HW Part 1 #MTBoS30 Post 8


I used to give homework, just like I received when I was in school.  Yeah. I tried to pick purposeful problems, not just 2-40 even. Oh, wait. Let’s do multiples of 3! That was exciting.

I quit grading it for correct answers many years ago.  I realized it was more for practice and I felt it was unfair to assign a score on a new skill/concept.

I began using a stamp on completed assignments.  You know, those dated ones the librarian used to stamp in the back of your books.  Students would staple assignments, circle their stamps, turn in their packet and I gave them 10 points per stamp.  They did not get stamps for late work.  I did allow 2 or 3 incomplete problems for questions and still receive their stamp.

Somewhere along the way, I realized I had set up some of my students for failure…they were challenged to keep up with all assignments and when they didn’t, well, they lost their points.  My claim…I was teaching them “to be responsible.”

In 2004, I was introduced to the Course and Unit Organizer Routine.  After about 5 months of using them, an innovative group of students and an experienced mentor helped me modify my unit organizers where I expanded the big ideas on the front side


and implemented a HW/Assignment tracker on the back side.

You can view some samples and see various ones I have used linked in the post.

Students recorded their assignments.   If completed on time, they received a stamp.  If late, a circled stamp so I could deduct points for their late work.  At least they got some kind of credit for it, right?

I still had students who rarely completed any assignments.  But at least now, I had a clear visual of how much they were practicing.  And a great tool to communicate with parents on their student’s work habits.


2 responses »

  1. I love the unit organizer. I started working on these this past year but dropped the ball. Your post inspires me to go at it again.
    Homework … can’t wait for part 2??
    We have started a 1:1 initiative – and this year I started blending learning. Next year I am going to have students self-report homework progress on a google form. I’m still mulling over how it will work.

    • That might be a nice chat to bounce ideas…let me suggest to @druinok as part of #eduread any articles that support student self reporting we could use to frame the discussion?

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