Do you grade your homework based on completion or accuracy?
Boy, Zena, this is an issue I've been grappling with a lot over the years. I find that most students do homework very poorly, for a variety of reasons (at my level, because they have so much on their plate, they don't have the time to do it well). Really, you can only really trust the work that you see them do in class.
So I've tried to reduce the number of HW problems I collect to the bare minimum. But I try to make them the more rigorous ones, as all-encompassing of the skills as possible. And I grade them stringently for effort & work (after all, HW is still a place to practice and make mistakes), not right or wrong.
If they do sufficient work, they get a point for each problem. If they don't do relevant work, they get nothing. The point is because I only collect a few, it HAS to be worked on really well. Otherwise, what's the point of doing HW?
I always correct for accuracy, but that may be because I am an ELA teaching and I always assign writing for homework. If I don't grade it, I can't help students to improve it. Although I grade for accuracy, I allow all students to revise any assignment based on my feedback, and I will replace their grade. Although this sounds like a great opportunity, very few students ever take me up on it. As Jeff said above, if they know I won't read it, they may not put in the necessary effort.
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I would think it has to be graded on both accuracy and completion. I have never heard of teachers who say that anything for an answer would be acceptable. Students need to know that they can achieve on their own and have the ability to solve problems correctly. I think you have to reflect on your homework situation to find the best situation for your class. What if you assigned homework in class? What if you gave the students the authority to grade homework? What if you have students develop problems? Can they connect those problems to their daily lives? Are the homework problems engaging? Just something to think about.
You may want to check out Rick Wormelli's work. He talks a lot about grading.
I agree with Eric on this one, I do both. My students think that I am such a nit picker but I need them to learn and their effort is taken seriously. If it's a question of some latitude for mistakes, I also allow them to do some HW over. It's not unusual for for to take home stacks and stacks of papers to grade. And they say grading for math is easy?! Yeah right.
Completion. I've actually heard of people who give the answers when they assign their homework.
Mostly Completion - this includes showing work.. Often I will choose a handful of problems to check for accuracy as well.
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