Homework. The word causes me to cringe. Not because I don't want to give it or I think its bad, but because I hate dealing with the students that never turn it in. I don't load my students down with homework, but I do expect them to complete what work has been assigned.
The problem seemed to be even bigger this year than in the past. A few weeks into school my principal suggested we use a 3 strikes and you're out system for homework. Very simple: no homework = strike and 3 strikes = a trip to the office. It was effective, but still there were those students who were getting one strike or even two a week and there still were no "real" consequences for their actions.
Then I ran across Laura Candler's post about Fun Friday. It was a game changer for me. Click on over to read all about how to set it up (there are some freebies too)!
The idea is so simple, she does such a great job explaining how it works, and it fit right in with the strike system we already had in place.
Our Fun Friday policy is one strike and you're out. Harsh I know and I've cringed many times when I marked down a strike for a student who has homework most of the time, but I've been very strict about this policy.
It has been A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! I can't say enough good things about this idea. Since we have started Fun Friday the incidents of missing and incomplete homework have dropped significantly.
Here is the before and after of my strike sheets.
Yes I still have strikes and mostly likely there will always be a few strikes on my list, but look at what a different there is!
I've found that my habitual offenders have really been impacted the most by this idea. One student in particular hardly ever turned in spelling homework, now he has it on time every week!
It has also made a big impression on those students who miss turning in one or two assignments a week, but weren't at the 3 strike mark.
The kids are loving this idea as well. Every Friday I always get the question, "Are we going to have Fun Friday today?" Of course we have been very diligent about having it no matter what (schedule changes, delays, etc.) and it has really paid off for us.
Just a side note - I also count signing Tuesday pockets, report cards, or important notes in my strike system. The first time I did that (in conjunction with Fun Friday) I was amazed because ALL my students returned their Tuesday pocket the next day. Before we implemented this system I was nagging students all week about turning in their pockets.
Do you have any tricks for getting students to turn in homework on time? Have you tried Fun Friday?