I use this homework log as a way for my students to keep track of their own assignments. Each day, they take this log home in their folder, along with whatever daily assignment I have given them. When they come into my class the next day, they know the first thing to do is pull out their homework and their homework log, so I can walk by and check that they completed it (while they are busy with a "Do Now" activity in their journals).
I grade these logs about once every four weeks or so, or when the log gets full. Grading works as follows:
A student earns a check plus each day that they show me the assignment on time, fully completed, and so that it looks like they made a full effort.
A student earns a check minus if they completed the assignment, but they rushed or didn't follow directions.
A student earns an 'I' for an incomplete assignment--they started it, but didn't finish.
A student earns an 'M' if they lost their homework, forgot it, or didn't complete it. I usually will allow students who forgot their homework to show me the next day, and I give them a check minus for it.
When I go to grade the homework logs, I write up a homework log of my own with all the assignments I've given, and the dates they were due. I scan the student's homework log to make sure they have all the assignments, and I add in any that are missing as 'M'. Then I count the number of each score (check plus, check minus, I, or M) and input those numbers on the grading sheet. The grading sheets look really complicated, but they actually aren't at all--they make it super quick and exact so that students can't complain about their participation grades. Here's how it works:
Each grade corresponds to a percentage, or a decimal:
Check + = 100% or 1.0
Check - = 80% or .8
I = 70% or .7
M = 50% or .5
The number of assignments with a particular score is multiplied by the decimal, and then those totals are added up, and divided by the number of assignments. For example:
A student with 5 Check +'s, 2 Check -'s, and 2 M's would have:
5 x 1.0 = 5
2 x .8 = 1.6
2 x .5 = 1.0
Total score = 7.6
Total # of assignments = 9 (total possible points is 9 x 1.0 = 9)
Final Grade = 7.6/9 = .84 or 84%