homework check in
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What are they:
Homework check-ins are questions designed to provide a layer of support and garner a level of insight into students’ experiences with their homework.
They help create a more constant flow of light touch points between teachers and students, and allow teachers to observe issues with the set homework before the next class, streamlining subsequent lesson plans.
- Understand student progress before following lesson
- Understand how students are coping with homework workload
- Voice issues with comprehension when they occur
- Feel supported all week
Follow up activities:
- Analyze responses to check for general comprehension gaps or individual comprehension gaps
- Address issues with homework tasks at the beginning of class the next day
When students find the assigned homework generally difficult, address the issues at the beginning of the next day, with the whole class.
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Teaching approaches: First lessons
- 1 Teaching approaches: First lessons
- 2 Teaching approaches: checking-homework Challenge
- 3 Teaching approaches: computer assisted language learning
- 4 Teaching approaches: content-based teaching
- 5 Teaching approaches: functional approaches in EFL/ ESOL
- 6 Teaching approaches: task-based learning
- 7 Teaching approaches: the communicative classroom
- 8 Teaching approaches: the grammar-translation method
- 9 Teaching approaches: the negotiated syllabus
- 10 Teaching approaches: total physical response
- 11 Teaching approaches: translation as a language learning tool
- 12 Teaching approaches: using L1 in class
- 13 Teaching approaches: What is "suggestopedia"?
- 14 Teaching approaches: what is audiolingualism?
- 15 Teaching approaches: what is the silent way?
Teaching approaches: checking-homework Challenge
By Jane Sjoberg
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These are just a few ideas of how to make the whole-class correction of homework less of a chore and more of an active challenge. The suggestions given are specifically geared to be used when correcting exercises set from a workbook or worksheet as homework but some ideas may also be used when giving feedback for tasks set in class.
- Give students a chance to compare their answers in pairs. Students can then correct/ change/ complete their own answers before a whole class check. This puts students at the centre of the correction process from the start and asks them to reflect upon their own and each other’s answers with a greater degree of learner autonomy.
- Take names out of a hat at random to nominate the students who are to supply answers (make sure this is done in a ‘fun’ way, explaining to students that they have an opportunity to PASS if their name is called).
- Use a ball or a scrunched up ball of newspaper weighted with a thick rubber band (lightweight balls that don’t bounce are best – bouncy balls have a tendency to get lost in the darkest corners of the classroom) to throw at random around the class to see who gets to give their answer to questions. Whoever gets the ball throws it to the next student. Again, give students an opportunity to pass if necessary.
- Alternate between asking for answers to be volunteered and calling on specific students to answer questions. Where the teacher is unfamiliar with the various ability groups in a class, nominating students can be a nightmare, especially if weaker or less confident learners are inadvertently asked to provide their answer to more complex questions. However, nominating is a way of ensuring the participation of those who are less likely to volunteer. Alternating between volunteers and nominated students solves this problem in part, but nominees should always be given the chance to pass if they prefer.
- To ensure that all students participate in the correction process, pre-prepare a grid that includes the question numbers for the various exercises that are to be corrected. Leave a space next to each question number. At the beginning of the lesson, get students to put their name down to answer the various questions. Tell students that, even if they did not do the homework they can still try to answer a question of their choice but do not force students to put their names down. When all the students who wish to participate have put their names down for at least one question, take the list in and use it to call on the students to answer the questions in turn. This ensures that the students called upon will be answering questions they themselves feel confident about (or else questions for which they would prefer individual feedback). If this process is repeated over several lessons, it also gives the teacher a chance to see whether there are students who repeatedly prefer not to be involved in the homework correction process. These students and their individual problems regarding homework can then be dealt with on a one-to-one basis.
- For fill-in-the-gaps exercises or simple one- or two-word answers present feedback in power point or on an OHP. Go through answers one by one giving time for students to check their own work. At the end of each exercise, stop and give students a chance to query, provide alternatives, or request further information regarding specific answers.
