One struggle with teaching upper levels is the ease with which we can close our doors. Then, when we are able to get together with other teachers, we tend to talk more about problems than solutions. I am hoping this can be a gathering place for those solutions. Here are some of the things I have been able to gather from your coworkers. They are things that work at KV, not just in a research study. Maybe one of these will also work for you!
Things working at KV
These are things that teachers are doing now that work for them.
*Giving only homework will be addressed in class.
*Making sure students are capable of doing the work.
*Giving short, manageable assignments.
*Fast feedback in class and/or grade book.
Follow up Tools:
*Putting grades in as 0's right away so they see the impact on their grade.
*Regularly (read 2-3 times per week) telling kids to check Skyward "right now" for missing work.
*Regularly giving time for catching up and questions.
*Friendly, persistent and personal "nagging." :) --->
*Mock due dates before big projects (submit __ by today).
*Consistency! (But remember some exceptions are OK.)
*Communicating with parents for repeat offenses.
*Personal detentions (not ZAP or Thursday School.)
*Hand out reminders of missing work that are also passes to come for help.
What does NOT work at KV:
*Referrals do not seem to be as effective as we would like.
*Calling students out in class.
*Waiting until there are many assignments missing.
Talking to kids works!
KV teachers seem to be finding success with student homework through friendly yet stern one-on-one conversations with kids. Asking students face to face where their homework is lets them know that you notice and care! (Of course, calling them out and yelling at them have the opposite effect so be non-confrontational.)
Specific things teachers tell me they do:
* Have a friendly, yet concerned tone. "Hey, no HW today? What's the deal?"
* After collecting work, go to each child who didn't do it and ask why.
* Write passes to SRT or Advisory if they need to make it up, then make sure they show.
*Start small - pick ONE student or a small group to "nag"
Steps to a solution:
1. Identify the problem
a. Why do we give homework?
b. Why do students not do it?
2. Identify Solutions
a. What have we tried? What doesn't work? Why not?
b. What have others tried? How does it work for them?
c. What else could we try?
3. Choose a solution to try
a. Do we all need the same plan?
b. What could go wrong with this strategy? How can we plan for that?
4. Give it a go!
a. How will we know if it worked?
b. How will we share solutions with others?
<<--- 1. By October 19