We tweaked her idea a bit to make it work for us but it's still the same concept. On Mondays we send home the Team Homework sheet. It looks like this...
We run it on green paper so it stands out.
The goal of Team Homework is to give students ownership over their work. The students are completing tasks to earn points. They understand that the more points they earn the better the chance that our class will earn the "Magic Number." The students understand that they all need to contribute in order to earn the reward at the end of the week. If our classes' total points equals or is greater to the Magic Number they will earn a reward. The rewards are teacher discretion: extra outside recess, gum, Smart Board game- something fun!
Every week there are "Required Activities." These are the activities that change. They are things every student must do in order to reap the benefits if we meet our Magic Number goal.
There are also "Extra Activities." The extra choices provide for differentiation and choice. Giving students choices in their learning is so important! These activities don't change often (if at all).
Team Homework is due on Fridays. We have the students staple any papers they complete for the activities that week to the back of the Team Homework sheet. They must total up their points at the bottom and have their parents sign it. If this is not done their points do not count for the week.
So you're probably wondering... "What about those students who don't do it?" Well we went back and forth about that as well! We decided if they don't do the required activities they are not eligible for the reward. It wouldn't be fair if some kids just skated along never doing their homework. Last week, I had 3 kids not turn it in... I bet it won't happen this week!
So far we are LOVING this approach and so are our students and parents! We've even had parents rave about it to our principal. [I swear we didn't pay them!]
How do you handle homework?