Checking in Homework....20 minutes I could do without

Checking in homework is something that, if I let it, could take all day.  Seriously.  Going through 30+ homework folders, checking off for completion, dealing with the kids who didn't do all of their work, chasing after kids who forgot to put their folder in the bin or a piece of work in their folder....the whole thing was taking me FOREVER to do, and I was simply just checking it in.  (we do go over homework daily during the designated times of day, which is when the correcting and checking for understanding comes in)  The 20 minutes it was taking me daily to check the homework in was taking away time that I could be working in a small group.  So I had to do change something.

I decided that my Table Captains would be the ones to do this clerical work for me.   Now I will preface by saying that I did do the check in myself for the six weeks of school, until I could fully trust my students to do it themselves.  But once I felt they were ready, about a week of training was all it took.

Each day, my Table Captains enter the room and grab the Homework Checklists.  Since homework is basically the same each day, I have the form premade for them.  They simply write the names of the students sitting at the table on Monday, and then check off the work as the week wears on.    Click here to get a copy of the Homework Checklist I use.  It is a Word Doc, which means you can edit it to suit the homework needs of your own classroom.

To expedite this process, I have all the students enter the room with their homework folders and planners in hand.  They set them on their desks, open the planners to the proper page, and begin their Morning Message.  The Table Captains then walk around their table, checking for completion.  At this point in the year, they actually are really strict with the kids.  They don't let anything slip by!   I am then a second check when we are correcting the homework together.  I can see how much the kids are getting or what they need to be remediated on based on the corrections the kids are making.  

This system has been working well for me (I did this in 4th and 5th, but did a *modified* version in 3rd).  Now that I have some time freed up, I am actually able to meet with a small group for remediation in the morning while the kids are doing their morning work. It is allowing me to get a little more differentiation into the day, and building independent workers in my class.  Win-win for all in my opinion.


30 comments

  1. I want to know what infractions might have occurred and what consequences are the result

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    1. If you mean, what happens if they don't do their homework, well two things. One, my school has a Study Hall that the students go to complete their homework during recess. (they eat their breakfast and complete their work). Secondly, there is a fine of $10 Classroom Economy dollars for 3 missing assignments. My students love their money and do not want to part with it...so the rate of non-completion is really very low. :)

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  2. Trying to think of how I could adapt this for K... You have my wheels turning!!

    PS I'm having a giveaway and would love to have you join!
    Blessings,

    Jessica Stanford
    Mrs. Stanford's Class Blog

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  3. In my classroom, I use a similiar system for homework checks. Our team has one teacher that stays in from recess daily and the students with incomplete homework stay in to complete their homework. They come outside after their homework is complete. It doesn't take too many times of staying in for them to get their homework done at home.

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  4. What a awesome idea! I'm all for a little more responsibility for them and a little extra time for me!

    Laura
    Will Grade For Coffee

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  5. Great idea! Thanks for sharing :)

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  6. I have "Academic Assistants" at each table who do the job, much as your Table Captains do. Rather than just a check mark, though, they write a C for complete, and I (capital i) for incomplete assignments, and a large circle for missing work. I give 3 points for complete work, 2 for incomplete, 0 for missing work, and 1 for work made up later. The average is their "completes homework on time" grade. We don't have an easy system for staying in at recess to do the work, but I'd love to figure one out.

    Can you write more about how your classroom economy works (or point me to where you've discussed it before I found this wonderful blog)? What kinds of things do you "sell" and where do you get them? How does the whole thing work? It seems like a great idea, and I'd love to know how to implement something like it.

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  7. I love this idea and I'm intrigued. Can you explain what the H/W/P means on your check sheet? (I think that's what it says!) How do you choose your Table Captains? I'm assuming your groups stay together long enough that you aren't repicking captains too much. I'd want it to be my most trustworthy kids, not just any person from that table!

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    1. I too am wondering about the H/W/P? Any answer on this yet?

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    2. The Table Captains are chosen every month, so they have a bit of time to work. Also, about the 3rd month into school, all of the kids could do the job. They really do pay attention to how to do the job. (and I am responsible for actually choosing the Table Captains, so I make sure my kids are trustworthy. I did have one student try to cheat it, and the disappointment I showed him/the whole class was enough to never have that happen again)

      As for the HWP...that just means "Homework Pass" So the student who has that by his name used a pass that night for homework.

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  8. This looks like a fantastic system. I like how you "charge" for three missing assignments, too! Definitely pinning for next year!

    Elizabeth

    Fun in Room 4B

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  9. Sounds like a great idea! I always enjoy your blog.

    April @ The Idea Backpack

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  10. I have a classroom job- one of my kids is the Homework Checker for the whole class and checks off if it's been turned in, or draws a circle if it hasn't. That way, if it's turned in late, they can add the check- but I can still see that it was late.

    Thanks for sharing the way you do it! :)

    Jenny
    Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

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  11. You are right-homework checking can take up precious classroom time! :) This past year I just stopped assigning it-I taught 6th grade. 1/3 of the class wasn't doing it, and it was taking up time to check it and go over it. :)

    I love your system that you came up with!

    Shannon
    http://www.irunreadteach.wordpress.com

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  12. I have tried 4 different ways of collecting homework this year alone - and like you I have found it to be extremely time consuming. I really like the idea of table captains doing this. I'm very excited to try it this way next year. I will also be implementing the classroom economy and between the two, I hope to have a great homework year!

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  13. I love this idea! It does eat up a bit of my morning. I am going to have to get over not having control and focus on whats more important. Thanks for the word doc!

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  14. I love this form. Is there anyway to add more lines? I would like to create this document with a list of 20 students. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you!

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    1. Once you've downloaded the document make a copy, just in case.

      To insert lines, place your cursor in one of the rows, right click, choose insert, and then the location (above/below) of where you would like a line added. It will also be asking you if you are wanting to add addition columns.

      Hope that helps.

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  15. thats such a good idea to have students check it... if it werent for my teachers assistant id never check it !! im your newest follower ...drop by =)

    Just Wild About Teaching

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  16. Oh such a great idea! I am pinning this and saving it for later. =)

    Misty
    Think, Wonder, & Teach

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  17. Wow this is a great idea. :)

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  19. Thanks for the fabulous idea! I'm totally training my friends to do this for me next year!!

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  20. I'm really enjoying your blog and the fantastic ideas you're sharing. I can't wait to try the table captains as homework checkers. This will save so much time!

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  21. I love your blog! is there anyway that you can send me this sheet to my email??? its mcoto7@yahoo.com!
    THanks a million!! Love all your ideas!

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  22. HI! Found you through another blog and I agree with this 100%. I usually have 2 homework checkers in my classroom that check in the homework each morning using an excel spreadsheet with all students' names on it, but this would be even faster and easier. Thanks for the idea share. I just started following your blog. If you have time, please pop on over to my new blog. Thanks
    Danielle
    http://scrappyteaching.blogspot.com

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  23. Hyacinth King - FloridaAugust 3, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    I love this idea of table captains A.K.A. Academic Assistant as another teacher calls them. Question. What do you do with late students?

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    1. When a student is late, the table captain quickly gets up and checks the work. It is literally like clockwork in my room, so it goes off without a hitch. It is very quick and undisruptive.

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  24. Love it! thanks for sharing the doc!

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  25. I teach 3rd grade and was wondering what your "modified" version of this system is?

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