Thursday, July 25, 2013

How do you handle late work?

I think one of the most frustrating things about teaching is when students don't complete homework on time.

Unfortunately, it happens quite a bit. Students either say they completed it but it's at home, they did it but their home printer broke, they forgot they had it, etc. The excuses are always plentiful.

I have thought long and hard about how to combat the late work. What's super frustrating is that 90% of the time, I give them at least 5 min. at the end of the hour to start on that night's work and many will just close up early, or they will start working on it but totally forget to finish it by the next class period.

So far, here's how I handle late work:
For every class BUT my college class, they can turn in late homework one day late for half credit.
*It started 5 years ago as a dept. policy that NO late homework was accepted. The problem was, SO many kids got zeroes and were not doing the work, which meant they weren't passing the tests, etc. It is definitely their responsibility to do the work and do it on time but I also just wanted them to DO it, which is why I transitioned last year to my new policy now that everyone kind of does their own thing in my dept.

For my College class, no late homework is accepted, but I will accept major essays one day late for half credit. This policy will not change; it's a college course and should be more stringent.

So mainly I'm bouncing around ideas for how to handle late work in underclassmen. I know some of my fellow teachers give homework detentions. If a kid does not have it done the day it's due, they can turn it in the next day for 75% OR they have a homework detention, where they have to sit after school with the teacher and complete the assignment for 50%. If they don't serve that detention after a couple days, it becomes a referral.

The teachers who use this, like it. It is more bookkeeping on the teacher's end to keep track of who didn't have which assignment and how many percentage points they earn and who has how many days to serve, etc. I would need an organizational system for this.

I also saw the Pink Slip idea over on Hangin' with Hekken today that I really like. This puts the onus on the kids to keep track of how many points they can get for late work and you have something tangible with their signature that proves they did not give you any work. (I have taught for almost 6 years now and have NEVER lost a student paper, but one of their favorite excuses for missing work is that I must have lost it!).

So I am considering typing up my own pink slips and using that, possibly also using the three-day late policy she has on hers too.

So what do you do? Do you allow late work at all? If so, how many days late will you accept it and what percentage can they earn? Anyone ever tried homework detentions before?


  1. Thanks for the shout out! I'm excited to see how the pink-slip works...I'll update you in October :)

  2. OK... I started typing you a comment and realized it's better as a blog post because I have too much to say! haha Check back with me tomorrow for my full response! :)

  3. I don't like late work, so I don't accept it. However, I always try to give my students time in class to do said work, so to me it's unrealistic for them to not finish. We tried a district wide policy that allowed late work but found that students were abusing the system (Oh, high schoolers...). I also am going to try and use my no homework binder this year.

    I feel like this comment could go on forever, so I think I'll do what Miss Lifesaver did and blog about it. :)