Teaching in Room 6

Checking in Homework....20 minutes I could do without

check in homework

30 comments

check in homework

I want to know what infractions might have occurred and what consequences are the result

check in homework

If you mean, what happens if they don't do their homework, well two things. One, my school has a Study Hall that the students go to complete their homework during recess. (they eat their breakfast and complete their work). Secondly, there is a fine of $10 Classroom Economy dollars for 3 missing assignments. My students love their money and do not want to part with it...so the rate of non-completion is really very low. :)

check in homework

Trying to think of how I could adapt this for K... You have my wheels turning!! PS I'm having a giveaway and would love to have you join! Blessings, Jessica Stanford Mrs. Stanford's Class Blog

In my classroom, I use a similiar system for homework checks. Our team has one teacher that stays in from recess daily and the students with incomplete homework stay in to complete their homework. They come outside after their homework is complete. It doesn't take too many times of staying in for them to get their homework done at home.

check in homework

What a awesome idea! I'm all for a little more responsibility for them and a little extra time for me! Laura Will Grade For Coffee

Great idea! Thanks for sharing :)

I have "Academic Assistants" at each table who do the job, much as your Table Captains do. Rather than just a check mark, though, they write a C for complete, and I (capital i) for incomplete assignments, and a large circle for missing work. I give 3 points for complete work, 2 for incomplete, 0 for missing work, and 1 for work made up later. The average is their "completes homework on time" grade. We don't have an easy system for staying in at recess to do the work, but I'd love to figure one out. Can you write more about how your classroom economy works (or point me to where you've discussed it before I found this wonderful blog)? What kinds of things do you "sell" and where do you get them? How does the whole thing work? It seems like a great idea, and I'd love to know how to implement something like it.

I love this idea and I'm intrigued. Can you explain what the H/W/P means on your check sheet? (I think that's what it says!) How do you choose your Table Captains? I'm assuming your groups stay together long enough that you aren't repicking captains too much. I'd want it to be my most trustworthy kids, not just any person from that table!

check in homework

I too am wondering about the H/W/P? Any answer on this yet?

The Table Captains are chosen every month, so they have a bit of time to work. Also, about the 3rd month into school, all of the kids could do the job. They really do pay attention to how to do the job. (and I am responsible for actually choosing the Table Captains, so I make sure my kids are trustworthy. I did have one student try to cheat it, and the disappointment I showed him/the whole class was enough to never have that happen again) As for the HWP...that just means "Homework Pass" So the student who has that by his name used a pass that night for homework.

check in homework

This looks like a fantastic system. I like how you "charge" for three missing assignments, too! Definitely pinning for next year! Elizabeth Fun in Room 4B

check in homework

Sounds like a great idea! I always enjoy your blog. April @ The Idea Backpack

check in homework

I have a classroom job- one of my kids is the Homework Checker for the whole class and checks off if it's been turned in, or draws a circle if it hasn't. That way, if it's turned in late, they can add the check- but I can still see that it was late. Thanks for sharing the way you do it! :) Jenny Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

check in homework

You are right-homework checking can take up precious classroom time! :) This past year I just stopped assigning it-I taught 6th grade. 1/3 of the class wasn't doing it, and it was taking up time to check it and go over it. :) I love your system that you came up with! Shannon http://www.irunreadteach.wordpress.com

I have tried 4 different ways of collecting homework this year alone - and like you I have found it to be extremely time consuming. I really like the idea of table captains doing this. I'm very excited to try it this way next year. I will also be implementing the classroom economy and between the two, I hope to have a great homework year!

I love this idea! It does eat up a bit of my morning. I am going to have to get over not having control and focus on whats more important. Thanks for the word doc!

I love this form. Is there anyway to add more lines? I would like to create this document with a list of 20 students. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you!

Once you've downloaded the document make a copy, just in case. To insert lines, place your cursor in one of the rows, right click, choose insert, and then the location (above/below) of where you would like a line added. It will also be asking you if you are wanting to add addition columns. Hope that helps.

check in homework

thats such a good idea to have students check it... if it werent for my teachers assistant id never check it !! im your newest follower ...drop by =) Just Wild About Teaching

Oh such a great idea! I am pinning this and saving it for later. =) Misty Think, Wonder, & Teach

Wow this is a great idea. :)

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Thanks for the fabulous idea! I'm totally training my friends to do this for me next year!!

I'm really enjoying your blog and the fantastic ideas you're sharing. I can't wait to try the table captains as homework checkers. This will save so much time!

I love your blog! is there anyway that you can send me this sheet to my email??? its [email protected]! THanks a million!! Love all your ideas!

HI! Found you through another blog and I agree with this 100%. I usually have 2 homework checkers in my classroom that check in the homework each morning using an excel spreadsheet with all students' names on it, but this would be even faster and easier. Thanks for the idea share. I just started following your blog. If you have time, please pop on over to my new blog. Thanks Danielle http://scrappyteaching.blogspot.com

I love this idea of table captains A.K.A. Academic Assistant as another teacher calls them. Question. What do you do with late students?

When a student is late, the table captain quickly gets up and checks the work. It is literally like clockwork in my room, so it goes off without a hitch. It is very quick and undisruptive.

check in homework

Love it! thanks for sharing the doc!

check in homework

I teach 3rd grade and was wondering what your "modified" version of this system is?

Please leave a comment! I love to hear what you think about what is posted :)

Welcome to Room 6!

I am so glad to have you along with me for this teaching journey we are both on.

This newsletter will always be full of tried and true, classroom tested ideas that will

work for YOU! Let's learn and grow together.

Smart Classroom Management

A Simple, Effective Homework Plan For Teachers: Part 1

So for the next two weeks I’m going to outline a homework plan–four strategies this week, four the next–aimed at making homework a simple yet effective process.

Let’s get started.

Homework Strategies 1-4

The key to homework success is to eliminate all the obstacles—and excuses—that get in the way of students getting it done.

Add leverage and some delicately placed peer pressure to the mix, and not getting homework back from every student will be a rare occurrence.

Here is how to do it.

1. Assign what students already know.

Most teachers struggle with homework because they misunderstand the narrow purpose of homework, which is to practice what has already been learned. Meaning, you should only assign homework your students fully understand and are able to do by themselves.

Therefore, the skills needed to complete the evening’s homework must be thoroughly taught during the school day. If your students can’t prove to you that they’re able to do the work without assistance, then you shouldn’t assign it.

It isn’t fair to your students—or their parents—to have to sit at the dinner table trying to figure out what you should have taught them during the day.

2. Don’t involve parents.

Homework is an agreement between you and your students. Parents shouldn’t be involved. If parents want to sit with their child while he or she does the homework, great. But it shouldn’t be an expectation or a requirement of them. Otherwise, you hand students a ready-made excuse for not doing it.

You should tell parents at back-to-school night, “I got it covered. If ever your child doesn’t understand the homework, it’s on me. Just send me a note and I’ll take care of it.”

Holding yourself accountable is not only a reminder that your lessons need to be spot on, but parents will love you for it and be more likely to make sure homework gets done every night. And for negligent parents? It’s best for their children in particular to make homework a teacher/student-only agreement.

3. Review and then ask one important question.

Set aside a few minutes before the end of the school day to review the assigned homework. Have your students pull out the work, allow them to ask final clarifying questions, and have them check to make sure they have the materials they need.

And then ask one important question: “Is there anyone, for any reason, who will not be able to turn in their homework in the morning? I want to know now rather than find out about it in the morning.”

There are two reasons for this question.

First, the more leverage you have with students, and the more they admire and respect you , the more they’ll hate disappointing you. This alone can be a powerful incentive for students to complete homework.

Second, it’s important to eliminate every excuse so that the only answer students can give for not doing it is that they just didn’t care. This sets up the confrontation strategy you’ll be using the next morning.

4. Confront students on the spot.

One of your key routines should be entering the classroom in the morning.

As part of this routine, ask your students to place their homework in the top left-hand (or right-hand) corner of their desk before beginning a daily independent assignment—reading, bellwork , whatever it may be.

During the next five to ten minutes, walk around the room and check homework–don’t collect it. Have a copy of the answers (if applicable) with you and glance at every assignment.

You don’t have to check every answer or read every portion of the assignment. Just enough to know that it was completed as expected. If it’s math, I like to pick out three or four problems that represent the main thrust of the lesson from the day before.

It should take just seconds to check most students.

