Thursday, October 29, 2015

Episode #5 - Role of Homework in Standards-Based Grading


  • Vatterott, C. (2011). Making homework central to learning. Educational Leadership, 69(3), 60-64. Available online with ASCD membership. 
  • Korbey, H. (2013). How to create effective homework. MindShift. Available online.


  1. Emphasis on the tenets was great! Feedback must be timely, accurate, and specific! And thanks for sharing the importance of "independence" - every parent would appreciate that!

    Your examples of useful homework were concrete. Teachers would appreciate those.

    And, as always, Iowa ASCD greatly appreciates your commitment to students and their learning!

    Lou (Executive Director of Iowa ASCD)

  2. How does doing homework increase your "employability"? Correct me if I'm wrong, but one of the only careers out there where homework is required is teaching. We grade and plan outside of our work day hours.

    On the contrary, my wife is a nurse and does NOTHING work related outside of work, ever.

    I do not agree with the Iowa standards "opinion" on employability because it's clearly not a fact.

    Also, if homework is not part of the final grade, how are you finding time to check completion? I find it to be a huge time suck, and one that I am not willing to do. It sacrifices valuable class time.

    To your point, I don't allow re assessment unless they show evidence of practicing the concept on homework problems as well as correct all mistakes and explain them from previous times it was assessed.

    I'd like to see if you have any resources that go into detail of how to make some of these ideas feasible in the classroom.

    1. You bring up some interesting points.

      1. I think homework is viewed in many ways by many people. We have taken the view: understanding that homework is a traditional practice and as we transition away from traditional grading practices transitioning away from homework doesn't happen right away. There are many teachers who view independent practice as an important part of the learning process.

      2. When you talk about standards, every set of standards is an opinion about what students should know and be able to do. In Iowa, we have the 21st Century Skills, found here:

      It doesn't specifically require homework, whether it be completed in school or outside of the school day, does have students work on accountability through following through with work assignments and demonstrate willingness to work overtime. (Which come right from the Iowa standards)

      3. In terms of checking homework completion, when I taught, I would just quickly review the student practice that was given. I would not check the whole thing for correctness, but completion. I would provide the answers for the students to check themselves. (One way to do this, there are many..) Also, my homework was not overly long. In my math classroom, maybe 4-8 problems over the standard. I would not recommend homework for homework sake. It needs to be practice that students can hopefully complete independently.

      4. I really like your reassessment process. I used the same and my teachers do the same now.

      5. We'll provide some more resources in the upcoming days and will share here. Is there anything specific that you are looking for?