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Best of 2015: #3 Real World Choice Homework


One of the most popular posts of the year come from way back in January. It was a request from a reader after I posted about using Trivia Crack as a choice homework option. The interesting thing is this year I went back to the old stamp sheet method listed below for all classes. The whole idea of choice homework was new to my students, so I did not want to overwhelm them with too many option right away. This trimester Spanish III & IV will move to having the list of options, but will only turn them in every other week. This is due to the overwhelming nature of having to check them weekly for me, and the repetitiveness of weekly assignments for them. Please share your method for choice homework in the comments!


Choice Homework in Spanish Class - originally posted 1/12/15

Something I started year one of teaching was "Real World Homework." I was inspired by this post by the creative language class and then bought their basic templateIt is one of the few things that I did my first year that I still continue today. The students thought that it was awesome that texting or tweeting their friends was homework. I changed the template over and over for every class and unit. I loved finding new options to add and change such as lyrics trainingmeme martes or unit specific options such as ESPN Deportes. Real World Homework is pretty much the only homework I assign and it is only worth 10% of the total grade.


Original Real World Homework Logistics

Students had to get 8 stamps throughout a unit, and any over that was the only way to earn extra credit in my class. At first it went great, students loved having a choice in their homework. They were supposed to show me what they had done before or after class, during work time, or before or after school. It worked great at first, until procrastination set in. Suddenly, the week of assessment when Real World Homework was due I would have a line out my door of students needing to show me ALL 8 completed activities. To make things worse, usually multiple classes were due on the same day, making for a quite irritated teacher. 

To ease this frustration, I started assigning a certain number of stamps per week, such as 2 stamps by Friday. This was better but still not ideal, since I would spend a big chunk of that day looking over Real Worlds. I finally realized that I was trying to cram too many in, since I would have 1 sheet of 8 stamps due every 3 or 4 weeks. Students were getting burnt out and resented what was supposed to be a fun homework option and I dreaded the days that they were due. I knew this year I needed a change. 


New Real World Homework Logistics

Since we started this school year newly one-to-one and using Google Classroom, I figured it would be a good time to try out a new choice homework system. I decided to try out the switch in just Spanish 3&4 at first, basing the point system on the one posted at Musicuentos. Spanish 1&2 still used the old Real World stamp sheets, since they were still new to them anyway. Every Tuesday by midnight students submit their "report" showing they did 3 points as a Google Classroom assignment in Spanish including "I did..." "It was worth__points," "I learned...," "I need to improve..." and a screenshot to prove what they did. Here is a link to my current choice homework options. Here are links to many other choice homework options. 
Example of an assignment on Classroom

Example #2

The new system was a welcome change for the upper level students who had already done two years of Real World stamp sheets with me. They like all of the new options included, and the flexibility of doing extra work one week, to buy a free week. I also love the creativity they had shown suggesting new ideas such as Trivia Crack in Spanish, presenting to their class about their mission trip to Guatemala, or the Day of the Dead Snapchat Story. Another new option that many students love is #spanstuchat, which I plan on blogging on soon! It also does not take into any precious class time checking for proof of completion. (But instead takes into my own time correcting them. It is not too bad if I stay on top of them, but if I forget to correct 3&4 when level 2 comes in it can be a bit overwhelming). Quarter 2 I started Spanish 2 on the same system, but completing only 2 points on Wednesday. 

The topic of choice homework came up in last week's #langchat, and I got another idea that may change my structure yet again, Google Forms! @mrsbolanos brought up that her students fill out a Google Form as reflection for their choice homework. This would make correcting MUCH faster, but at the same time would not allow for students to include a screen shot of their "proof." I know that some of my students just screen shot the website and probably did not spend 30 minutes on it like they should, but such is life. There will always be those who feel the need to cheat the system, and who are really just cheating themselves out of a learning experience. I am going to keep Spanish 1 using the stamp sheets, because I like the one of one conversation and getting to know them as they turn them in, but they only have one or two per quarter now. 

Do you do choice or real world homework? What is your system? 

4 comments

  1. Hi, I really appreciate this blog post and am interested in implementing something like this. I noticed the link to your list of current homework choice options is down. Is there a way to access it? Thank you very much! (You could probably sell that list on TPT. I'd buy it!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Travis,

      Thank you for letting me know the link was down. I just fixed it!
      Thank you for reading!
      Allison

      Delete
    2. Allison, thank you for fixing the link. When I tried accessing it to see what types of assignments you included, I was denied entry asking me if I wanted to change accounts. Can you make the link public? Thank you, Carmen

      Delete
    3. Carmen,

      It should be fixed again!

      Thanks!
      Allison

      Delete

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