Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tried it Tuesday- Homework

It's Tuesday, so that brings me to another edition of 'Tried it Tuesday' and linking up with Fourth Grade Flipper.   I had to laugh when I decided to do this post, because today was NOT a good day for turning in homework in third grade land.... tomorrow is a new day though.  So here we go.......

I've officially hit the point of the school year where I feel like we aren't looking forward, but looking back to where we were on day 1.  It may be the long winter we've had, or the fact that my students are just way to comfortable with one another right now and we need Spring Break to come fast..... or it could just be that natural dip in the year where you feel like progress is going nowhere!  Whatever it is, I am really feeling it this year, so I decided to do something about it and tackle one of the biggest problems head on....HOMEWORK! {Or should I say lack thereof???} 

I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, not knowing what was late, who was missing what, what was already put in the grade book, who was behind, and who was needing to stay back from recess to finish their work.  I thought I was keeping track of what was missing, but then I realized that I was working harder, my kids weren't doing what they needed to do and I'm guessing their parents had no clue that it was becoming such a chronic problem.  

Well, I started where anyone else would.... with a rant!  Good thing Jennifer, from Mrs. Laffin's Laughings teaches the grade above me, and appreciates all the hard work that goes into prepping kiddos for 4th grade.... she was the lucky one that caught my rant.  Lucky Her! :)  I thought talking to 4th grade would be a good idea, because after all I'm trying to get my students ready for 4th grade...as well as expectations!She actually helped me out in more ways than one.  Be sure to stop by her blog for great ideas on everything!!!!

1- First, several weeks prior she gave me the 'Late Notice' red sheet that they use in 4th grade. She passed it along and I filed it away, because I didn't really need it at the time.  Well...I pulled it out and we officially started FOURTH GRADE in my classroom.  I sent a note home in my newsletter explaining what the expectation was (just as a reminder) and then what we were going to do to improve this to be ready for 4th. Whenever a student has a late or missing assignment (even not filling out their reading log) a red late notice sheet goes home stapled to the assignment that was not complete.  They are required to fill out the basic assignment information, write down the due date, and also say why they didn't do it. They also owe be $5 from their Bentin Money for each late assignment. They don't like giving up their money, and they also don't like when they don't get paid. So if they don't get their homework it's a double whammy to their bank accounts!  In order to earn their free time or recess back they must bring the late notice back signed.  It's worked wonderfully! (except today...we won't talk about today!!!) I still have my homework offenders, however it's much more managed and out of my hands! I also like that now students are more in charge of their actions. 

I love this quote, because it is true of many students who decide not to do homework.  Saying "I don't get it" doesn't always cut it.... I respond with.. "Well, what have you tried???! Show me!"

Source: Bing Images

2- I invited Jen to come into my room and say something about the long list of missing assignments on the board.  She even questioned students about it and asked why they didn't have it done.  It was an eye opener for kids to realize that others were noticing if they weren't doing their job, and they wanted to impress their possible 4th grade teacher.  She even sent down her "Good Job" jar full of sweet treats several days later to give to any student who wasn't on the list of 'No Homework!' 

**Man, this post got long, sorry for that! I'll save my fun math trick for next time. Thanks for stopping by.  Any other suggestion on late or missing work.....I'm all ears! Send them this way!


  1. I have a "homework club". At the start of each quarter I tell the kids that everyone who turns in 8 out of 9 homework assignments will earn a lunch on me. I post the names and then when a students doesn't turn an assignment in, I cross the name off (or if you use magnets it might be better.) If the assignment comes in (reasonably) late, I will reinstate the name on the club board. Everyone wants to be in the club and at the end we celebrate with a little pizza party. :)

  2. Hello new friend. That's so fun that you work with Jen and even cooler that you both have a blog. For homework, I create weekly packets. I actually bought them on TPT for the whole year. It starts with a fluency reading that the students repeat three times during the week followed by three pages of comprehension related to the passage. It is handed out on Monday and due on Friday. We correct it in class and I check off the fluency. If they don't have their homework they get kicked out of our homework club and get a 0. Thanks for stopping by, I am now a new follower of yours.
    Pinkadots Elementary

  3. I am SO with you, Ana! It is ridiculous how many late assignments there are. It is such a reflection of our students' home lives and is so sad. :( We keep track of students who owe work in our departmentalized 4th grade with a "Homework Stars" bulletin board. I have blogged about it if you search my name and Homework Stars. Every month we have an incentive party for students who turn in their work on time for the month. I love your ideas and how students are in charge of their actions! I hope you see even more improvement...spring break hurry up, please! :)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  4. I have the best solution ever....get rid of homework! My school has followed this model for two years and I LOVE it! No more fighting over whether they have done it. No more worrying about them or their parents not understanding it. My kids read for enjoyment for at least 20 minutes each night and they work on the honor system. I haven't had any problems because the stress of the other homework is gone. :)
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'


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