Checking Homework

28 Apr

My absolute biggest, most gigantic problem with homework is figuring out the best way to check it.

Here’s the scenario: Students have come in first thing in the morning and I have created them at the door.  Most have sat down and started writing their homework.  The rest are either talking to each other or coming up to me to ask a question or tell a story.  My Part-Time Teacher has come in as her time does not start until ten minutes after the students have arrived.  Once students have written their homework, I call them up to come get their agendas checked.  I do this to ensure they have written down their homework, see if their parents have written any notes, and write any notes to parents if I need to.  I feel it is important for me to be the one to check agendas as I don’t want to miss anything fro ma parent.  In between checking agendas, I am fielding e-mails, taking attendance, entering the lunch count, answering phones calls, collecting money and forms, etc.  After students visit me, they take their homework and R.I.S.E. folders to Ms. Chelsie.  Finally, they either go on the computers or write in their journal until everyone has been checked.

At this point, I have already planned and prepped the day’s lesson.  Once it’s time to move on to math period, Ms. Chelsie gives me the homework from the night before.  Once I get it, I may have half a second to glance at it to assess who got what, but usually I do not.  Our math periods are split into three rotations so I teach the lesson three times.  This guarantees that the student to teacher ratio is optimal.  However, time is very limited.  I have to get started on the first lesson or the third rotation will miss something.  This leaves no time for checking homework or really for reteaching yesterday’s concept.

I have tried several different methods of checking homework once it gets to Ms. Chelsie.

  • PTT Check

For the most part, I have Ms. Chelsie check the homework to see who has completed it.  She records the data on a checklist and then checks the homework for correctness.  She tries to pull students who either missed the lesson or did not get it correct on their homework.  With limited time, she gets to as many a possible, but it’s very hard for her to do.

  • Spot Check

In this method, I may only check homework once per week or whenever I may have time.  This holds students accountable to at least do the homework.  However, due to lack of time, whether they got it correct or not on the days that aren’t checked is unknown.

  • Partner Check

For this method, I have students trade their homework with a partner at the beginning of math.  I work the problems and have the students check or correct their partner’s answers.

Another way this could be done is to put the correct answers up and students can quickly check them that way.

The problem is that students still have a lot of room for error.  Just because I give the answers and the students can see what they have missed, there is still no time to see who missed what and reteach every little thing they missed.

These issues make homework a pesky situation to me.  It makes me feel like I am only giving it, because it’s just what’s always ben done.  I feel like probably it annoys my students and their parents just as much as it does me.  What is it really being used for?  Perhaps it is supposed to be a way to assess where students are on an independent level.  However, if I’m not able to use it effectively by checking and reteaching missed areas, what is it actually good for?

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