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Contemplations on Homework

June 29, 2010

I have never been fond of taking a grade on homework, which is why I’ve always done completion grades, and why I’ve eliminated the grade for it in A3. I’ve continued taking a grade because that’s what we’re “supposed” to do to stay in sync with everyone else. It’s occurring to me, however, that since we’re going off the reservation so completely with SBG that we might as well go whole hog and stop taking a grade on the homework.

Based on what I was seeing at the end of school, I think this would be a good thing, as I was able to nudge kids into passing grades just by knocking out some homework zeroes. Unfortunately, the kids who need the homework the most are the ones who are the least likely to do the homework unless it is incentivized by a grade. Grr.

Here’s what I’m thinking to blend these two ideas together. Count how many homework and warm-up opportunities there are during a six-weeks. Double the homework number — that’s our “Homework Hero” number? — and add it to the warm-up number. During the six-weeks, students get 2 points for homework done on time, 1 point for homework turned in a day late, and 1 point for doing the warm-up. At the end of the six-weeks, total up the points, divide by the total possible, and add 1/10th of that percentage to their final grade. There’s no penalty for not doing the work, but it can definitely help their grade (someone like Maria would be able to pass with a 60).

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