The Universal Homework Model (UHM for short) is a homework routine that allows the children choice over how much homework is completed each night. The model incorporates genuinely entertaining assignments, with an added bonus of positive peer pressure, to build students' reading, writing, and math skills. Students are not required to do any homework. However, the amount of homework completed by the class determines how many minutes of Mind Soccer the class gets to play on Friday. The class earns 1 point for each star of homework completed.
For example in my class of 20 students:
10 do 1 star homework (10 points)
4 do 2 star homework (8 points)
and 3 do 3 star homework (9 points).
My students earned a total of 27 points that night. For mathematics sake, let's pretend they earn that many points for each night of homework in a week (4). That means that the class earns 108 points. Hold that thought!
For 20 students the highest number of points possible for the week is 240. 80% of 240 is about 192 so to get three minutes of Mind Soccer the class earns 192-240 points. 60% of the points possible is about 144 points. So for 2 minutes of Mind Soccer the class earns 144-191 points. Finally, 40% of 240 is 96 so for 1 minute of Mind Soccer the class earns 1-95 points.
Since my class earned 108 points, they get to play 2 minutes of Mind Soccer on Friday. Do you understand what just happened? You have students volunteering to do homework,
Now, here is where all that peer pressure comes in! When kids bring in 1 star work, they hold it in the air. When kids bring in 2 star work, they stand up and wave their work in the air. When kids bring 3 star work, they stand up, wave their work in the air and everyone cheers! On Wednesday you are going to total up the points and looking very concerned, VERY concerned... ask who is willing to do EXTRA work to help the class earn those Mind Soccer points. Write the volunteers' names on the board. Have everyone cheer for them and make a BIG deal about it. Have kids turn to their partners and BEG them to do 3 stars of homework. Have the kids BEG you for MORE work to help them out! Anything you can do to get them to do more work at home!
But isn't this supposed to SAVE me time? you ask....
Why yes! You don't take these things up every day and grade and return them. NO! You may walk around and check that it has been completed. Or, depending on the age of your students, you might choose homework captains (my preferred checking method) who check that homework has been completed. If any times on the Super Speed assignment seem hinky, have a homework captain time the student reading the page to check the times. Easy peasy! On Fridays, the students staple all assignments together and return them to you. <sigh> So simple!
Below is a video from Coach B. explaining UHM in even more detail. Be sure to take a look so you get the full picture.