After last year, I wanted to completely re-vamp the way I assigned and graded homework. I basically ended last year giving full credit for an assignment based on completion, and partial/no credit was based on how much they didn’t do. Unfortunately, I was rarely able to give adequate time to checking their homework for accuracy. I hate this method. If a kid does a problem for homework, shouldn’t I be giving him feedback? It’s a topic I have a significant amount of internal dialogue about because I don’t like any of the available options, which I narrow down to the following:

1. Bigger quantity (20-30 problems per night), completion grade given.
PRO: Minimal grading time, takes less than 5 minutes to walk the room to give credit
CON: Minimal feedback for students. Low % of students will complete the assignments on a regular basis.
2. Small quantity (3-5 problems), graded based on accuracy.
PRO: Maximum feedback for students, I feel I could grade this much every day without ruining my marriage. Also, more  students will actually do the homework due to the shorter time required to complete it.
CON: Students do not get enough repetition in my opinion like this. Is this okay? I don’t know the answer to that question.
3. Bigger quantity (20-30), peer grading
PRO: Students still have to care about accuracy, and get repetition needed
CON: Cheating, extra class time taken every day
4. Homework Quiz – Regardless of quantity, don’t check HW at all (or maybe do completion check for part of the grade??)
PRO: Formative assessment tells me what to re-teach tomorrow, little time grading, accountability for learning
CON: Students who don’t test well will get killed due to less % given to effort, still don’t give attention to work done on HW

 

I’m leaning towards the peer grading idea. Following the bell work, having students trade and grade, and then put a solution set up on the doc camera and allow students to see the steps for the problems they need to see and ask questions about it. Not sure how this will work. It requires honesty from the students for it to be effective, we’ll see.

HOWEVER, a big kink in the system happened when our school-wide discipline system that we are adopting this year for the first time INCLUDED NOT TURNING IN HOMEWORK AS A “MINOR” INFRACTION. WHAAAAT? Needless to say, I am extremely curious how this is going to play out. No longer is homework just going to cost them a grade, it’s going to cost them a detention. On a 3rd minor offense, students receive disciplinary action significant enough to care. I have never had this type of enforcement at my disposal, so I am really interested to hear what others have to say about this #hssunfun because my options may have just opened up. FYI-students completing the homework was an issue for me last year, so giving bigger assignments was something I was reconsidering, but I think it is now an option again.

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