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I’ve read a bit about homework and I know that there isn’t much of a correlation between the doing of homework and actual grades. I believe one of the strongest ‘for’ for homework is about responsibility.

I take personal responsibility of learning very seriously in my class.

Have a present.  This is a homework check-in sheet. To download click on the pic.

homework check-in sheet

Set up a folder in your classroom that students store their weekly homework in at the end of the week. Each kid gets a plastic slip each. They check off whether the work was completed, attempted, not completed or not here. I know you have kids that are forever saying ‘I’ve done it, but it’s not here.’  At the end of the term they then circle the comment that most matches their actions. Makes reporting easier too.

So lets talk about what homework looks like in my class. I don’t send worksheets home.  You know that ones that don’t relate to anything that you are actually teaching in class but you send them home because parents expect homework.  They certainly don’t do anything to improve your student’s learning.

Instead I send weekly spelling home. This year I will be more specific. I will be sending home find-a-words, word scrambles etc.  I love using Puzzle Maker.  I’ve talked it over with one of my classes and they agree that it would be good. I haven’t met a high school kids that won’t do a word search.

I also tell my students to read, read, read.  So I’ll make sure to put that on the ‘homework sheet’ as well.

‘But what do I do with the kids that haven’t done their homework,’ I hear you say. Well my philosophy may be different to yours so prepare yourself for my answer… Nothing.

  • Homework is done at home – as a teacher I have no right to influence what a family does in their own time – this includes homework. If parents don’t want to get their kids to do homework, then that is their right as a parent.
  • Giving kids a detention because they haven’t done their homework can ruin your relationship with them.  To be a good teacher you have to have good relationships!
  • Positive reinforcement – use your in-class reward system to reinforce homework expectations. If students do their homework – reward them.  You might use stickers, lollies, high fives, a positive postcard/note home, funny money, class honour roll etc.

So anyway, that’s my stance on homework. Full stop.

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