In my last post, I discussed how I was giving an effort grade to pupils on their homework which was not related to their attainment. This allowed me to give the child recognition for the effort they had given the homework, even if they had found it hard and had not achieved well.
I have developed this further now with a different class than I was working with before. I have picked year 7 because they are all at different levels which has allowed me to develop my second section of my homework project.
For year 7, I have begun to only give homework to those who need the practice in that particular area and the sheets are graded on RAGP. This allows me to stretch or support different people at different times. If they are chosen to do the homework, it is worth 2 points as it is a core homework but people can opt into this and it would therefore be worth 4. I have been keeping a track of this on a spreadsheet:
I am also tracking effort on this too and at the end of the year, I will tot up the scores and an average of their effort and the top ranker will win a prize.
I have really noticed an increase in the amount of people who want to "opt" into the homework option as they know it will give them 4 points. It is also giving pupils responsibility for their own learning as they have the option to not do the homework if they so wish. It also allows me to have control of the situation as they cannot get away with doing no homework at all.
The scheme is working well at the moment and I will continue with this group and branch out into other classes and see if it works there.
9AFE completed the tasks on this sheet at home followed by peer assessment then DIT in class. Pupils told me (on average) it took them about 30 minutes to complete tasks at home. It then took about 20 minutes to peer assess and do DIT the following lesson. Total 50 mins. This did, however, leave lesson time for other teaching after assessment.
9BFE completed the tasks on this sheet in class (with minimal support) then peer assessed and completed DIT that lesson. This took the full hour.
Pupils spent slightly longer doing the task in class but DIT was generally quicker as I had intervened a little if pupils were going wrong. The accuracy was slightly worse from 9AFE who had done it at home but then those pupils had ‘taken that risk’ and will probably remember their mistakes more.
The biggest issue I have with homework is it doesn't get completed to a good enough standard. Recently in Maths we have changed how we mark our homework. At the end of every piece we PRAG the work depending on the achievement of the piece and we also give a 3, 2, and 1 depending on how much effort they have put in. A 3 means excellent effort, a 2 means ok effort and a 1 means it is below expected effort. If they get two 1's in a row I email home.
With one of my classes I am trialling peer assessment, this means they peer assess every piece of homework they complete for me. I will then take it in and mark it after this. I am hoping that as a result of the peer assessment the students will want to do a better job to stand out from their peers.
To measure this impact I am going to survey the students and also I will be able to see for myself from the quality of the homework given in.
For my project, I have a few ideas I would like to try and this term I started with the homework tracker. For this, I have taken to giving each piece of homework an effort grade from 0-4 based on my expectations of the pupil:
0 = No effort given at all.
1 = Done but many omissions.
2 = Homework complete but much more effort could have been applied.
3 = Expected standard and effort.
4 = Above the expected standard, above and beyond.
If a homework is given in late it cannot gain more than a 2.
I always tell them what the homework would have got if it was given in on time and one pupil got a 4 but it was a day late and therefore got a 2. They were gutted and vowed never to do a homework late again. We'll wait and see..
These grades are then entered into my personal spreadsheet which is conditional formatted to grade RAGP. An example of this is below:
I explained how this would work to the pupils and I explained that with their BFL I would also send out a homework tracker. It is the first time that every pupil has done their homework on time since I became a teacher, I have tried it with 4 classes and only 2 pupils have given it in late!
I will continue to do this as it has been a real success and at tonight's TLC, Dan gave me a great idea. He likes the idea of the homework tracker and he commented that he is going to use it too but he will give it even more relevancy.
He will do this by linking it to the end of topic test where a good average homework tracker score will get you marks in the test before you even start! This gives pupils an incentive to do well in the homeworks as it can get them "free" marks in the assessment. I am definitely going to do this as well and I will comment on its success next time where I will also have trialled my next idea which will be giving homeworks only to those who need the practice on that particular topic.
Tonight we had some really great discussions on where are projects are going and what we had done so far and we've all been able to steal a few ideas to further our own projects.
We took it in turns to present what we had done so far and the great thing was, we had all made a start and so we had a lot to discuss. The big question for this TLC was whether our projects were actually answering a bigger problem we were experiencing. After each short presentation we asked each other - what is your big question and how will you measure the success?
At first, a few of us had some difficulties in articulating what the exact problems were we were solving but after throwing some ideas around we were all clear on where we were going and where we were going to take our projects next. We were able to link up or develop some of the ideas we had already had to make our current progress even more relevant.
We ended the session by explaining how to use the blogging tool on the website and everyone is going to go away and write something to post and also adjust their proformas by making them more explicit to explain what the problem is they are solving and how they can present this information to show success.
Thanks for all your hard work everyone!
If you have any questions about anything, post them below as a comment and Chloe or I will get back to you as soon as we can!