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    This Works for Me
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    I teach fifth grade, and here is my system for checking homework for completion. It's fast and simple.

    1. I ask students to take out their homework, and leave it on their desks.

    2. While they are working on an independent assignment (such as a math warm-up), I quickly go around and check the papers by putting a big check on the page. I also check for completeness. For students who don't have their homework, I have a notebook where I jot down their names. I have a stamp that says "MISSING HOMEWORK," and I stamp their student planners. This notifies parents that the day's work was not done. Custom-made stamps can be purchased inexpensively from Staples.

    3. Later, I check off homework in a section of my plan book.

    The advantage to this homework system is that I can give students immediate and individual feedback regarding missing and incomplete assignments. They know that they will be held personally accountable, since I will ask them where their homework is. This doesn't take as long as you would think.

    When I'm short of time, I can glance around the room as we're going over the homework to see whose is missing. Occasionally, I've asked students to check homework as well.

    At the end of the marking period, all of the combined homework counts as one test grade. (So if a student missed 1 out of 20 homeworks, then I would average in a 95% test grade). Students who have not missed any assignments are rewarded with a free homework pass at the end of the semester.

    I hope this helps. Good luck!

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