In my opinion, those 20% of your students who don't complete their homework is an expected number (I always estimate that 10 to 25% of all students have serious homework problems). For those students, continued efforts to make them do all their work and the practice of continuing to mete out low grades is causing harm that they will carry with them far beyond the third grade. I daresay that many kids who end up highly dysfunctional and on drugs in their teen and early adult years have problems that were fueled by unrelenting homework policies. I explain this issue in my book, The Homework Trap: How to Save the Sanity of Parents, Teachers and Students. I know you are a caring teacher and do not want to harm the children you teach, but the reality is that you have to back down on the demands or you will harm them.
Here's the follow-up comment I left after reflecting on my first comment and concerned that she might find my thoughts harsh. I certainly support teachers who care about students. I'm just concerned that they don't understand the reality which is that some kids are going to get harmed by the homework system if they don't get relief:
By the way, I did not mean to discount the value and creativity in the plan you describe in your article. I'm just saying that, push come to shove, you have to be ready to back down from the requirement if your incentive plan does not work, or does not work for some of the kids. Perhaps, half the kids will do okay, but you'll still have that 10% who won't and have to have homework relief.
Dr. Kenneth Goldberg, is the author of The Homework Trap: How to Save the Sanity of Parents, Teachers, and Students, published by Wyndmoor Press.
I recommend giving copies of the book to the teachers at your child's school. Discount purchases are available through Wyndmoor Press. Single copies can be purchased at Amazon.