- Ask the class to do a quick survey in groups ranking exercises from the most to least difficult, the most to least interesting, the most to least useful etc.. Use student feedback to decide which exercise to correct together first and then give exercises ranked by the majority as the least interesting/difficult on OHP/power point as above to speed up the correction process. This ensures that students will be more alert during the correction of what they perceived to be the most problematic areas of their homework. Homework ranking tasks also provide important feedback to the teacher who may use the data provided to check on the cause of problems areas at a later date. Students may perceive certain exercises as difficult for different reasons – length, typology, unclear instructions, vocabulary density of exercise, grammatical problems, uninteresting topic etc.. A further analysis of these issues may help the teacher to decide which exercises to set or dedicate more time to in the future. Remember to check your students’ ranking of difficult exercises after correction – what students may have originally perceived as problematic may not actually correspond to their own performance. This again may be something that can be discussed and analyzed further at a later date.
- For teachers in a hurry to get correcting out of the way – simply vary the order in which exercises are corrected. This ensures that students are alert and are following the correction process.
- Get students to check through answers in pairs by photocopying the key (readymade or produced by the teacher) or displaying answers on an OHP. Set aside time at the end of the lesson for individual students to discuss problem areas or organize a tutorial session where students can come and discuss problems individually with the teacher while the group works on another task/project work.
- Change the time of the lesson in which homework is corrected. Most students expect homework corrections to come right at the beginning of a lesson and, let’s face it, it’s not the best or most enjoyable way to start off! Try checking homework as a way of ‘calming down’ after a boisterous group-work session or leave it till the end of the lesson. Incidentally, this also works with setting homework. Try varying the point of the lesson at which homework is set to ensure that all the students are paying attention!
- Take in students’ workbooks occasionally or provide photocopies of exercises that can be handed in. Though this does add to the teacher’s workload, it is worth taking a look at how students deal with more mechanical exercises that differ from extended written work which necessarily requires individual marking and feedback. Taking a look at a workbook can provide an idea of problem areas for individual students, again with a view to diagnosing problem areas in structures/ vocabulary or assessing difficulties that may be based on other factors such as lack of interest in the topic, unclear instructions etc.. It may also allow the teacher to gain insight into how much (or how little) homework an individual student is regularly putting in. Following the teacher’s appraisal of the students’ workbooks individual tutorials may be arranged to discuss issues as appropriate.
- Provide mini keys of individual exercises to distribute to pairs. Students then take it in turns to ‘play the teacher’ and check each other’s answers. Where more than two exercises need checking pairs can exchange keys and repeat the process as many times as necessary. The teacher can circulate and deal with queries as pairs are checking. However, remember to provide an opportunity for the discussion of problem areas at the end of the pair-work session or at the end of the lesson.
- Most workbook exercises that need to be checked are not specifically designed to practise pronunciation. Where pronunciation exercises are set make sure that adequate time is given to teacher modelling and student production of target items. In the majority of cases, i.e. where structures, vocabulary and functions are being practised, vary the correction procedure by taking time out along the way to focus on pronunciation/ intonation issues. Even the most boring feedback sessions can be livened up by a rousing choral repetition session!
- Spot check on lexis by occasionally eliciting synonyms/ antonyms/ similar expressions/ analogous idioms of items taken from the exercises being corrected. This also provides an added opportunity for those who did not do the homework to participate in the correction process and allows those who did not necessarily provide a correct answer in an exercise to regain their confidence in being able to answer extra questions. This technique is also useful for involving more competent or confident students. Spot check questions should therefore be carefully gauged to include the whole ability range. Extra questions can also include pronunciation issues by eliciting word stress, number of syllables, homophones etc. The teacher is obviously free to ask spot check questions at any point during the correction process. However, it may be worth just taking a quick look at the exercises that are to be corrected beforehand so that appropriate extra questions may be devised in advance.
- Using photocopies or an OHP transparency, create a multiple choice answer key for a few exercises where three possible answers to each question are provided, only one of which is correct. Students then compare their own answers with the alternatives given. They then choose the answer that they consider correct (which may or may not correspond with their own original answer). This activity gives students a chance to rethink their own answers before the teacher finally provides the key. It also gives less confident students and those who may not have completed the task an opportunity to take part in the correction process.
