He's a teacher just getting started with this alternative model, and something he noted about homework incompletion spoke to me. I loved that he held his students accountable in a way that still supported their learning (he chased them down the next day, and invited them to come in during their study hall and lunch periods to make up the assignment -- not unlike my weekly "working lunch" during which students are welcome to spend lunch in my room completing work).
In my classes, too, some students seem to think that because specific pages aren't assigned out of a textbook that means they have "no homework". WRONG!!
At first, I thought the students were just trying to weasel their way out of doing homework. But then I realised that the more open-ended nature of the homework assignment (i.e. "choose something you need to review, and decide how you will follow up on that") really can be a challenging assignment, even for the most organized intermediate students, if they've had no experience with that sort of independent choice.
I therefore decided to create a homework guide sheet (posted to the left), which I plan to copy and distribute to my Grade 8 students this week (will start with the Grade 7s in the new year)
Depending on how things go, I may move away from the sheet in the new year, and into a "homework book" in which they can record a goal at the end of each class or each week.