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In this action research study of my eighth grade differentiated Algebra students, I investigated the effects of students using self-assessment on their homework. Students in my class were unmotivated and failed test objectives consistently. I wanted students to see that they controlled their learning and could be motivated to succeed. Formative assessment tells students how they need to improve. Learning needs to happen before they can be assessed. Self-assessment is one tool that helps students know if they are learning. A rubric scoring guide, daily documentation sheet and feedback on homework and test correlations were used to help students monitor their learning. Students needed time to develop the skill to self-assess. Students began to understand the relationship between homework and performing well on tests by the end of the action research period. Early in the period, most students encountered difficulty understanding that they controlled their learning and did not think homework was important. By the end of the year, all students said homework was important and that it helped them on quizzes and tests. Motivating students to complete homework is difficult. Teaching them to self-assess and to keep track of their learning helps them stay motivated.