- Play the ‘Who wants to be a millionaire?’ game when correcting. In this case, students are placed in two teams. Students from each team are called upon alternately to provide answers to each question. Each team has a set number of ‘ask a friend’, ‘fifty-fifty’ and ‘pass’ cards which they can use at their discretion. (Numbers can be decided on the basis of how many students there are in each team. For a class of 12 students with teams of 6 players each, one card of each type should be ample. The ‘cards’ do not have to be made as such. They may be simply registered on the board for each team and rubbed off as they are used). For ‘ask-a-friend’ a student may ask another member of his/her team to provide the answer. For ‘fifty-fifty’ the teacher gives two alternative answers and the student must choose which he/she considers correct. (This may need some prior preparation, depending on the teacher’s ability to come up with sneaky alternatives!) If the student passes, the answer is given by the teacher and no points are scored. One word of warning – as this game has a strong competitive element, please make sure that an equal number of questions is given to each team and that a variety of exercises is ensured. It is a good idea to split individual exercises into two halves and give teams an equal number of questions each. If an exercise has an odd number of answers, the teacher can simply provide the answer to the first question as an example.
- Finally, be upbeat about homework correction. Camp up the performance if necessary with a round of applause for correct answers. Sound effects for applause can be recorded or included in power point presentations or the students themselves can be encouraged to clap when correct answers are given. With younger students, take care that clapping does not turn to booing wrong answers, however. If this is a risk, you might consider a collective round of applause at the end of each exercise corrected. Also remember that homework feedback which involves student participation may be an intense source of satisfaction when students are able to provide the right answer but it can also be a source of embarrassment for those who are unable to do so. Make sure lots of praise and encouragement is given for answers that are even partly correct and, where possible, give positive feedback for areas that are not necessarily the focus of the exercise (such as good pronunciation in the case of grammatical errors or wrong answers in comprehension exercises).
Remember: students quickly tune in to the mood of their teacher. If the teacher presents homework correction as a valid and interesting part of the learning process it will be infectious and homework corrections need never be boring again!
- British English
- Reference Material
Teaching approaches: computer assisted language learning
Teaching approaches: content-based teaching, teaching approaches: functional approaches in efl/ esol.
Teaching approaches: task-based learning
Teaching approaches: the communicative classroom
Teaching approaches: the grammar-translation method, teaching approaches: the negotiated syllabus, teaching approaches: total physical response, teaching approaches: translation as a language learning tool, teaching approaches: using l1 in class, teaching approaches: what is "suggestopedia", teaching approaches: what is audiolingualism, teaching approaches: what is the silent way, related articles, first steps into …classroom technologies.
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Checking in Homework....20 minutes I could do without
I want to know what infractions might have occurred and what consequences are the result
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. :)
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
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.
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
Great idea! Thanks for sharing :)
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.
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!
I too am wondering about the H/W/P? Any answer on this yet?
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.
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
Sounds like a great idea! I always enjoy your blog. April @ The Idea Backpack
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
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
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!
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!
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!
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.
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
Oh such a great idea! I am pinning this and saving it for later. =) Misty Think, Wonder, & Teach
Wow this is a great idea. :)
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thanks for the fabulous idea! I'm totally training my friends to do this for me next year!!
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!
I love your blog! is there anyway that you can send me this sheet to my email??? its [email protected]! THanks a million!! Love all your ideas!
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
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?
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.
Love it! thanks for sharing the doc!
I teach 3rd grade and was wondering what your "modified" version of this system is?
Please leave a comment! I love to hear what you think about what is posted :)
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How do you check homework?
Discussion in ' Elementary Education ' started by Deeena , Jun 1, 2010 .
Jun 1, 2010
This is my 3rd year teaching and I still am not satisfied with the way I check homework and I'm thinking of changing things for next year (sorry for the long post). I am hoping that people can offer suggestions on ways to check students' homework without wasting a lot of time. I'm not checking for correct answers, just that is was completed. Here was my method earlier in the year: The students arrive at 8:00 and they complete their morning warm-up. During that time I check to make sure that they completed the following: 1. reading log 2. math 3. spelling/and or some other language arts related activity 4. other- anything else that may have been assigned. My problem with this method was that it wasn't until about 8:40 by the time I got started with language arts (this includes checking homework and correcting the morning warm-up.) Also, later that evening when I looked at the work more thoroughly, I would see that students did not always complete the assignment and then I would have to track that student down the next day to re-do. To save time in my morning, I currently collect the homework without going around and checking it. Then, after school I check to make sure it was all turned in. The problem I'm experiencing with this method is that when students do not do the assignment, I have to remember to have them do it at recess the next day. Sometimes I forget... Basically, what I would like to know is... 1. How do you check homework? 2. How do you check in a time effective way? My language arts time is from 8:00-10:00 and I really cannot waste this precious time. I appreciate any suggestions!
