Is it worth the effort of assigning?
Are they even going to do it?
Most of my students have bigger problems at home.
Is this going to use up all of my copies?
Great... one more thing to grade.
These were always my thoughts when it came to homework. So, my first couple of years teaching I did not assign homework. I used the ol' "Whatever you don't finish in class is homework" motto. This didn't work all that well because most students that did not finish their work in class, weren't going to take the time to do it at home. It just disappeared into the black hole of their pockets, never to be seen again. Therefore, resulting in me making additional copies for them. Yuck!
However, this year I have tried something different.... and I LOVE it! I became
So, with my punchcard, I created my plan for homework. I believe that homework should be extra practice of skills that have already been taught in class. I also believe that homework should not be something that will affect a student's grade due to the fact that I have no control of their home lives and what goes on outside of school. That being said, I think that homework is important for students to be able to practice the skills they are learning and get in the studious habits that a successful student needs.
I decided to make a homework schedule so that my students' parents were aware what type of homework their child would have each night. As well as eliminating the excuse "I don't have any homework tonight." Parents know that their child DOES have homework every night except for Fridays.
Here is what my schedule looks like:
Mondays: Math Practice and Read 20 Minutes
Tuesday: Science or Social Studies Practice and Read 20 Minutes
Wednesday: Language Arts Practice and Read 20 Minutes
Thursday: Spelling List Practice and Read 20 Minutes
As far as examples of what I might assign would be a math game we have create in class, flashcards, short practice page, workbook page for science or social studies, write a few paragraph-long story, write spelling words in sentences, write spelling words with various colors, etc.
Each morning I then ask the students to get out their homework and punch cards for me. I walk around the room, check to see that they did it (sometimes I pick them up if it is something that I want to see how they did on it) and then punch their cards with a hole punch. When they fill up their cards, they get to add $5 to their class bank account that they keep to buy things in our class store.
So far, this system has worked beautifully! I don't have anything extra to grade! The majority of my students do their homework.