Homework + Grades = Yes/No

Screen shot 2015-04-06 at 10.42.14 AMDuring one of the #slowmathchat Twitter chats Michael Fenton posed the question, “How (if at all) does homework count towards a student’s overall grade in your class?”.
Amongst the many replies, suggestions, and ideas that educators shared in reply to Fenton’s tweet, I came across a video by Rick Wormeli speaking on how much homework should count.

This video was extremely inspiring, emphasizing how significantly homework completion can affect students’ marks, and not necessarily accurate or for the better. I chose to look into this topic a little further and present to my EMTH class at university. I compiled various resources for and against grading homework, and proposed the question to my peers. Overall, the main ‘for‘ was aimed around attaching responsibility and consequence to complete/incomplete assignments in school. However, many articles I found and conversations I had agreed with the idea that homework is practice, that when the necessary work is put in it will reflect in the final assessment. Lower a student’s grade who shows 90% understanding of the content when assessed simply because they didn’t hand in two homework assignments is essentially grading their behavior and work ethic, not understanding of an outcome.

That being said, I definitely found myself grading homework assignments and keeping track of homework completions in my grade book during my internship. My beliefs on grading homework have definitely changed due to this twitter chat and am extremely thankful for the suggestions other educators contributed to the chat. I love having my teaching philosophy challenged with evidence and reasoning to support students’ learning.

What role does homework play in your classroom?

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