Homework Reinforcement

9 Apr

One of the biggest problems I have in figuring out my opinion of homework is finding the best way to reinforce my final homework policy.

Positive Reinforcements:

Class Cash: Students are able to earn cash for different reasons to spend at the end of each week on items in the treasure box.  In third grade, students go crazy for this.  The LOOOOOOVE earning as much money as possible to spend.  At the end of the week, if students have all three of their popsicle sticks (explained in “Negative Reinforcements”) then my Part-Time Teacher reads their name off the list and they earn a dollar.  Not only are they getting paid, but they also get the public recognition which is also a huge reward for third graders.

Cooking Class: Once a month, our grade level does a cooking class for third grade.  Students absolutely love this!  They cook anything from pizza to pumpkin pie.  Students are able to earn stickers on the sticker chart through doing all of their homework each week, getting all threes and fours on their General Learner Outcomes, and making 100 percent on their spelling tests.  At the end of the month, stickers are counted and students who have at least eighty percent of stickers for the possibly chances get to attend cooking class that week.  Students who do not achieve this goal have to stay in the classroom and do a less than pleasurable assignment.
  • Negative Reinforcements:

Staying in for Recess: According to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education,  “Recess is not viewed as a reward but as a necessary educational support component for all children. Therefore, students should not be denied recess so they can complete class work or as a means of punishment.”

Unfortunately, this seems to be the most effective way to get students to finish their work and to turn in assignments and many teachers do it anyway, me included.  I stopped once I learned that it was against school policy.  Students are encouraged to get at least twenty minutes of “moderate to vigorous physical activity.”  I absolutely feel that it is necessary for students to get plenty of physical activity, especially younger students.  After realizing that keeping them in was against D.O.E. policy, I started taking away their break time that I give between periods.  These websites explain the Department of Education and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education recess policy and its importance:

Popsicle Sticks: As mentioned earlier, students each have three popsicle sticks in their check-in chart pouch.  For every homework assignment not turned in, students have to pull a stick.  If they have three popsicle sticks at the end of the week, they get paid class cash.

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