In the first 10 minutes of class, the students begin their morning work (daily gram). During that time I do HW check. From the beginning of the year I go over very thoroughly what I expect... I call the names of the students and they answer with either... * "Yes" if they completed all of their homework * "None" if they did none of it * "No Math" if that was the only thing they didn't do This is not a time for explanations or excuses. Its yes, no, or what is missing. Thats it. If they are missing something, they go to the homework room during recess to finish it. As soon as they are done, they can go to recess. If they lie during homework check, its automatically a week of recess and lunch detention. No one lies. We correct HW during that subject (math during math, etc) and I collect it then.
i get my kids to all stand up. sometimes we do a yoga pose and they are completely still and quiet. I look throught the homework papers and call student names when i see their paper and they then sit down. My standing students didn't complete their homework. Works very well when just one thing is due...when it's more than one i get them to move somewhere else in the room while i check the second item (again calling their name when i see their paper, and they move accordingly)
I don't give a lot of written homework, but I check it by doing a quick scan before checking. It's not a perfect system, but I stick with it. I don't collect their homework, just see it at their desk.
I only give homework in one subject most days. I find that a couple things happen with homework- either a kid doesn't get anyone to help him/her and does all the problems wrong, or a parent helps too much. I also find that families are VERY busy and it's difficult for them to take the time needed to do a good job on homework. For this reason, I don't put a lot of stock in homework- don't count it for a grade at all. I take up folders in the morning and sort through them quickly, removing the homework, while students are working on the morning bell ringer. I have the folders numbered and quickly put them in number order before taking out homework- that way I can tell if a student's work is missing. I just scan the page and see if the work is complete. If it's missing or incomplete, I have the student do the work during recess. We "grade" homework together in class sometime after recess. I also don't make long homework assignments. No more than 10 Math problems, usually. If they can't do 1, they can't do the other 49, you know? I honestly think homework has only two purposes: teaching responsibility and getting help from parents when a student is struggling. Anything else is a waste of time. It's not a good indicator of a student's abilities- esp. if parents help too much, and it's not really the best time to practice skills- after school is out and everyone's just ready to home and relax...so I use it to teach responsibility. They know they need to be responsible for their homework- NOT their parents. And, occasionally, I use it to get the parents to see where their children are struggling and offer help.
Jun 2, 2010
msmullenjr said: ↑ I call the names of the students and they answer with either... * "Yes" if they completed all of their homework * "None" if they did none of it * "No Math" if that was the only thing they didn't do This is not a time for explanations or excuses. Its yes, no, or what is missing. Thats it. If they are missing something, they go to the homework room during recess to finish it. As soon as they are done, they can go to recess.[/SIZE][/COLOR][/FONT] Click to expand...
I just finished my second year of teaching and I have decided that I hate homework!! :| Next year I am doing homework packets so I only have to deal with it on Friday. If they don't turn it in on Friday then they go to study hall during fun Friday.
tryin New Member
I agree with Queenie. I collect homework on Fridays. I don't give a grade. I will do a quick scan sometimes to see what was done, but that's about it. Homework to me, is a reinforcement of what has been done in class, but I think after working hard for 7 hours in school, kids deserve some relaxation. I don't want to take my work home with me everyday. If you truly want to check it-how about giving that task to some of your more responsible students. Assign each child a number or letter and have them put that numbe/letterr on homework. Your "homework checker" can just quickly scan the pages and give a check or plus sign or an X or - on a chart. Alternatively, you can set aside 10 minutes each day to quickly have students as a whole group check homework. If they have any answers that are incorrect, just circle them, write the correct answer and then move on to the next problem. back to my soapbox: Now that my daughter is in first grade, I see just how much effort has to go into completing homework. My son never had a problem, but DD is different. It's such an effort with her. I think homework is a form of communication between parent and teacher and child. If the child is struggling to complete the hw, then the parent should be questioning the teacher. Far too often, the homework becomes another assignment/chore for the parent to complete. Most of the students who can complete it independently aren't the ones who really need the extra practice. I think hw is just one of those things parents just expect just like friday spelling tests. I like to give out packets on monday and have them returned on friday. That gives parents more flexibility to work around their evening schedules.