Remember, homework is the practice of something they already know how to do. Therefore, you shouldn’t find more than a small percentage of wrong answers–if any. If you see more than this, then you know your lesson was less than effective, and you’ll have to reteach

If you find an assignment that is incomplete or not completed at all, confront that student on the spot .

Call them on it.

The day before, you presented a first-class lesson and gave your students every opportunity to buzz through their homework confidently that evening. You did your part, but they didn’t do theirs. It’s an affront to the excellence you strive for as a class, and you deserve an explanation.

It doesn’t matter what he or she says in response to your pointed questions, and there is no reason to humiliate or give the student the third degree. What is important is that you make your students accountable to you, to themselves, and to their classmates.

A gentle explanation of why they don’t have their homework is a strong motivator for even the most jaded students to get their homework completed.

The personal leverage you carry–that critical trusting rapport you have with your students–combined with the always lurking peer pressure is a powerful force. Not using it is like teaching with your hands tied behind your back.

Homework Strategies 5-8

Next week we’ll cover the final four homework strategies . They’re critical to getting homework back every day in a way that is painless for you and meaningful for your students.

I hope you’ll tune in.

If you haven’t done so already, please join us. It’s free! Click here and begin receiving classroom management articles like this one in your email box every week.

What to read next:

  • A Powerful Way To Relieve Stress: Part One
  • The Best Time To Review Your Classroom Management Plan
  • Why Your New Classroom Management Plan Isn't Working
  • A Simple Exercise Program For Teachers
  • How To Make A Warning Most Effective

20 thoughts on “A Simple, Effective Homework Plan For Teachers: Part 1”

Good stuff, Michael. A lot of teachers I train and coach are surprised (and skeptical) at first when I make the same point you make about NOT involving parents. But it’s right on based on my experience as a teacher, instructional coach, and administrator the past 17 years. More important, it’s validated by Martin Haberman’s 40 years of research on what separates “star” teachers from “quitter/failure” teachers ( http://www.habermanfoundation.org/Book.aspx?sm=c1 )

I love the articles about “homework”. in the past I feel that it is difficuty for collecting homework. I will try your plan next year.

I think you’ll be happy with it, Sendy!

How do you confront students who do not have their homework completed?

You state in your book to let consequences do their job and to never confront students, only tell them the rule broken and consequence.

I want to make sure I do not go against that rule, but also hold students accountable for not completing their work. What should I say to them?

They are two different things. Homework is not part of your classroom management plan.

Hi Michael,

I’m a first-year middle school teacher at a private school with very small class sizes (eight to fourteen students per class). While I love this homework policy, I feel discouraged about confronting middle schoolers publicly regarding incomplete homework. My motive would never be to humiliate my students, yet I can name a few who would go home thinking their lives were over if I did confront them in front of their peers. Do you have any ideas of how to best go about incomplete homework confrontation with middle school students?

The idea isn’t in any way to humiliate students, but to hold them accountable for doing their homework. Parts one and two represent my best recommendation.:)

I believe that Homework is a vital part of students learning.

I’m still a student–in a classroom management class. So I have no experience with this, but I’m having to plan a procedure for my class. What about teacher sitting at desk and calling student one at a time to bring folder while everyone is doing bellwork or whatever their procedure is? That way 1) it would be a long walk for the ones who didn’t do the work :), and 2) it would be more private. What are your thoughts on that? Thanks. 🙂

I’m not sure I understand your question. Would you mind emailing me with more detail? I’m happy to help.

I think what you talked about is great. How do you feel about flipping a lesson? My school is pretty big on it, though I haven’t done it yet. Basically, for homework, the teacher assigns a video or some other kind of media of brand new instruction. Students teach themselves and take a mini quiz at the end to show they understand the new topic. Then the next day in the classroom, the teacher reinforces the lesson and the class period is spent practicing with the teacher present for clarification. I haven’t tried it yet because as a first year teacher I haven’t had enough time to make or find instructional videos and quizzes, and because I’m afraid half of my students will not do their homework and the next day in class I will have to waste the time of the students who did their homework and just reteach what the video taught.

Anyway, this year, I’m trying the “Oops, I forgot my homework” form for students to fill out every time they forget their homework. It keeps them accountable and helps me keep better track of who is missing what. Once they complete it, I cut off the bottom portion of the form and staple it to their assignment. I keep the top copy for my records and for parent/teacher conferences.

Here is an instant digital download of the form. It’s editable in case you need different fields.

Thanks again for your blog. I love the balance you strike between rapport and respect.

Your site is a godsend for a newbie teacher! Thank you for your clear, step-by-step, approach!

I G+ your articles to my PLN all the time.

You’re welcome, TeachNich! And thank you for sharing the articles.

Hi Michael, I’m going into my first year and some people have told me to try and get parents involved as much as I can – even home visits and things like that. But my gut says that negligent parents cannot be influenced by me. Still, do you see any value in having parents initial their student’s planner every night so they stay up to date on homework assignments? I could also write them notes.

Personally, no. I’ll write about this in the future, but when you hold parents accountable for what are student responsibilities, you lighten their load and miss an opportunity to improve independence.

I am teaching at a school where students constantly don’t take work home. I rarely give homework in math but when I do it is usually something small and I still have to chase at least 7 kids down to get their homework. My way of holding them accountable is to record a homework completion grade as part of their overall grade. Is this wrong to do? Do you believe homework should never be graded for a grade and just be for practice?

No, I think marking a completion grade is a good idea.

I’ve been teaching since 2014 and we need to take special care when assigning homework. If the homework assignment is too hard, is perceived as busy work, or takes too long to complete, students might tune out and resist doing it. Never send home any assignment that students cannot do. Homework should be an extension of what students have learned in class. To ensure that homework is clear and appropriate, consider the following tips for assigning homework:

Assign homework in small units. Explain the assignment clearly. Establish a routine at the beginning of the year for how homework will be assigned. Remind students of due dates periodically. And Make sure students and parents have information regarding the policy on missed and late assignments, extra credit, and available adaptations. Establish a set routine at the beginning of the year.

Thanks Nancie L Beckett

Dear Michael,

I love your approach! Do you have any ideas for homework collection for lower grades? K-3 are not so ready for independent work first thing in the morning, so I do not necessarily have time to check then; but it is vitally important to me to teach the integrity of completing work on time.

Also, I used to want parents involved in homework but my thinking has really changed, and your comments confirm it!

Hi Meredith,

I’ll be sure and write about this topic in an upcoming article (or work it into an article). 🙂

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, the 5 best homework help websites (free and paid).

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Other High School , General Education

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Listen: we know homework isn’t fun, but it is a good way to reinforce the ideas and concepts you’ve learned in class. But what if you’re really struggling with your homework assignments? 

If you’ve looked online for a little extra help with your take-home assignments, you’ve probably stumbled across websites claiming to provide the homework help and answers students need to succeed . But can homework help sites really make a difference? And if so, which are the best homework help websites you can use? 

Below, we answer these questions and more about homework help websites–free and paid. We’ll go over: 

  • The basics of homework help websites 
  • The cost of homework help websites 
  • The five best homework websites out there 
  • The pros and cons of using these websites for homework help 
  • The line between “learning” and “cheating” when using online homework help 
  • Tips for getting the most out of a homework help website

So let’s get started! 

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The Basics About Homework Help Websites–Free and Paid

Homework help websites are designed to help you complete your homework assignments, plain and simple. 

What Makes a Homework Help Site Worth Using

Most of the best sites allow users to ask questions and then provide an answer (or multiple possible answers) and explanation in seconds. In some instances, you can even send a photo of a particular assignment or problem instead of typing the whole thing out! 

Homework help sites also offer more than just help answering homework questions. Common services provided are Q&A with experts, educational videos, lectures, practice tests and quizzes, learning modules, math solving tools, and proofreading help. Homework help sites can also provide textbook solutions (i.e. answers to problems in tons of different textbooks your school might be using), one-on-one tutoring, and peer-to-peer platforms that allow you to discuss subjects you’re learning about with your fellow students. 

And best of all, nearly all of them offer their services 24/7, including tutoring! 

What You Should Should Look Out For

When it comes to homework help, there are lots–and we mean lots –of scam sites out there willing to prey on desperate students. Before you sign up for any service, make sure you read reviews to ensure you’re working with a legitimate company. 

A word to the wise: the more a company advertises help that veers into the territory of cheating, the more likely it is to be a scam. The best homework help websites are going to help you learn the concepts you’ll need to successfully complete your homework on your own. (We’ll go over the difference between “homework help” and “cheating” a little later!) 

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You don't need a golden piggy bank to use homework help websites. Some provide low or no cost help for students like you!

