Robert Harrell on Homework

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9 thoughts on “Robert Harrell on Homework”

  1. For sake of completeness, there two more “types” (or uses) of homework:
    e. Show your parents what you are doing in language class and impress them with how much you know by reading (translating) a class story for them.
    f. Assessment (i.e. take-home test) so you don’t spend class time doing this. There are various ways to do this. One is to find, copy, and illustrate the Essential Sentences in a story.

  2. I learned about “E” from Susie years ago and it is a great thing. Some kids still forget to bring it, though, even with an extra day. That has been my biggest challenge with homework, many kids just won’t do it.

    1. Which is part of why homework carries zero weight in my gradebook. When I set it up, I weight my categories: Interpersonal receives the greatest weight, Interpretive is next, and Presentational the least. Homework has a category, but its weight is zero. Students who do homework receive recognition, and students who do not do it receive the natural consequence of not doing it – no recognition, slower acquisition, a red box in the online gradebook, and perhaps parental disapproval. In addition, if I need to talk to parents about grades, and there are lots of red boxes, parents can see that their student is not engaged.

      1. This is an important part of the discussion. How much (or little) does it count for? You have it set up like the rest of life: the practice/engagement time does not count for extra points in the game, but it has an impact on the number of regular points and the final outcome.

  3. I’ve absorbed homework (if I ever give it) into Bob’s DEA rules for classroom MGMT. I’ve added “Be Prepared” as a rule, so if students don’t have X, Y, Z for class, they’ve shown up unprepared. This also means I don’t have to create a new assignment in the gradebook since I update the one DEA assignment all quarter long.
    I also make it a point to do something with the homework so the non-doers are left out for a little bit. It’s not masochistic, I just believe in giving useful homework, if ever, and the students benefit from seeing what happens when they don’t do it.

  4. I agree with Robert. My homework is almost exclusively reading in TL. In beginner classes a parent or adult signs off on it and I am assured that parents are aware of what is happening in the classroom. It carries zero weight in their overall mark, but I do use it for the personal/social section on management skills. This is a Consistently, Usually, Sometimes or Rarely designation.

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