Keeping Track of Homework

Organization is probably the thing I struggle with most as a teacher.  My method (or lack thereof) of keeping track of homework is something that I know I need to reorganize this year.

I am happy with my homework policy as a whole, but just need to change the way I keep track of who did or did not complete it.  Here is my homework policy:

I assign homework just about every night in my math classes.  It is worth two points per night.  (I use the point system of grading).  I do not collect the homework or grade it based on correctness.  I grade it based on completion only.  If a student attempts every problem AND shows their work they get 2/2, if they complete about half of it they get 1/2, and if they did not do their homework (or did not show their work) they get 0/2.  I walk around while students work on their “do now” problems and check to see who did it…and that’s where my organization falls apart.

In my old school my math classes were VERY small (they ranged in size from 4 students to 7 students).  At that school, I just kept a list of students who were missing homework assignments.

missing homework assignments list

 

It worked for me in that small setting because I never had more than one or two students not complete their homework on any given night so it took me less than a minute to write the date, student’s name, and missing assignment down.

When I switched schools last year my classes grew considerably…to around 20 students per class.  I learned pretty quickly that in larger classes there are more students who don’t do their homework each night so I didn’t want to take the time to fill out all the info for each student who was missing work as it would take too much time.

So…I ditched my old method and switched to sticking post-it notes in my binder:

missing homework assignments sticky notes

 

I just wrote the date on a sticky note and the initials of all students who were missing homework that day and either 1/2 or 0/2, depending on the grade they earned.  I consulted my sticky notes when I put grades into my computer later, and then threw them out.  This method was definitely quicker than my old one but obviously had some downsides…such as: I didn’t actually write down the assignments the students were missing, just that they were missing an assignment, and the sticky notes would occasionally fall out of my binder.  Bottom line is that it didn’t keep me organized at all.

Soo…this year I am opting to go with the more traditional homework record sheet.  I made one up in Excel. (You can click on the picture below to download the excel file if you are interested)! Click here if you prefer a pdf version of the record sheet.

homework record sheet empty pic

 

I will type in my students’ names once I get my class lists, and across the top I’ll fill in the date and homework assignment each day.  The key is going to be remembering to keep on top of this.  My plan is to fill in the assignment part when I assign the homework the day before so that I don’t need to take too much time to fill out the info when I am checking homework the next day.

I am hoping that it will look like this as I fill it in throughout the year and that I will stay nice and organized (at least as far as homework is concerned this year)!

homework record sheet filled in pic

 

What method have you used that works well for keeping track of missing homework?

Thanks for reading,

Christina

Share Button

Read 16 comments

  1. Thank you for sharing! I hope I stay a little more organized this year with this! I had thought about making homework worth more points but I opted to keep it at 2 points per day and give “do now” problems each class worth 2 points a day, as well. So I give students the opportunity to earn a total of 4 points for each lesson taught.

  2. Thank you for the great resource. For homework, what I’ve been doing is starting off all students with a score of 100 for homework. Their first missing homework is a free one. After that, they record themselves in a binder I keep in the front of my classroom. They list in there the date of their missing homework. It works out well for the most part. I do, however, have to make sure that they are all telling the truth and not pretending to write it in. I think I’m going to try your method this year and see how that works. I hope it’s not too time consuming seeing that I have 36 7th graders and 33 8th graders this year! Good luck with your school year and thanks again, your blog has been so helpful!

    • Thank you so much for the kind words and for sharing what has worked for you in the past! One of my former coworkers did a similar thing with starting with 100 and subtracting 5 points each time homework was not handed in. She ended up switching to something similar to what I do because she didn’t like that students didn’t get a homework grade until the end. We use an online grade book that parents have access to, so with that method there was no way for parents to see that their children were missing assignments until the very end of the marking period. I do like the idea of having students fill out a form when they don’t complete their homework but I agree that it requires a certain level of trust.

      I’m glad you are finding my blog helpful and wish you a wonderful school year, as well!

    • Hi Trina,

      If you download the Excel file (by clicking on the picture of the blank hw tracker) and open it in Excel, you should be able to just type in the slanted boxes. Depending on your computer’s security settings, you may get a message first that says something about trusting files downloaded from the internet. If you get this message, just click “enable editing” and then you should be good to go. Hope that helps!

      Thanks,
      Christina

  3. Hi hello.
    Thank you so much for this useful resource! I was just wondering how do i increase the number of rows without affecting the formatting? I have more students than just 24 so I was wondering how to increase it to perhaps 42? Thank you!

    Barathi

  4. Just brain storming a back-up method to keep track of missing assignments. What if there is a binder at the front of the room and students who did not complete the assignment must go and sign in their name, or fill in the M-for missing under that assignment name and date. This could help them take ownership and improve their accountability. This may help with reporting missing assignments for each student too! Is this Crazy, has anyone ever tried anything like this?

  5. Our school uses an online grading program. I can print up record keeping sheets with the students names. I usually do one sheet for the week. I walk around checking homework. My method is only no work or 1/2 work gets marked on the sheet. I usually don’t input the scores into the online grading program until the end of the week (giving time for late work to get in). I then hole punch the old sheet and place it in a binder with the weekly attendance chart for that class (at the end of the trimester, they all get pulled out of the binder, stapled, and filed). A new record sheet is printed up for the new week. Students and parents have their own accounts to log into the online grading programs. I don’t hide anything – so it is never a surprise if something is missing.

Leave a Reply