How Expensive Are the Best Homework Help Websites?

First of all, just because a homework help site costs money doesn’t mean it’s a good service. Likewise, just because a homework help website is free doesn’t mean the help isn’t high quality. To find the best websites, you have to take a close look at the quality and types of information they provide! 

When it comes to paid homework help services, the prices vary pretty widely depending on the amount of services you want to subscribe to. Subscriptions can cost anywhere from $2 to $150 dollars per month, with the most expensive services offering several hours of one-on-one tutoring with a subject expert per month.

The 5 Best Homework Help Websites 

So, what is the best homework help website you can use? The answer is that it depends on what you need help with. 

The best homework help websites are the ones that are reliable and help you learn the material. They don’t just provide answers to homework questions–they actually help you learn the material. 

That’s why we’ve broken down our favorite websites into categories based on who they’re best for . For instance, the best website for people struggling with math might not work for someone who needs a little extra help with science, and vice versa. 

Keep reading to find the best homework help website for you! 

Best Free Homework Help Site: Khan Academy

  • Price: Free!
  • Best for: Practicing tough material 

Not only is Khan Academy free, but it’s full of information and can be personalized to suit your needs. When you set up your account , you choose which courses you need to study, and Khan Academy sets up a personal dashboard of instructional videos, practice exercises, and quizzes –with both correct and incorrect answer explanations–so you can learn at your own pace. 

As an added bonus, it covers more course topics than many other homework help sites, including several AP classes.

Runner Up: Brainly.com offers a free service that allows you to type in questions and get answers and explanations from experts. The downside is that you’re limited to two answers per question and have to watch ads. 

Best Paid Homework Help Site: Chegg

  • Price: $14.95 to $19.95 per month
  • Best for: 24/7 homework assistance  

This service has three main parts . The first is Chegg Study, which includes textbook solutions, Q&A with subject experts, flashcards, video explanations, a math solver, and writing help. The resources are thorough, and reviewers state that Chegg answers homework questions quickly and accurately no matter when you submit them.  

Chegg also offers textbook rentals for students who need access to textbooks outside of their classroom. Finally, Chegg offers Internship and Career Advice for students who are preparing to graduate and may need a little extra help with the transition out of high school. 

Another great feature Chegg provides is a selection of free articles geared towards helping with general life skills, like coping with stress and saving money. Chegg’s learning modules are comprehensive, and they feature solutions to the problems in tons of different textbooks in a wide variety of subjects. 

Runner Up: Bartleby offers basically the same services as Chegg for $14.99 per month. The reason it didn’t rank as the best is based on customer reviews that say user questions aren’t answered quite as quickly on this site as on Chegg. Otherwise, this is also a solid choice!

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Best Site for Math Homework Help: Photomath

  • Price: Free (or $59.99 per year for premium services) 
  • Best for: Explaining solutions to math problems

This site allows you to t ake a picture of a math problem, and instantly pulls up a step-by-step solution, as well as a detailed explanation of the concept. Photomath also includes animated videos that break down mathematical concepts to help you better understand and remember them. 

The basic service is free, but for an additional fee you can get extra study tools and learn additional strategies for solving common math problems.

Runner Up: KhanAcademy offers in-depth tutorials that cover complex math topics for free, but you won’t get the same tailored help (and answers!) that Photomath offers. 

Best Site for English Homework Help: Princeton Review Academic Tutoring

  • Price: $40 to $153 per month, depending on how many hours of tutoring you want 
  • Best for: Comprehensive and personalized reading and writing help 

While sites like Grammarly and Sparknotes help you by either proofreading what you write via an algorithm or providing book summaries, Princeton Review’s tutors provide in-depth help with vocabulary, literature, essay writing and development, proofreading, and reading comprehension. And unlike other services, you’ll have the chance to work with a real person to get help. 

The best part is that you can get on-demand English (and ESL) tutoring from experts 24/7. That means you can get help whenever you need it, even if you’re pulling an all-nighter! 

This is by far the most expensive homework site on this list, so you’ll need to really think about what you need out of a homework help website before you commit. One added benefit is that the subscription covers over 80 other subjects, including AP classes, which can make it a good value if you need lots of help!  

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Best Site for STEM Homework Help: Studypool

  • Best for: Science homework help
  • Price: Varies; you’ll pay for each question you submit

When it comes to science homework help, there aren’t a ton of great resources out there. The best of the bunch is Studypool, and while it has great reviews, there are some downsides as well. 

Let’s start with the good stuff. Studypool offers an interesting twist on the homework help formula. After you create a free account, you can submit your homework help questions, and tutors will submit bids to answer your questions. You’ll be able to select the tutor–and price point–that works for you, then you’ll pay to have your homework question answered. You can also pay a small fee to access notes, lectures, and other documents that top tutors have uploaded. 

The downside to Studypool is that the pricing is not transparent . There’s no way to plan for how much your homework help will cost, especially if you have lots of questions! Additionally, it’s not clear how tutors are selected, so you’ll need to be cautious when you choose who you’d like to answer your homework questions.  

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What Are the Pros and Cons of Using Homework Help Sites?

Homework help websites can be a great resource if you’re struggling in a subject, or even if you just want to make sure that you’re really learning and understanding topics and ideas that you’re interested in. But, there are some possible drawbacks if you don’t use these sites responsibly. 

We’ll go over the good–and the not-so-good–aspects of getting online homework help below. 

3 Pros of Using Homework Help Websites 

First, let’s take a look at the benefits. 

#1: Better Grades Beyond Homework

This is a big one! Getting outside help with your studies can improve your understanding of concepts that you’re learning, which translates into better grades when you take tests or write essays. 

Remember: homework is designed to help reinforce the concepts you learned in class. If you just get easy answers without learning the material behind the problems, you may not have the tools you need to be successful on your class exams…or even standardized tests you’ll need to take for college. 

#2: Convenience

One of the main reasons that online homework help is appealing is because it’s flexible and convenient. You don’t have to go to a specific tutoring center while they’re open or stay after school to speak with your teacher. Instead, you can access helpful resources wherever you can access the internet, whenever you need them.

This is especially true if you tend to study at off hours because of your extracurriculars, work schedule, or family obligations. Sites that offer 24/7 tutoring can give you the extra help you need if you can’t access the free resources that are available at your school. 

#3: Variety

Not everyone learns the same way. Maybe you’re more of a visual learner, but your teacher mostly does lectures. Or maybe you learn best by listening and taking notes, but you’re expected to learn something just from reading the textbook . 

One of the best things about online homework help is that it comes in a variety of forms. The best homework help sites offer resources for all types of learners, including videos, practice activities, and even one-on-one discussions with real-life experts. 

This variety can also be a good thing if you just don’t really resonate with the way a concept is being explained (looking at you, math textbooks!).

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Not so fast. There are cons to homework help websites, too. Get to know them below!

3 Cons of Using Homework Help Websites 

Now, let’s take a look at the drawbacks of online homework help. 

#1: Unreliable Info

This can be a real problem. In addition to all the really good homework help sites, there are a whole lot of disreputable or unreliable sites out there. The fact of the matter is that some homework help sites don’t necessarily hire people who are experts in the subjects they’re talking about. In those cases, you may not be getting the accurate, up-to-date, and thorough information you need.

Additionally, even the great sites may not be able to answer all of your homework questions. This is especially true if the site uses an algorithm or chatbot to help students…or if you’re enrolled in an advanced or college-level course. In these cases, working with your teacher or school-provided tutors are probably your best option. 

#2: No Clarification

This depends on the service you use, of course. But the majority of them provide free or low-cost help through pre-recorded videos. Watching videos or reading info online can definitely help you with your homework… but you can’t ask questions or get immediate feedback if you need it .

#3: Potential For Scamming 

Like we mentioned earlier, there are a lot of homework help websites out there, and lots of them are scams. The review comments we read covered everything from outdated or wrong information, to misleading claims about the help provided, to not allowing people to cancel their service after signing up. 

No matter which site you choose to use, make sure you research and read reviews before you sign up–especially if it’s a paid service! 

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When Does “Help” Become “Cheating”?

Admittedly, whether using homework help websites constitutes cheating is a bit of a grey area. For instance, is it “help” when a friend reads your essay for history class and corrects your grammar, or is it “cheating”? The truth is, not everyone agrees on when “help” crosses the line into “cheating .” When in doubt, it can be a good idea to check with your teacher to see what they think about a particular type of help you want to get. 

