Friday, March 30, 2012

Keeping Track of Homework

My first year of teaching, I thought a lot about how I wanted to reward students for doing all their homework on a daily basis.  I decided to go with homework passes.  I made a few very cute designs and for every day a student brought all their homework, I gave them a punch on the card.  When the card was full, they could attach the card to any teacher-approved homework assignment for full credit without doing any work.  It was a nice concept, but it wasn't a great motivator for my students.  It took a lot of time to fill up a card (about 15-20 days if I remember correctly) and my students kept losing them and just didn't really seem to care either way if they got a punch or not.  This clearly wasn't working for me, so I set out to find a new system for this year.

After much deliberation, I decided to give Homeworkopoly a try.  I found it on a teacher's site and read up on all the details.  I'm a board game nut, so I figured it might be a fun way to get students interested in getting all their homework back into me each day.  The premise of the game is much like the real Monopoly.  I have two large foam die that students roll each day when they turn in all their homework.  They created little people they made from templates I gave them at the beginning of the year and move their person/creature around the board.  There are special spaces that allow you to customize the game however you see fit, such as 'Mystery Prize,' 'Chance' cards, 'Community Lunchbox' cards, and 'Brain Buster' spaces.

Here's my board in use:
As you can see, our laminator is small so I had to make the board in two pieces.  Overall, I like this method of tracking homework.  The most important thing to me though is that the kids LOVE it.  Whenever we're rushed in the morning and I just have to do a mad dash to pick up homework, it doesn't take long for someone to ask, "Will we ever do Homeworkopoly again?"  They say this after skipping it for one day.  So dramatic! LOL  I think if I ever do it again, I will make it a Friday reward where students get to roll at the end of the week if they turned in all of that week's assignments on time.  It does take about 15-20 minutes to get through all my kiddos in the morning and sometimes I resent having to waste my morning time doing this.

If this sounds like something you'd like to try or read more about, visit this site.  It's got all the downloads you need for the game and everything is very thoroughly explained.  Does anyone else use this?  I'd be interested to hear about your successes and/or failures using this management tool.

Happy teaching!
Rebecca

P.S.  It's officially SPRING BREAK!!!! Yes! :)

3 comments:

  1. I saw this idea and loved it also! I just don't have any available bulletin board space. I have just one and it is my CAFE menu. :(

    Casey

    Second Grade Math Maniac Blog
    Teachers Pay Teachers Store

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  2. Casey,
    Yeah, I planned on just doing it on part of the wall until it dawned on me that I'd actually need something besides concrete to put the pushpins in, lol. You might be able to use those sticky dots if not on a bulletin board though. Thanks for the comment!
    Rebecca

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  3. I LOVE this idea! I am entering my first year of teaching and this is probably something that I will be able to try. Thanks!!

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