Missy99 said: ↑ This is pretty much my procedure, but I have a log sheet to record whether the students did the homework (this will be part of their "Work Habits" grade). And I don't do the checking -- one of my students checks to see if the homework has been done and records it in the log. We also review the homework during class time. This is the most popular job in my classroom, so all the students do a very good job Click to expand...
About 2 months ago, I started having it as a classroom job to "check in" homework. (I'm in a Christian school, and I also have to listen to memory work during this time.) I have a clipboard, and the helper calls each student over to put their homework in the baskets. They then check it off on a clipboard, and report to me if anyone is missing things. Added bonus--all work stays in ABC order, making it easy for me to note who was absent, etc. The downside is that either they keep things we're going to check in class or I have to hand them back. msmullenjr, I like your system. I might have to do something like that next year...
Wow! Thanks for all of the suggestions. I agree with many of your opinions about homework. I try to give the district suggested amount of 30 min. a night (not including reading log). My school's population has a lot of parents that want homework and lots of it! I've had several this year that have even asked for MORE! I do not give a grade on homework either, however I do make sure to check for completion. As far as students doing things wrong, I always assign review in math. I never give math homework on concepts that we are currently studying. This way, the students get a refresher on previously learned concepts and I don't have to worry about them practicing something wrong at home. I rarely have had students have trouble with the math homework. Msmullnjr- I like your method. It seems quick and simple.
I check all homework that I assign. I edit all of their spelling work as well and conference with those who continue to make the same errors. I make comments on all of their writing assignments. I comment on each of their journal entries as well. My students look forward to reading my comments. I've received many, many wonderful comments from parents over the years because of the way I mark homework assignments. I don't mind the work. I personally feel that if my students take the time to do their assignments then I should take the time to correct them.
janlee said: ↑ I check all homework that I assign. I edit all of their spelling work as well and conference with those who continue to make the same errors. I make comments on all of their writing assignments. I comment on each of their journal entries as well. My students look forward to reading my comments. I've received many, many wonderful comments from parents over the years because of the way I mark homework assignments. I don't mind the work. I personally feel that if my students take the time to do their assignments then I should take the time to correct them. Click to expand...
Jun 3, 2010
msmullenjr said: ↑ I kind of like the idea of having it as a job. I also no NOT give a lot of homework. They are supposed to read 20 minutes per night, but there is no way to prove that. I give Math homework most nights, but like Queenie its minimal, usually odd (out of 16-20 problems). Click to expand...
With a lot of input from this forum, I finally created a homework tracking system that works for me. I use Homeworkopoly (TONS of threads about that on here), so one of my student jobs is Homeworkopoly Helper. That student is responsible for checking homework first thing in the morning after they unpack; all other students are responsible for placing their agendas and all homework assignments on their desks before starting their daily warmups (usually math). I make a point of selecting HHelpers who tend to finish warmups quickly and without difficulty since their job cuts into their independent work time. The HHelper uses a thin binder that is our class homework log. Each page has a spreadsheet-type table that lists all the students on the left side and has blank areas at the top for the names and dates of homework assignments. The HHelper is only allowed to give completion grades (check plus, check, check minus) and I usually brief them on what constitutes a check plus and a check minus - students can skip a problem or two and still get a check (90% credit), and those with check minuses have to revise their work during recess/lunch or take it home to turn in the next day. Any homework that needs a number grade the HHelper collects in the binder and turns in to me. Any students who do not have a homework assignment must write their initials in the homework binder, which I show parents at conferences so they get an idea of how much homework is being completed over time (and they can see exactly when and what was assigned). I like the student initial part because that really holds them accountable and it's VERY easy for me to do a quick visual check and see who is and isn't doing homework regularly. There is so much info is recorded on each page, yet it doesn't take up a lot of room and I keep the sheets all year long.
I like that homeworkopoly thing...I will def. check out for next year. I like the fact that the kids take ownership for their missing work. Thanks for the suggestion!!!
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