That said, a general rule of thumb to keep in mind is to make sure that the assignment you turn in for credit is authentically yours . It needs to demonstrate your own thoughts and your own current abilities. Remember: the point of every homework assignment is to 1) help you learn something, and 2) show what you’ve learned. 

So if a service answers questions or writes essays for you, there’s a good chance using it constitutes cheating. 

Here’s an example that might help clarify the difference for you. Brainstorming essay ideas with others or looking online for inspiration is “help” as long as you write the essay yourself. Having someone read it and give you feedback about what you need to change is also help, provided you’re the one that makes the changes later. 

But copying all or part of an essay you find online or having someone write (or rewrite) the whole thing for you would be “cheating.” The same is true for other subjects. Ultimately, if you’re not generating your own work or your own answers, it’s probably cheating.

body-info-tip

5 Tips for Finding the Best Homework Help Websites for You

Now that you know some of our favorite homework help websites, free and paid, you can start doing some additional research on your own to decide which services might work best for you! Here are some top tips for choosing a homework help website. 

Tip 1: Decide How You Learn Best 

Before you decide which site or sites you’re going to use for homework help, y ou should figure out what kind of learning style works for you the most. Are you a visual learner? Then choose a site that uses lots of videos to help explain concepts. If you know you learn best by actually doing tasks, choose a site that provides lots of practice exercises.

Tip 2: Determine Which Subjects You Need Help With

Just because a homework help site is good overall doesn’t mean that it’s equally good for every subject. If you only need help in math, choose a site that specializes in that area. But if history is where you’re struggling, a site that specializes in math won’t be much help. So make sure to choose a site that you know provides high-quality help in the areas you need it most. 

Tip 3: Decide How Much One-On-One Help You Need 

This is really about cost-effectiveness. If you learn well on your own by reading and watching videos, a free site like Khan Academy is a good choice. But if you need actual tutoring, or to be able to ask questions and get personalized answers from experts, a paid site that provides that kind of service may be a better option.

Tip 4: Set a Budget 

If you decide you want to go with a paid homework help website, set a budget first . The prices for sites vary wildly, and the cost to use them can add up quick. 

Tip 5: Read the Reviews

Finally, it’s always a good idea to read actual reviews written by the people using these homework sites. You’ll learn the good, the bad, and the ugly of what the users’ experiences have been. This is especially true if you intend to subscribe to a paid service. You’ll want to make sure that users think it’s worth the price overall!

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What’s Next?

If you want to get good grades on your homework, it’s a good idea to learn how to tackle it strategically. Our expert tips will help you get the most out of each assignment…and boost your grades in the process. 

Doing well on homework assignments is just one part of getting good grades. We’ll teach you everything you need to know about getting great grades in high school in this article. 

Of course, test grades can make or break your GPA, too. Here are 17 expert tips that’ll help you get the most out of your study prep before you take an exam. 

Need more help? Check out Tutorbase!

Our vetted tutor database includes a range of experienced educators who can help you polish an essay for English or explain how derivatives work for Calculus. You can use dozens of filters and search criteria to find the perfect person for your needs.

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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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Collecting Homework in the Classroom

Tips and Ideas for Collecting Homework

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The purpose of homework is to help reinforce what was taught in class or to have students gather extra information beyond what was demonstrated in class.

Homework is one part of daily classroom management that can cause many teachers problems. Homework must be assigned, collected, reviewed and assessed. That amount of work means homework must be designed to serve an academic purpose, otherwise, the results may be a great waste of student and instructor time.

Here are a few tips and ideas that can help you create an effective method for collecting homework every day.

Physical Homework

New teachers find out very quickly that day-to-day instruction is made much more effective when there are organized daily housekeeping routines. In developing these routines, if there is homework to collect, the best time to collect it for use in instruction is at the beginning of the period.

Methods you can use to accomplish this include:

  • Station yourself at the door as students walk into your room. Students are required to hand you their homework. This greatly reduces the time it takes to complete this task because it is mostly finished before the bell even rings.
  • Have a designated homework box. Explain to students how they are to turn in their homework each day. To keep track, you might remove the homework box after the bell rings and class begins. Anyone who does not get it in the box will have their homework be marked late. Many teachers find it a good idea to give students a three to a five-minute window after the bell rings to avoid possible confrontations and to keep things fair.

Digital Homework

If the technology is available, in school and at home, teachers may prefer to give a digital homework assignment. They may use a course platform like Google Classroom, Moodle, Schoology, or Edmodo.

Students may be asked to complete homework individually or collaboratively. In this cases, the homework will be time-stamped or a digital student is associated with the work. You may use that time stamp to show the homework has been completed on time.

Digital homework may include programs that provide immediate feedback, which will make assessing much easier. On some of these platforms, there may be an opportunity for a student to repeat an assignment. Digital platforms allow teachers to keep an assignment inventory or student portfolios to note student academic growth.

You may choose to use a “flipped classroom” model. In this model, the instruction is assigned as the homework in advance of class, while the hands-on practice takes place in the classroom. The central idea with this kind of digital homework is similar. In a flipped classroom, the homework serving as the teaching tool. There may be videos or interactive lessons to provide the instruction that happens in class. A flipped learning model allows students to work through problems, suggest solutions, and engage in collaborative learning.

Homework tips

  • When it comes to daily housekeeping chores like collecting homework and taking roll, creating a daily routine is the most effective tool. If students know the system and you follow it every day, then it will take up less of your valuable teaching time and give students less time to misbehave while you are otherwise occupied.
  • Come up with a quick system to mark an assignment as late. You might have a brightly colored highlighter which you use to make a mark on the top of the paper. You could also mark it with the number of points that you will be taking off the paper. Whatever your method, you will want to make it something you can do quickly and efficiently. See How to Deal with Late Work and Makeup Work
  • Return homework within 24 hours for optimum effect.
  • The flipped homework in class as part of instruction. The homework is not assessed, but the students are.

Ultimately, it is not the assigning or collecting of homework that is important. What is important is understanding the purpose of homework, and that purpose can help you determine the kind of homework, be it physical or digital, that works best for your students.

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How to Check Math Homework

Last Updated: May 10, 2021 References

This article was co-authored by Sean Alexander, MS . Sean Alexander is an Academic Tutor specializing in teaching mathematics and physics. Sean is the Owner of Alexander Tutoring, an academic tutoring business that provides personalized studying sessions focused on mathematics and physics. With over 15 years of experience, Sean has worked as a physics and math instructor and tutor for Stanford University, San Francisco State University, and Stanbridge Academy. He holds a BS in Physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an MS in Theoretical Physics from San Francisco State University. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 14,714 times.

Most people who work hard on their homework want to make sure that they are doing it correctly. When you are working from home, however, you don’t have your teacher to tell you whether or not your answers are correct. There are a number of ways to check math work you do outside of school. By checking your own work, having someone else check your work, or using online tools, you can make sure your solutions are correct before turning in your work.

Checking By Yourself

Step 1 Estimate.

  • If you are doing multiplication, you can check your work by doing repeated addition.

Asking for Help

Step 1 Ask your parents.

  • Some good sites for going over how to do math problems quickly are Math is Fun [5] X Research source and Virtual Nerd. [6] X Research source

Step 2 Compare answers with friends.

  • When you compare your answer with a friend, make sure you are not just changing your answers without learning where you made your mistake. If your friend found the correct answer, have him or her show you how to solve the problem.

Step 3 Talk to your teacher.

  • If you do your work at home but don’t feel confident about it, talk to your teacher as soon as possible the next day. They can quickly check your work, and you might have time to correct your answers before turning it in. Likely, you will get credit for trying your best.

Using Resources

Step 1 Use a calculator.

  • Work through your problems first, and only use the calculator to check your answers. You need to show your work so that your teacher knows you understand how to solve the problems.
  • If you don’t have a calculator, you can find a number of online calculators by simply searching for them on Google.

Step 2 Use online tools.

  • For algebra, you can use an equation calculator, like Symbolab. [7] X Research source
  • For geometry, you can simply type what you are looking for into Google, and a calculator will pop up. For example, if you are finding the area of a triangle, type “area of a triangle” into Google. Then insert your known values into the calculator (such as base and height), and Google will supply the answer.
  • There are a number of converters online. Math is Fun has a unit converter that can help you convert from one unit of measurement to another, such as inches to centimeters. [8] X Research source Convert Me has conversion calculators for most measurements, including speed, temperature, and capacity. [9] X Research source

Step 3 Use the back of your textbook.

  • As when using a calculator or online tools, try doing the problems on your own first, then check your answers.

