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Q&A #5103

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Grading policy

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From: Terry Hernandez <TerryKay2Teacher@aol.com>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2001033117:37:24
Subject: Grading Policy for homework

As a school the principal asked us to get together to have a homework
grading policy that was reasonable for our students.  He recommended
that we not weight the homework as much as we had been doing in the
past, and we settled on making the homework only 5-10% of our total
grade for the quarter.  I really didn't like that idea, but...

I have found other ways to get students to do their homework.  I check
it in each day by handing out "Hot Tickets" (an idea I got from
Mailbox Magazine).  These tickets are handed out to students who have
completed the assignment.  They sign them and turn them in, then I
have a weekly drawing for prizes.  These prizes usually take the form
of a bathroom pass good for 5 uses, a "no homework" pass good for 1
assignment, 10 "dragon dollars" (my classroom currency with which they
can purchase things they need), inexpensive mechanical pencils,
neon-colored wedge-shaped erasers, etc.  Occasionally I throw in a
package of hot Cheetos or some Airheads.  Once or twice I've even put
in $1 bill.  My returned homework has gone from about 25% up to an
average of 87%, and it takes little effort on my part to make up the
"prizes."  

I also have lunch and after-school tutoring on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
These are times students can bring in their homework for more
small-group help.  Those who have difficulty with the English
language, and those who are just struggling are welcome to come.  This
has built a good relationship with these kids, as well, which comes in
handy when I ask them to do the work, "just for me."	

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