Holding Students Accountable for Homework

Today I thought I’d share my new homework policy for next year which I’m pretty excited about!

My homework assignments are worth 2 points each and I grade them only for completion.  While students work on their do now problems on Socrative I walk around and record grades for each student.  In the past I’ve given out 2’s, 1’s, and 0’s.  Next year I decided to get rid of 1’s, so students will get a 2 if they attempted every problem AND showed their work.  If they didn’t do the homework, only did half of it, or didn’t show their work they get a 0.  After students finish their do nows we go over homework answers as a class and then I answer any questions about the homework.  Most of the time I don’t spend more than 10 minutes on this entire process, including the do nows, so that I have 30 minutes for my new lesson.  (You can read about & download my homework grade recording sheet here).

In the past I haven’t accepted late homework because we go over the answers in class so it seemed too easy for a student to ‘borrow’ a classmate’s assignment for their late work.  Next year I decided that I will accept late homework, but it will be a separate (but similar) assignment to the original homework assignment.

So…here’s the part I’m excited about.  I created a ‘Homework Accountability” Google form to hold students more accountable for their work.  While I’m walking around checking for completion, students who get a 0 need to fill out the form, which I will keep a link to in my Google Classroom for easy access.  The form is pretty simple: they will fill out their name, their reason for getting a 0, and either check off that they want to complete a make-up assignment or that they are accepting the 0.  Since all students are on their chromebooks at that time working on their do nows it will not be disruptive to have them fill out the form, nor will it be embarrassing for the student.

Math-in-the-middle.com| Homework Accountability Form

Here’s the link if you want to make a copy of my form and edit it for your own classroom.

At the end of the day I will check responses to the form and email/share make-up assignments with the students who requested them.  All make-up work must be handed in by the unit test day.  I will not accept make-up work after that point since the idea is that completing the homework should help prepare students for the test.

I will give students full credit on the first 2 make-up assignments they complete in a marking period, but they can only earn 1/2 on any additional make-up work they complete, to hopefully discourage students from taking advantage of the system.  While it will require a little bit more work for me to come up with make-up assignments it isn’t a huge deal.  When I write my lesson plans each week I will simply come up with a 2nd homework assignment each night so that I’m prepared.

I am excited to try this out because it gives students a chance to explain their reason for missing an assignment (without wasting class time on excuses), gives them a chance to make up for it, and gives them responsibility as they will not have the opportunity to make up an assignment unless they fill out the form and ask for one.  I also have documentation from the student that can be shared with parents, should a pattern form that needs to be addressed.  (I still plan to record student grades each day on my own record sheets, as well, so I am not relying solely on students filling out the form, but they won’t be able to make it up unless they fill out the form).

(If you missed my post on a free homework poster you can download, listing the requirements for an acceptable homework assignment, you can find it here.)

What are your thoughts on this homework policy?

Thanks for reading,


19 thoughts on “Holding Students Accountable for Homework

    1. Hi! I just edited the post to include a link. (It’s right under the picture). This is my first attempt at sharing a Google Form link so please let me know if it doesn’t work. Thanks! 🙂

  1. I really like the level of accountability this creates. My school has a hard time imparting to students the importance of homework. I think the visual of having to fill out a form will be really helpful. We don’t have laptops, though. Do you think a paper form will work just as well?

    1. Hi Matt,

      I think a paper form could be just as effective. I would probably just carry forms around with me when I was checking for homework completion and put them on the desks of students who didn’t complete the homework. I think it would work just as well as long as you are good about keeping track of paperwork.

  2. I am all for student accountability. Another thing I have done, though, is to stop calling it homework. To get students to see it as necessary preparation, I began calling it “Practice.” A tiny difference that starts to change the mindset a bit.

    1. That’s a great idea. Such a tiny shift in terminology can really make a difference in student motivation.

      Thanks for sharing!

  3. I really like this! I think I’m going to give it a try…the only thing is, it will be another thing for ME to check each day…so it’s still more work for the teacher…I’m just afraid I may stop doing it after a while. But I LOVE the idea and am willing to give it a try! Thanks!

    1. Hi Lisa,

      I agree…it makes me a little nervous to have one more thing to have to do each day but I think it will be worth it which us why I am willing to try it out. I am also thinking/hoping that after a couple of weeks it becomes routine and I don’t have to think about it.

      Thank you for your comment!

      – Christina

  4. I just completed my first year teaching, and I wish I would have had this! It gets crazy keeping up with papers. I can’t wait to test it out for my second year!

    Thanks so much!

    1. I agree…I’m terrible about keeping up with all the paperwork, which is why I’m really looking for ways to streamline as many things as possible for the coming school year. Good luck with your second year!!
      – Christina

  5. I love your idea! I went to a conference this summer and the speaker talked about how a school in Singapore, that he consults for, has the children fill out a form immediately on the computer when they get in trouble. It immediately is sent to his teacher, advisor, and parents. By implementing this program, it forces the student to be accountable and it frees up the teacher from having to fill out a discpline report. Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing your ideas with the rest of us!! : )

  6. Hi Stacy,

    Thank you so much for your comment! That’s a really interesting idea to have students fill out a form when they get in trouble. I’ve actually been doing a lot of brainstorming lately on a new discipline procedure and you just gave me more to think about. :-). I’m planning to write about my discipline policy ideas in an upcoming post.


  7. I love this idea. Thanks for sharing. I am going to implement this in my classes. All students are getting chromebooks this year, so I am looking forward to using your Google Form.

  8. Thank you. I tweaked mine based off yours. Are you still going to use the post it notes or anything? Or are you using the sheet that accompany’s the form? Do you use google classroom at all?

  9. I am still planning to use the homework recording sheet to keep track of students’ grades as I’m not comfortable using this form as my ONLY record of homework completion.

    This will be my first year using Google classroom. It isn’t something I will use every day but I do have some ideas for Google Classroom math assignments. I also plan to keep this form on my “About” page of my classroom for easy access, along with other important sites/information, like my syllabus.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    – Christina

  10. Hey! I’m loving this idea!! Only question is what do you do for the students that are absent the day it’s due.

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