Expert Q&A

You Might Also Like

Ask for Feedback

  • ↑ Sean Alexander, MS. Academic Tutor. Expert Interview. 14 May 2020.
  • ↑ http://mathandreadinghelp.org/how_to_estimate_a_math_problem.html
  • ↑ http://www.virtualnerd.com/middle-math/equations-functions/expressions/inverse-operations-definition
  • ↑ http://www.futurity.org/learning-students-teaching-741342/
  • ↑ http://mathisfun.com/
  • ↑ http://www.virtualnerd.com/
  • ↑ https://www.symbolab.com/solver/equation-calculator
  • ↑ https://www.mathsisfun.com/unit-conversion-tool.php
  • ↑ http://www.convert-me.com/en/

About this article

Sean Alexander, MS

To check your math homework yourself, try plugging your answer back into the equation you started with. For example, if you solved for x, plug the value you got for x into the equation and check to see if the equation makes sense. If it doesn't, you know there's something off about your answer. Another way you can check your work is by using an alternative method to solve the problem. If you get the same answer using a different method, there's a good chance your original answer was right. For example, if you're trying to solve 45×3, you could also solve the problem using addition by adding 45+45+45 to get 135. If 135 is the answer you got using multiplication, you know your answer is correct. For more expert math-checking tips, read the full article below! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Teaching approaches: checking-homework Challenge

By Jane Sjoberg

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These are just a few ideas of how to make the whole-class correction of homework less of a chore and more of an active challenge. The suggestions given are specifically geared to be used when correcting exercises set from a workbook or worksheet as homework but some ideas may also be used when giving feedback for tasks set in class.

  • Give students a chance to compare their answers in pairs. Students can then correct/ change/ complete their own answers before a whole class check. This puts students at the centre of the correction process from the start and asks them to reflect upon their own and each other’s answers with a greater degree of learner autonomy.
  • Take names out of a hat at random to nominate the students who are to supply answers (make sure this is done in a ‘fun’ way, explaining to students that they have an opportunity to PASS if their name is called).
  • Use a ball or a scrunched up ball of newspaper weighted with a thick rubber band (lightweight balls that don’t bounce are best – bouncy balls have a tendency to get lost in the darkest corners of the classroom) to throw at random around the class to see who gets to give their answer to questions. Whoever gets the ball throws it to the next student. Again, give students an opportunity to pass if necessary.
  • Alternate between asking for answers to be volunteered and calling on specific students to answer questions. Where the teacher is unfamiliar with the various ability groups in a class, nominating students can be a nightmare, especially if weaker or less confident learners are inadvertently asked to provide their answer to more complex questions. However, nominating is a way of ensuring the participation of those who are less likely to volunteer. Alternating between volunteers and nominated students solves this problem in part, but nominees should always be given the chance to pass if they prefer.
  • To ensure that all students participate in the correction process, pre-prepare a grid that includes the question numbers for the various exercises that are to be corrected. Leave a space next to each question number. At the beginning of the lesson, get students to put their name down to answer the various questions. Tell students that, even if they did not do the homework they can still try to answer a question of their choice but do not force students to put their names down. When all the students who wish to participate have put their names down for at least one question, take the list in and use it to call on the students to answer the questions in turn. This ensures that the students called upon will be answering questions they themselves feel confident about (or else questions for which they would prefer individual feedback). If this process is repeated over several lessons, it also gives the teacher a chance to see whether there are students who repeatedly prefer not to be involved in the homework correction process. These students and their individual problems regarding homework can then be dealt with on a one-to-one basis.
  • For fill-in-the-gaps exercises or simple one- or two-word answers present feedback in power point or on an OHP. Go through answers one by one giving time for students to check their own work. At the end of each exercise, stop and give students a chance to query, provide alternatives, or request further information regarding specific answers.
  • Ask the class to do a quick survey in groups ranking exercises from the most to least difficult, the most to least interesting, the most to least useful etc.. Use student feedback to decide which exercise to correct together first and then give exercises ranked by the majority as the least interesting/difficult on OHP/power point as above to speed up the correction process. This ensures that students will be more alert during the correction of what they perceived to be the most problematic areas of their homework. Homework ranking tasks also provide important feedback to the teacher who may use the data provided to check on the cause of problems areas at a later date. Students may perceive certain exercises as difficult for different reasons – length, typology, unclear instructions, vocabulary density of exercise, grammatical problems, uninteresting topic etc.. A further analysis of these issues may help the teacher to decide which exercises to set or dedicate more time to in the future. Remember to check your students’ ranking of difficult exercises after correction – what students may have originally perceived as problematic may not actually correspond to their own performance. This again may be something that can be discussed and analyzed further at a later date.
  • For teachers in a hurry to get correcting out of the way – simply vary the order in which exercises are corrected. This ensures that students are alert and are following the correction process.
  • Get students to check through answers in pairs by photocopying the key (readymade or produced by the teacher) or displaying answers on an OHP. Set aside time at the end of the lesson for individual students to discuss problem areas or organize a tutorial session where students can come and discuss problems individually with the teacher while the group works on another task/project work.
  • Change the time of the lesson in which homework is corrected. Most students expect homework corrections to come right at the beginning of a lesson and, let’s face it, it’s not the best or most enjoyable way to start off! Try checking homework as a way of ‘calming down’ after a boisterous group-work session or leave it till the end of the lesson. Incidentally, this also works with setting homework. Try varying the point of the lesson at which homework is set to ensure that all the students are paying attention!
  • Take in students’ workbooks occasionally or provide photocopies of exercises that can be handed in. Though this does add to the teacher’s workload, it is worth taking a look at how students deal with more mechanical exercises that differ from extended written work which necessarily requires individual marking and feedback. Taking a look at a workbook can provide an idea of problem areas for individual students, again with a view to diagnosing problem areas in structures/ vocabulary or assessing difficulties that may be based on other factors such as lack of interest in the topic, unclear instructions etc.. It may also allow the teacher to gain insight into how much (or how little) homework an individual student is regularly putting in. Following the teacher’s appraisal of the students’ workbooks individual tutorials may be arranged to discuss issues as appropriate.
  • Provide mini keys of individual exercises to distribute to pairs. Students then take it in turns to ‘play the teacher’ and check each other’s answers. Where more than two exercises need checking pairs can exchange keys and repeat the process as many times as necessary. The teacher can circulate and deal with queries as pairs are checking. However, remember to provide an opportunity for the discussion of problem areas at the end of the pair-work session or at the end of the lesson.
  • Most workbook exercises that need to be checked are not specifically designed to practise pronunciation. Where pronunciation exercises are set make sure that adequate time is given to teacher modelling and student production of target items. In the majority of cases, i.e. where structures, vocabulary and functions are being practised, vary the correction procedure by taking time out along the way to focus on pronunciation/ intonation issues. Even the most boring feedback sessions can be livened up by a rousing choral repetition session!
  • Spot check on lexis by occasionally eliciting synonyms/ antonyms/ similar expressions/ analogous idioms of items taken from the exercises being corrected. This also provides an added opportunity for those who did not do the homework to participate in the correction process and allows those who did not necessarily provide a correct answer in an exercise to regain their confidence in being able to answer extra questions. This technique is also useful for involving more competent or confident students. Spot check questions should therefore be carefully gauged to include the whole ability range. Extra questions can also include pronunciation issues by eliciting word stress, number of syllables, homophones etc. The teacher is obviously free to ask spot check questions at any point during the correction process. However, it may be worth just taking a quick look at the exercises that are to be corrected beforehand so that appropriate extra questions may be devised in advance.
  • Using photocopies or an OHP transparency, create a multiple choice answer key for a few exercises where three possible answers to each question are provided, only one of which is correct. Students then compare their own answers with the alternatives given. They then choose the answer that they consider correct (which may or may not correspond with their own original answer). This activity gives students a chance to rethink their own answers before the teacher finally provides the key. It also gives less confident students and those who may not have completed the task an opportunity to take part in the correction process.
  • Play the ‘Who wants to be a millionaire?’ game when correcting. In this case, students are placed in two teams. Students from each team are called upon alternately to provide answers to each question. Each team has a set number of ‘ask a friend’, ‘fifty-fifty’ and ‘pass’ cards which they can use at their discretion. (Numbers can be decided on the basis of how many students there are in each team. For a class of 12 students with teams of 6 players each, one card of each type should be ample. The ‘cards’ do not have to be made as such. They may be simply registered on the board for each team and rubbed off as they are used). For ‘ask-a-friend’ a student may ask another member of his/her team to provide the answer. For ‘fifty-fifty’ the teacher gives two alternative answers and the student must choose which he/she considers correct. (This may need some prior preparation, depending on the teacher’s ability to come up with sneaky alternatives!) If the student passes, the answer is given by the teacher and no points are scored. One word of warning – as this game has a strong competitive element, please make sure that an equal number of questions is given to each team and that a variety of exercises is ensured. It is a good idea to split individual exercises into two halves and give teams an equal number of questions each. If an exercise has an odd number of answers, the teacher can simply provide the answer to the first question as an example.
  • Finally, be upbeat about homework correction. Camp up the performance if necessary with a round of applause for correct answers. Sound effects for applause can be recorded or included in power point presentations or the students themselves can be encouraged to clap when correct answers are given. With younger students, take care that clapping does not turn to booing wrong answers, however. If this is a risk, you might consider a collective round of applause at the end of each exercise corrected. Also remember that homework feedback which involves student participation may be an intense source of satisfaction when students are able to provide the right answer but it can also be a source of embarrassment for those who are unable to do so. Make sure lots of praise and encouragement is given for answers that are even partly correct and, where possible, give positive feedback for areas that are not necessarily the focus of the exercise (such as good pronunciation in the case of grammatical errors or wrong answers in comprehension exercises).

