Sunday, September 2, 2012

Homework Policies

I did a blog post on homework back in February,  you can read it here.  Make sure you read that post for a pretty detailed post on how I did homework last year.   Several things have changed for this coming year and because we have a new curriculum (Carnegie Learning), are heading to standard-based grading, and a new personalized learning delivery model things are going to change quite a bit, but I have not figured out how everything will work yet.  Let's just say that this year will be a work in progress.

I do know that our percentages for grading have changed to the following:
Tests 50%
Quizzes 25%
Mathia Computer Lab 20%
Homework 5%

Our district is currently in the first year implementation of a new Common Core Aligned curriculum called Carnegie Learning.

At my middle school we had many thoughtful discussions last school year about grading and homework.  I really spent a lot of time reflecting on the amount and type of homework I give.  I started to give them the odd problems so they could check the answers in the back of the book while working, to see if they were on the right track.

I try to do so much more of the practice in class so I am available to answer questions and guide the students.  I also found that the days where students had time at the end of class to work on homework homework completion was much better.  We also have a twenty minute home base period at the end of the day where students can work on homework.  I would tend to pull my chronic homework non-completers in and have them work with me or just work independently in my classroom so I would monitor them and help keep them on task.

Now that I have my own middle schooler (my son is on 8th grade this year) I am able to see how multiple assignments from different teachers can really add up the homework.  Kids and families these days are very busy after school.  I definitely see the value and importance of homework, but I have also seen throughout the years some ridiculous (IMO) homework assignments and projects.  Thankfully the ridiculous have been few and far between, but that has made me even more reflective on what I assign for homework and why I feel it is necessary.


  1. I agree that homework should be meaningful and not just busy work. Love your blog!

  2. We are doing standards based grading, it makes a lot of sense if done correctly. No more total scores on a test if there is more than one standard, each standard is graded separately. Check out Marzano's books and go from there. Good luck.

  3. What grades did you put into the Mathia portion of their final grade?? We are getting ready to begin our first year with the Carnegie text as well, so I'm quite interested in your posts. :)


    1. MATHia grading was really a work in progress all year. We basically looked at skills mastered per module when determining the final grade for MATHia. I really have no idea how we are going to be grading it this coming school year as we move to SBG.

  4. Hello Sherrie. I found your blog the other day and have really enjoyed looking through your posts. I found one about a form that your students fill out when they would like to retake an assessment. Now I can't find the post, so I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction to get to it again, or share with me what the form looks like. Thanks for the help! My e-mail address is if that is easier. Thanks again!


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