New Idea for Checking Homework: Math Journals

As the year is coming to an end, I’ve started thinking about how I want to organize next year. I am really trying to include more writing into my geometry curriculum. Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 10.47.57 AM

I have decided that I am going to create a math journal for my students for each chapter. This journal will include:

  • Pre-assessment Essential Questions
  • Notesheets
  • Homework
  • Blank note sheets
  • End of chapter Essential Questions


During the chapter, I plan to check homework a few times a week. If students didn’t do their homework, I plan to mark the homework in red pen. If students didn’t do certain problems, I plan to circle the problem in red pen. This is the only recording I will do for homework the entire chapter.

At the end of the chapter, I plan to collect every math journal. Students must turn in a complete math journal. The homework that they did not do/finish must also be completed.

My idea is that  when I scroll through their math journals, I can easily see if they missed  a homework by looking for red-pen. If there is no red pen, they receive full credit for homework. If I see red-pen, but the problems were completed at a later date, they will receive a small deduction from their homework. If they did not complete the problems they missed, they will have a larger deduction taken from their chapter homework grade.

My idea is that this will encourage students to do their homework and make them accountable for doing homework they missed.  It also helps that all of their work will in one place.

Collecting the journals will also give me a chance to how my students have grown from the beginning to the end of the chapter. Looking at the pre-and post essential questions will help me easily see this growth.

The journal will also help keep my students organized. I’ve already started putting my first two unit journals together. A lot of my notes are done their PearDeck, but this journal gives me a chance to put in some guided notes and space for my students who like to take notes by hand.

I decided to break up the journals by chapter, so I’m not stuck with certain material all year. I just have to make the lessons for the unit a week before.

I’m looking for feedback, suggestions for this journaling and homework idea.  Has anyone tried math journals before? Do you think grading homework will be effective? All feedback is welcome 🙂




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