Remember: students quickly tune in to the mood of their teacher. If the teacher presents homework correction as a valid and interesting part of the learning process it will be infectious and homework corrections need never be boring again!

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Teaching approaches: content-based teaching, teaching approaches: functional approaches in efl/ esol.

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Teaching approaches: the grammar-translation method, teaching approaches: the negotiated syllabus, teaching approaches: total physical response, teaching approaches: translation as a language learning tool, teaching approaches: using l1 in class, teaching approaches: what is "suggestopedia", teaching approaches: what is audiolingualism, teaching approaches: what is the silent way, related articles, first steps into …classroom technologies.

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There are a plethora of digital tools available to help you manage your classes and the tasks you have to do outside of the classroom. Where do you begin? Daniel Barber provides some tips on making digital work for you.

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Communicative Language Teaching

Communicative Language Teaching

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Learn new skills with this series of articles from the  Learn to Write ELT materials course.

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Applied linguistics: Research methods for language teaching

By Netta Avineri

Netta Avineri, Assistant Professor of TESOL at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, offers a step-by-step guide to conducting research in the language classroom.

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What are they:

Homework check-ins are questions designed to provide a layer of support and garner a level of insight into students’ experiences with their homework.

They help create a more constant flow of light touch points between teachers and students, and allow teachers to observe issues with the set homework before the next class, streamlining subsequent lesson plans.

  • Understand student progress before following lesson
  • Understand how students are coping with homework workload
  • Voice issues with comprehension when they occur
  • Feel supported all week

Example questions:

Follow up activities:

  • Analyze responses to check for general comprehension gaps or individual comprehension gaps
  • Address issues with homework tasks at the beginning of class the next day

When students find the assigned homework generally difficult, address the issues at the beginning of the next day, with the whole class.

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Ziplet contains over 250+ template questions you can use with your students including the ones used for this check-in. To access the full library, log in , or create your free account here .

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Remote Teaching Ideas

How to Check in with Students

by Jason | Apr 2, 2020 | Student Feedback , Student Support , Teaching remotely general tips , Technology tools | 5 comments

A great way to learn about your students– who, where, and how they are; what they’re struggling to understand about navigating remote learning in general, your course in particular; what interests, connects, and challenges them–is to check in regularly and ask them to share their insights.

In a face-to-face setting, this can happen, for example, with a quick check-in at the beginning of class or a “minute paper” or “exit card” at the end. For you, the purpose of these check-ins is to gain insight into student learning, which can help you make important adjustments to your course or provide key clarifications. For students, check-ins provide them a moment of reflection and an opportunity to share with you and build rapport.

The same approach can be used in a remote teaching and learning context. Below are four question sets for checking in with students and one set of “sentence starter” prompts, along with sample instructions. These questions can be used weekly, biweekly or even as a midterm student survey. Students can answer anonymously, and they can be used as part of a participation grade ( note: anonymous surveys in Canvas will tell you who completes the survey but won’t tell you who shares what ). If you offer a student survey to “mark the midpoint” of your course, discuss the results and possible course changes with your students.

At the very bottom is a file you can upload to Canvas with all the question sets (alternately, you can build a survey from scratch in Canvas and copy and paste the questions you want; an editable Word file with the questions is found here ). These are just a few possible ways to check in with students. If you have any additional ideas to share, please leave them in the comments!

Sample Instructions

Hello, I’d like to check in about our class and hope you’ll take a minute or two to share some quick insights about your learning experience this past week. In writing your answers, please be as specific as possible–this helps me identify areas for possible change or more clarification. My goal is to make adjustments as we move along, based on our collective experience in this remote teaching and learning environment. Your responses are anonymous; Canvas will only know if you completed the survey or not. However, if you would like a personal reply or need to share something specific that I should know about your learning experience, please email me directly through Canvas or at my email address. Thank you for you sharing!

Learning Experience – Option 1

  • What is helping you engage with others and learn in this class?
  • What do you find challenging about engaging with others and learning in this class?
  • Do you have any suggestions for how we can improve engagement and learning in this class?

Learning Experience – Option 2

  • What is helping you to learn in this class?
  • What are you doing to improve your learning in the class?
  • What changes are needed in this class to improve learning?
  • What do you need to do to improve your learning in this class?
  • Do you have any additional thoughts about the class you want to share?

Learning Experience – Option 3

  • What should we keep doing in the class?
  • What should we quit doing in the class?
  • What should we start doing in the class?

Learning Experience – Option 4

  • What did you get from class this week that helped you learn?
  • What do you still need to help you learn?

Content Learning Option

  • The most significant thing I learned in class this week is…
  • The thing I found most confusing in class this week is…
  • The one thing we learned this week I would like to know more about is…
  • A question about this week’s material I have is…

Import a Weekly Check-In Survey to your course.

– First, download the question sets above using this link (download entire Zip file) and remember where you save the file. – Next, upload to Canvas by going to Settings in your Canvas course and select “Import Course Content” (either on the right or bottom of your window) – Under “Import Content,” choose as the Content Type “Canvas Course Export Package” – Choose “Browse” and retrieve the file you downloaded above (“Student Check In Surveys.zip”) – Select “All Content” – There are no due dates yet so no need select “Adjust events and due dates” – Click Import. The check in surveys will all load into your course under “Quizzes” as unpublished content (look for “Weekly Check In – Option 1,” “Weekly Check In – Option 2” and so forth) – Open the survey you want and then edit as needed for your course (you can mix and match questions or change or add questions as you want)

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I am trying to download the Midway Survey with the “using this link” link, but it takes me to a Microsoft account sign-in page where I am prompted for my username and password.

As far as I am aware, I do not have an account through UO with Microsoft.

Can this Zip file be put in a more accessible location?

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Hi Chris – In order to log into Microsoft to access OneDrive, you’ll need to put in your UO email address. It should then take you to a Shibboleth login page where you enter your DuckID credentials.

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Seems to be accessible for everyone right now. I was able to reach the link and download the zip from an incognito chrome browser tab 🙂 Thanks

Hi Jason. Thanks for this helpful blog post. It’s exactly what I needed.

This article mentions anonymous data collection via Canvas. I am sorry to say, but Canvas misleads both faculty and students into believing that anonymous surveys are possible via Canvas. They are not. Canvas is very misleading in this regard, and possibly creates the risk of FERPA violations any time a faculty member attempts to create an “anonymous” quiz. The Canvas Quiz set-up check box labeled “anonymous” is mislabeled. It should instead be labeled “anonymous until unchecked”, and it can be unchecked any time, including after the quiz has been closed, and you can easily see which students provided which answers.

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A Simple but Powerful Class Opening Activity

The rose and thorn check-in is a quick strategy for building community and developing student voice.

A rose on a bush with visible thorns

At the start of a recent class, my students gathered a bouquet of good news: a trip to Ireland, an end to recent car troubles, an upcoming visit with a friend. These were highlights they shared during our start-of-class routine, the rose and thorn check-in.

In this quick activity, students participate by sharing roses—something positive going on for a student that day—and thorns, which are negative, or at least less than positive.

Students can choose their level of vulnerability: A rose can simply be “the weather is nice today.” A low-stakes thorn might be “I feel tired.” Yet many students choose to share more personal items: “My rose is that even though I’m stressed out, I got all my homework done” or “My thorn is that my dog is sick and I’m really worried about her.”

