MSM 189 – (Homework + Science) Dave^2 = Podcast


Middle School Matters is proud to bring you a wonderful interview with Mr. Dave Tucker. His school has taken on the issue of homework with some terrific results. If your school struggles with students turning homework in, you need to listen to this interview.

Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

This middle school science minute is about the physics of curling. In the December, 2011 issue of Science Scope (NSTA publication), there is an article entitled, “Swept Away: Exploring the Physics of Curling” by Liza Esser.  In the article, Liza explains the game of curling, the physics of curling, and then she develops a 5E lesson that she uses in her unit on forces and motion.

Interview with Mr. Dave Tucker

School Improvement team effort

What things would improve the learning of the students?  Proficiency, meeting the needs of the students.

Changing it from a policy group to a learning policy group.

A strong indicator was the completion of homework.

Started with research and reading.

What should the policy be?

Decided that existing ones were not the best to choose from or merge into a policy.

Read stuff by Doug Reeves  (Wears a bow tie) in the pictures in his research articles.

Yes, it isn’t APA documentation, but will help you find it.  🙂    )

“No Missing Homework” policy wasn’t the best choice either.

All homework would be accepted, late or not, and accepted for full

credit.  No Killer Zeros.  A 0 is 10% below a D.

Tiered intervention system.

Homeroom/Advisory 30 mins.  (Homework Club Time)

Using Zangle, staff can pull the missing assignment list for each student.

Provides a coaching role for the Advisory teacher.

Level I:  Student gets a pass to Homework Club from Advisory and they have to continue to go there until it is all completed.

Level II:  Students are pulled from an elective class of administration’s choosing and put into an elective class called Homework Club II.  (Band seems to be an inoculation against Homework Club!)

Level III:  Intervention level that requires staying after school with the administrators  (This unjustified border is driving you nuts, isn’t it?)

What does homework mean?  Why give it?

It’s a good formative assessment.

Good way to introduce a subject.

Practice a skill that has been taught.

We don’t want homework to be a test of academic stamina.

It needed a systemic response with all of the teachers on board.

It is so labor and detail intensive.

Encore subjects are second to Core curriculum.

Art & Science of Teaching by Marzano

Find more information about Mr. Dave Tucker at or contact us and we’ll pass it along.

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