I grade math homework using a four-point system. In order to earn all four points, the work must be on time with every problem attempted and all work shown.
1. First, I check if all problems are done (I just quickly walk around while students work on a warm-up). An assignment that is missing a few problems earns a 3/4 and a paper that is only halfway completed earns a 2/4.
2. Then, I subtract an additional point if the assignment is late or the student did not show all work when solving. This means that if it was already only halfway done, and then the problems that were answered have no evidence of work, the assignment only earns a 1/4.
3. Occasionally, I also will consider an assignment incomplete if the directions were not followed correctly (if they were asked to explain in complete sentences and did not, for example).
-Complete, with all work shown, but late : 3/4
-Skipped the last few problems: 3/4
-Complete, but only showed work on half: 3/4
-Late AND skipped the last few: 2/4
I do allow students to fix up / re-do any assignment with a score of 2/4 or lower. However, they cannot earn a perfect score, because the revisions are late compared to a perfect assignment. An original score of 2/4 can become a 3/4 , which makes a big difference in the grade. This encourages students to go back and get the practice that they need instead of giving up.
I use the footnotes shown below in my gradebook. These have really helped make students accountable. Parents can see these online next to the score and are aware that the score was for one of these reasons, and not for lack of understanding.
W: Did not show work
D: Did not follow directions
The footnotes make a WORLD of difference when I need to reference why a grade was what it was.
I also put a box in the gradebook for a date a student was absent. The grade can still be filled in afterward. This has really helped me keep track!