Going around the classroom, each student states one rose and one thorn. I share mine too. The whole process takes five minutes or less. Yet though this fast activity may seem simple, the rose and thorn check-in is an essential part of my classroom community-building.

Benefits of the Check-In

Students know that every voice matters: The rose and thorn check-in gets every student’s voice into the room at the start of each class. Although students can always say “pass” instead of sharing, each student has the opportunity to be heard, every single day. The check-in is also a great opportunity to practice active listening, turn-taking, and following group norms.

Students develop awareness of others’ emotions—and how to respond to them: When students share their roses and thorns, they give their classmates a snapshot of their emotional state. And if I hear a student say that their thorn is “I didn’t sleep much last night” or “I feel like I can’t focus today,” I can adjust my interactions with that person accordingly.

Students increase their comfort with vulnerability: Rose and thorn check-ins are opportunities for students to practice being emotionally vulnerable with their peers. This comfort level translates directly into the ability to share opinions and take academic risks in other contexts.

Facilitation Tips

Acknowledge each person’s contribution: My colleague John Milton Oliver, who also uses this strategy, suggests saying “thank you,” followed by the student’s name, and then turning your attention to the next person in the circle. This models acceptance while also keeping things moving.

Discuss how emotions impact learning: Before or after the check-in, invite students to consider how their roses and thorns might affect their ability to participate in class that day. Ask students to brainstorm how they might support a classmate who shares a big thorn or how to celebrate a friend’s exciting rose.

Model authenticity: While remembering your role and professional boundaries, try to authentically share: “My rose is that my class last period went really well,” or “My thorn is that I’m a little behind on giving feedback on your papers, and it’s stressing me out.” Show students that it’s OK to be vulnerable.

Tending to Challenges

Here are some tips for making this activity go smoothly:

  • Practice, practice, practice: Depending on the skill level and existing cohesiveness of your group, it can take many tries to get the hang of the routine. Don’t give up—and make sure to keep it quick and consistent.
  • Monitor time: My younger students are often eager to negotiate with me: “Can I please have three roses and two thorns?” Give students think time to write or draw what they will share.
  • Make a plan for following up on concerns: Occasionally, students may share something concerning. Make a plan for how you and the class will respond. Many times, this simply means following up individually with a student to offer support. For topics that could use a whole-class discussion, consider building in opportunities for group processing, such as a weekly community-building circle. 

Help Your Garden Grow

When your class gets the hang of the rose and thorn check-in, feel free to modify it. For example, I taught one group of students who reframed it as Harry Potter and Voldemort. Let your students take ownership over how to make the check-in feel meaningful to them.

As students get better at sharing, you can add a third part to the share: the rosebud, something that they’re looking forward to in the near future. Students can develop other variations or components as well.

If your group is too big to do a full share, my colleague John suggests a lightning round, in which the roses and thorns are condensed to two or three words: “Thorn: sick dog! Rose: sunshine!” You could instead create small groups of three or four students each who share their full check-ins with one another instead of the whole class.

As teachers know, there’s never enough time in a class period to accomplish everything we’d like to. The rose and thorn check-in may feel like “one more thing,” but I see it as an investment in my classroom community. Making time to hear each student’s voice demonstrates that I care enough to prioritize listening.

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  • Social Emotional Learning

10 Student Check-In Activities to Connect and Understand  

Laura Driscoll

As the year gets into it's rhythm, we often lose the opportunities to check-in with students. I'm sure there have been times that you have wondered how your students are feeling or what they are thinking. Incorporating a daily student check-in activity or question is a great way to keep those connections open.

Check-ins communicate that what you feel and think is important . And that as part of a community, someone is going to care. Let's explore 10 ways you can check-in with students. Find one or two that fit your style. 

Important Note : If you do student check-in activities, you have to be able to follow-up with any serious student concerns. If a student tells you they are feeling really sad, you have to address that and connect them with a counselor. If a student tells you they hate math and feel stupid, you have to take the time to have a conversation and make a plan. Just as these check-ins communicate that you care about what they feel and think, they can also communicate the opposite if you don't follow-up.

1. Feelings Chart

Use a simple feelings chart to check in with students. When students enter the room, they can put their token or a post-it on the chart. 

You could also have buckets with different feelings on them or a scale of feelings (great, good, okay, not so good, blurgh). Students can put their token in when they walk in. 

Remember it's important to circle back to any extremes. Why are they feeling great? Why are they feeling blurgh?

Read more ways to do a feelings check-in in this post:  Using a Daily Feelings Check-In .

Student Check-In Activities - Feelings Tracker

2. Morning Meeting

Morning meeting is a perfect time to incorporate a check-in. A few times a week you can make your share question focused on what the students feel or think. For example, how do you feel about the assembly today? What do you think is the best month of the year?

You could also add a simple feelings check-in to the greeting once a week. Students could do a certain greeting that matches an emotion.

3. Student Survey

My first year, a teacher gave her students a survey at the beginning, middle and end of the year. She asked questions about what they were feeling and thinking about school. It was really eye opening for her to be able to see all the information at once. Students also shared more information and deeper information as the year went on. As they trusted their teacher, they were willing to tell her what wasn't working so great for them.

You could ask questions like:

  • What has been the most challenging thing this year?
  • What is something, small or big, you did this year that made you feel proud?
  • If you could change one thing about school what would it be?
  • Is there something in class that doesn't seem fair to you?
  • When can you focus the best? What is the room like?

4. Rose - Thorn - Bud

A rose - thorn - bud activity is a quick three-part check-in you can use to have students tell you about their week.

  • Rose - a small win or accomplishment
  • Thorn - a challenge they faced
  • Bud - something they are looking forward to

Counseling Check-Ins

Check-ins are a predictable and helpful way to start your individual counseling sessions. They provide an opportunity for students to express themselves, allowing you to understand how the student is feeling and what they are thinking.

Counseling Check-Ins

5. Aha! Moment

An Aha Moment is when a student learned something new or something clicked. You can do these at the end of the day or you could have an Aha! box that students can write down their Aha! moments at any time during the week. You can share them during a class meeting and see if anyone else had the same Aha! moment.

6. Rewind / Do Over

This is a great way to incorporate reflection into your routines. Ask students if there was something about their day or week that they would do over again. If they could press the rewind button and start fresh, what would they do differently. 

7. Your Week in Emojis

This is a like a feelings check-in but a bit more fun. Ask students to describe their week in three to five emojis. 

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8. Check-Out

Just as you want to see where students are at when they come into you room, it is also helpful to understand how they are when they leave you room. You can use a simple exit ticket for students to tell how they feel about their day. This may be a good time to use a the rose-thorn-bud structure.

9. Self Care Check-In

From time to time, check in with students about their self-care. Are they getting enough sleep, eating well, having some physical activity. 

You can introduce self care skills with this free set of worksheets .

Self Care Lesson Check In

You can do check-ins with students around their learning and behavior and have them create goals. Once they have a set of goals, you can check in with them on their progress. 

Check out this SMART Goals resource for whole class lessons and check-in materials.

SMART Goal - Student Check-In Activity

Getting Started with Student Check-Ins

Pick one or two check-ins that you think would fit your classroom culture. Decide when you are going to use them. I hope it helps you connect with students and learn what they feel, think, and need.

Do you have a check-in you do with students? Share in the comments below.

Helpful Resources

Create a predictable start to your sessions and understand what students are feeling and thinking.

SMART Goals

SMART Goal Lessons & Posters

Five 15-minute lessons that break down the SMART   goal setting process into manageable chunks.

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Black History Month for Kids: Google Slides, Resources, and More!

Free Poster: 7 Questions Students Should Ask Before Saying ‘I’m Done’

Stop your students from rushing through their work.

Free Poster: Checklist for Turning in Work

Sometimes, classwork feels like a race among students, doesn’t it? They want to get through it quickly so they can move on to the next task. We feel your pain. So we created a poster to remind your students of the questions they should ask themselves before they say they’re done. It can serve as a handy checklist for turning in work.

Download the full-sized poster here.

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1. Is my name on it?

This might be the most important question on the list.

2. Can I say this is my best effort?

Challenge your students to give their best every time.

3. Did I follow all the directions?

This one is so essential. All directions must be followed!

4. Is it neat and organized?

If not, it’s time to straighten it up.

5. Did I double-check everything?

We all need to look back at our work.

