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Home : 2004 : Nov : 9

    homework (long)
    By teachfla

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    I send a detailed letter home at the beginning of the year explaining my NIGHTLY homework policy and how I figure grades (1/3 each tests, homework, classwork.) Parents sign it, and I keep it. I keep homework very consistant (similar stuff on each night), which helps parents plan for any afterschool activities.

    If they don't do any part of nightly homework, they spend their recess making it up. I also send home weekly progress reports where I show how many completed assignments I've received in reading, math and spelling. I also include grades on weekly reading, spelling, and math tests. When Johnny doesn't do his math homework and gets a 62% on the math test, it usually dawns on parents.

    I also show the kids how I grade using a pie chart. We divide a circle into 3 parts. I show them how we do long division (they love that!) to divide 100 into 3 pieces. Since it can't be divided evenly, each piece is 33%. I label each piece HW, tests, classwork. We add 33 three times and get 99. We look at the grading scale on the wall and see that a 99 is an A. Then I cross out the homework piece and say to the kids: "If you don't do any homework, what's the BEST grade you can get?" They add 33 twice and see that a 66 equals a D -- not what they want to get.

    After that, I just let them get what they get. We do a lot of talking about choices in my class. "You chose not to do homework, so you are choosing to spend your recess doing it." Sometimes, they never know when, I bring in treats for those who did their homework all week. Or I hand out "No reading tonight!" coupons for those who always read. It's not just about homework, it's about teaching life-long responsibility skills.

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