swim, chem, baseball, I talk with my hands



I am introducing a new policy as it relates to grading homework in all of my classes. While I am loathe to make changes midstream, I think it is important enough to proceed any way. In addition, it has the benefit of providing feedback from students who have experienced something other than this system and can directly compare.

It’s a long shot to hope that students might truly appreciate how thoughtfully teachers approach their craft but that doesn’t make it less true. This decision is borne out of the ongoing dialogue throughout campus in regards to student work load. How much is too much? What is the role of homework? What modifications can be made to a course without sacrificing content or necessary depth? What are the different needs that students have regarding homework?

To that end I am re-introducing a policy that I have implemented over the years, although not recently. I stopped this mainly because the required grade book didn’t allow me to perform the necessary math so I reverted to my traditional approach for the past few years.

Policy Explanation

  • any assignment classified as “homework” will count towards the grade if submitted and receiving full credit
  • any homework that is not submitted is recorded as a “zero” but the score is dropped and does not lower the grade
  • any homework receiving less than full credit will also be recorded and dropped.
  • this does not apply to lab work or lab reports, which are also assigned in a similar manner to homework.
  • this does not change the grading or number of in-class assessments
  • homework typically = book notes, practice problems

Policy Implications

  • for those who don’t need to do homework, this frees time to focus on other aspects of life, as they won’t be wasting time on the homework
  • for those who require the practice their work is valued with points
  • different students will have different total points over the course of the semester
  • any test or quiz will have a different impact on different students
  • no late or resubmitted homework will be accepted as the original score will be dropped.


Look, if a student doesn’t want to do the homework and can score well on tests and quizzes then I salute that, and I don’t wish to waste his/her time. For those that need the homework because they struggle with testing then this is a way to buffer the impact of a test. As a bottom line, it allows students to sleep or relax on their terms, as it relates to schoolwork. A word of caution, by not doing homework it lowers the total points available for a student making the impact of a quiz or test greater than it would.

One comment on “G5HW

  1. Pingback: AP Chemistry – Class 09 | soxteacher

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This entry was posted on 2016-01-22 by in Education, Philosophy and tagged , , .


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