6. Did I do the bare minimum?

Get your students to go that extra mile.

7. Is there anything I can improve?

This is a great final question they should ask before they turn in their work.

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5 Ways to Work at Home Helping Kids With Homework

I f you are looking for a way to earn money remotely helping kids with homework, I have a list you will want to check out. There are several companies now that pay tutors and teachers to help their clients (kids, teens, and in some cases college students) with homework.

Offering homework help online in many cases is just side money, but it may appeal to you if you've ever done any tutoring or teaching or just happen to be academically gifted. And being able to offer the help online is a plus and far more convenient than having to travel to the home of a student, or to a school.

Below I've listed five companies that are almost always seeking people to provide homework help in a variety of different subjects, entirely online.

Good luck if you apply for anything!

5 Ways to Work at Home Offering Homework Help

1 – studypool.

After you apply as a tutor on the Studypool website, you can then browse the site for homework questions you think you'd be qualified to answer. You get to request a fee for the questions you're interested in helping with, and the students can decide whether or not they want to work with you based on what you are charging.

Once you submit your answer and the student accepts it, you will receive your pay.

You can log in on Studypool and work whenever you want, although there will be certain times of year that there aren't as many questions to help with (summer and the Christmas holidays).

2 – GeeklyHelp

GeeklyHelp specializes in homework help for college students. The students send out help requests and wait for a tutor “match” based on GeeklyHelp's AI algorithm designed to find the perfect tutor to help with their problem.

You will chat with the student you've been assigned to one-on-one until the problem is solved, and then you receive your payment.

According to the site, most tutors working with them earn on average $20/hourly. Payments are made weekly via PayPal, Payoneer, or Skrill, and you're free to choose your own hours.

You have to apply and prove your competence in the subjects you claim to be an expert in prior to acceptance.

RELATED: 15 Companies Always Hiring Work at Home Tutors

3 – SchoolSolver

SchoolSolver is the most basic-looking of all the options I've listed for you. Just click on “Answer Questions” when you visit the site, and you'll be presented with a list of homework questions students need help with, along with the amount they are willing to pay for assistance.

If you know the answer to the question, you can add it, but the buyer cannot see the answer unless they pay. This helps guarantee you get paid for your help.

I do see a lot of room for error here and students possibly claiming your answer isn't good so they don't have to pay, but then using it anyway … so just be a little cautious with this one.

Payments are made via PayPal. There do not appear to be any requirements to sign up and start answering questions.

4 – Growing Stars

Growing Stars is a bit more professional. They offer online tutoring services for elementary, middle, and high school students.

Sessions are held online and one-on-one via a whiteboard. You teach the students using the same textbooks they have in school.

There is no mention on the website of what you are paid.

The candidate registration form is located here. You are also asked to select which subject you'd like to teach in.

5 – 24HourAnswers.com

24HourAnswers.com provides online tutoring and homework help services to students for over 400 subjects.

If you are interested in tutoring for 24HourAnswers.com, you will need at least a Master’s degree, but if you’re an exceptional student with at least a Bachelor degree you can still apply with great spoken and written English skills.

Payments are made monthly via ACH Payments, Bank Transfer (International), PayPal and Payoneer.

I hope this helps you if you were looking for some work at home options and ways to earn extra cash helping kids and teens with their homework. Good luck!

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Check-In/Check-Out Behavior Intervention & PBIS

PBIS initiatives help to improve school culture and climate by teaching and reinforcing positive behaviors. The majority of students in any given school will not need supports beyond Tier 1. However, for the roughly 15% of students who need behavior intervention support beyond the supports of Tier 1 PBIS implementation, there is Tier 2. The Check-In/Check-Out behavior intervention is a commonly used option for behavior supports within Tier 2.

Tier 2 interventions provide additional support for students who need more support to meet their goals socially, emotionally, and/or academically. The objective of Tier 2 is to provide students with the tools to self-govern, allowing them to move back into to Tier 1. There are a number of interventions at this level to assist in that goal.

Because Tier 2 interventions apply to a subset of students overall , each intervention can be personalized to each student’s needs. The Check-In/Check-Out behavior intervention is one such customizable tactic.

Check-In/Check-Out in PBIS

As a Tier 2 intervention in PBIS, Check-In/Check-Out (CICO) can give students a boost and allow them to meet behavioral goals that can lead them back to Tier 1. Check-In/Check-Out intervention forms can be customized to reflect behaviors that need additional focus. Teachers provide feedback to the student on these behaviors throughout the day.

Reasons to use CICO in your PBIS implementation:

  • Provides structure in a student’s day
  • Creates accountability
  • Provides teacher feedback to student and parents
  • Creates internal motivation
  • Improves student behavior
  • Increases academic success
  • Creates a stronger home-school connection

Identifying Students Who Will Benefit from Check-In/Check-Out Behavior Intervention

Because the Check-In/Check-Out behavior intervention applies to a smaller number of students needing Tier 2 supports, there are certain criteria you can use to identify these students:

  • A student who struggles with Tier 1 goals and behaviors
  • Little to no classwork participation or completion
  • Poor performance in submitting homework
  • Lack of participation in class
  • Poor organizational and/or time management skills
  • Struggles with emotion, focus, attentiveness, staying on-task

Often, behavioral issues in the classroom are pieces in a larger puzzle. Some students struggle developmentally and need a helping hand to strengthen their skills. Others may have external factors affecting their behavior.

Succesful Check-In/Check-Out Behavior Intervention in PBIS

There will be variables in the way Check-In/Check-Out behavior intervention is handled from school to school, but the basic premise is the same.

Students assigned to a CICO intervention check in with a coach/mentor at the beginning of the day to set goals for the day. This adult can be a counselor or other staff member who is not an instructor for that student. Typically, the student uses a “points card” that spells out the goals for each part of the day. As the student progresses through the day, their teachers evaluate behavior and assign points for meeting their daily goals. At the end of the day, the student checks out with the same staff member they began the day with, assessing their points total for the day. The final component of this process involves the student taking their points card to a parent at home, returning it signed at the next morning check-in.

At its most basic, the check-in/check-out meeting is an opportunity for student and mentor to work together to improve behavior. This intervention works well for students who respond well to adult attention. The mentor encourages the student to reflect on what they did well, how they feel, and what they need to work on. Students who receive such encouragement learn to self-monitor, internalize successes, and develop self-esteem.

Successful CICO doesn’t focus on the student’s struggles in behavior. Instead, it centers on the positive behavioral goals met and the efforts made by the student to attain those goals.

Moving Away from Check-In/Check-Out Behavior Intervention

Because Tier 2 interventions provide additional assistance to students, the expectation is that those students will eventually progress into Tier 1. Students who consistently meet their PBIS Check-In/Check-Out goals over a prescribed period should be considered for “graduation” from the intervention.

The criteria for graduation will differ from school to school and student to student. However, do not pull a student from CICO suddenly. The student may suffer a setback in behavior from an abrupt end to the support. Instead, step the student down from CICO by adjusting the duration and frequency of their goals. CICO should not be a long-term intervention; once the student has consistently attained their goals, move them into Tier 1 supports.

Tracking Data for PBIS Check-In/Check-Out

One component of CICO that we have not addressed yet is data tracking. PBIS initiatives that rely on manual tracking mechanisms may struggle, or find it nearly impossible, to assemble data in real time. The intervention forms used by students can also be problematic. Students may lose them during the course of the day, going between classes, or in transit from school to home. Tracking progress can be difficult in this instance, and filing the forms away can obscure trends in the data.

When researching Check-In/Check-Out systems for students, you will want to consider data tracking as an essential component. Fortunately, PBIS Rewards offers Check-In/Check-Out ! Because it’s completely digital, PBIS Rewards Check-In/Check-Out allows coaches and mentors to track student progress throughout the day. No paper Check-In/Check-Out intervention forms needed! You can configure and adjust goals as students progress back to Tier 1. Our reporting feature provides updated data in multiple configurations to help you understand the progress of your Tier 2 PBIS initiative as well as staff usage.

A digital Check-In/Check-Out system for students can be simpler with PBIS Rewards! Want to know more?

Explore our solution for  Check-In/Check-Out in PBIS Rewards .

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  25. Check-In/Check-Out Behavior Intervention & PBIS

    Check-In/Check-Out in PBIS As a Tier 2 intervention in PBIS, Check-In/Check-Out (CICO) can give students a boost and allow them to meet behavioral goals that can lead them back to Tier 1. Check-In/Check-Out intervention forms can be customized to reflect behaviors that need additional focus.

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