Social Studies Homework Update

Hi…below is an email I sent to a parent in regards to a question she had about my Homework policy for 5L Social Studies.  Since we don’t have that class everyday         (boo! :-), this also can apply to 5S as well since I don’t collect assignments until we actually have the subject in class.  This basically sums up my homework policy for Social Studies and in some ways it applies to the other subjects as well.  Anyway, she thought it might help other parents if I posted it and so here it is 🙂   Thanks! 

 

Hi, thanks for the email.

I always collect the homework the next time I see them…sometimes this is inconvenient because we don’t meet that often (I think we meet this Thursday) this quarter (later in the year we’ll try and meet 4 times per cycle).

I prefer not to take things from students earlier because I don’t like it when things trickle in slowly as it’s too easy to misplace and/or there’s always some kind of confusion.  I also don’t like collecting homework from another class during homeroom as it’s pretty disruptive in my opinion.

My expectations are fairly simple.  Hand the work in on time, done in the way that I model in class and you should be just fine.  I always announce numerous times for students to take out their HW before they enter the classroom and once they are all settled.  Then I walk around the room and check off whether each student has their work or not; depending on the nature of the assignment I’ll typically collect it but if I feel they need the work for studying I’ll just put a grade in my book instead.  The majority of the time, though, I’ll collect things.  For those students who were not paying attention to my countless requests for Homework, I also have a bin on my desk where students can submit work at any time.  There are multiple ways to hand in assignments because I’m trying to cover the needs of all students, but in all honesty, if they simply listen to me when I ask for it then handing in work shouldn’t be a problem so long as the student’s name is on it :-).

If work is late I will always accept it up to a certain point; once we hit a Quiz or Test, though, those are the only times I won’t take late work.  My view is that the intention of Homework is that students learn something, that grades are important and of course count, but it also shouldn’t be the primary reason you’re doing the assignment in the first place.  I can say that if (name redacted) or any other student hands in all their Homework, they already have a high likelihood of receiving a grade no lower than a B, depending on other assessments of course.  If they have a high HW grade and a low Assessment grade, for example, I tend to value the Homework grade a bit more than most other teachers do.

I ask the students to properly label their papers, to have, for example, Chapter 1, The Distant Past, pgs. 14-20, preferably on the top line of their paper.  Their name and date in the upper left-hand corner.  Answers to the questions on pg. 20 should be numbered and written in complete sentences (although I’m sure I’ll have to go over this again when I see them for our double period on Thursday).  I assigned students to write 3 notes per purple section (the main idea) so that I can get an idea of what THEY think is important – regardless of the quality of the responses I get back, I will usually have someone write the notes I dictate while I teach on the board (or I’ll do it) just so we are all on the same page for the most part.

I’ve only seen the class twice thus far, the first time we mostly handed out books and talked about politics as it was the focus of our Junior Scholastic magazine.  The second time we started with our first lesson and things went a lot smoother although I did notice a bit of immaturity with some of the students and their reactions to the material.

When it comes to Tests, etc., I ALWAYS give students the notes in advance.  I even read them the questions on the Test during our Review and those who are wise enough to copy down what I’m saying do well while those who choose to daydream or study at home do as well as they earn.  Nothing is done blind, students are always given ample time to study or complete any project I might assign.

So to circle back and hopefully answer your question :-), since I don’t grade things daily (especially once basketball season starts), if you would like me to initial (name redacted)Homework pad after she hands in her assignment maybe that will work?  That way you can see that she indeed handed everything in so you don’t have to use Net Classroom to check her grades.

If you’re worried that she will somehow lose her Homework in between tomorrow and Thursday, I guess I could accommodate by accepting (name redacted) Homework early, but I wouldn’t want that to be a routine for the rest of the class.  Whatever I can do to help you, that’s what I’m here for.

Anyway, that’s the long-winded response…I truly hope I answered your question and if not, I’ll try again next time albeit in a shorter email 🙂

Have a great night!

 

Hope this helps and answer some questions!

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