In my first year of OWL teaching, I was terrible at assigning homework. I would be so focused on repeating vocabulary and ending class on a positive note, that I would forget to explain the assignment. Likewise, if I did manage to assign homework, the following class would either take a direction that rendered our homework irrelevant or I would simply forget to check and incorporate the work. To tackle this problem, I decided to stop assigning and checking homework and jumped on the choose your own homework bandwagon.
Creating a Choose Your Own homework document has been a lifesaver. It has given me more time in class, taken away the stress of creating a homework assignment and most importantly, it forces students to take charge of their educational experience.
Below, I am attaching what I use for my Spanish Two Classes. It is based on Sara-Elizabeth Cottrell’s of Musicuentos Choose Your Own Homework document. Here you can find her version as well as other samples from fantastic educators. In the Musicuentos’s version you will notice that homework options are assigned a point value ranging from one to five. As the point value increases, the tasks become more difficult and interactive. The different point values also require different language functions. For instance, one pointers ask students to list words and use a lot of vocabulary from the class. A two pointer might ask them to write phrases or sentences with the vocabulary. A three pointer might require some internet investigation as well as a description while a four pointer might require narration. Five pointers frequently require interactivity with the community beyond the classroom.
For grading, I choose a number of points to be completed each week and then multiplied this by the number of weeks in the quarter in order to determine how many points are necessary to receive an A. I also had students record their homework in a blog. I chose blogger by Google as students can easily email videos and posts to their blog. This accountability system worked well for me, but use what works for you!
Enjoy and OWL on!