or are they based on all the material from that week? I have a slightly different method of grading homework. I assign homework every night. At the beginning of each lesson, while the students are doing the warmup, I check their homework in for completion. Then we go over several of the difficult homework problems in class together. Every Friday, the students have a homework quiz where they are allowed to use the homework they did that week. The homework quiz closely resembles their homework. This method allows me to check students' understanding and give feedback so the students can learn from their mistakes.