Your week is full of meetings, more meetings, planning for lessons, teaching the lessons, and family stuff. Meanwhile your stack of paperwork is growing higher. On Friday, you throw the pile in your favorite teacher bag. Or if the stack of papers to grade is really high, you put it in your rolling cart.
I did not buy one of these carts until I had taught for a few years. I wished I would have purchased it much earlier. It would have saved me many trips to my car.
You dread grading all weekend because you know the amount of time it will take. On Sunday, you finally sit down prepared to get the task down. Then you discover that some of your students did not turn in their work. There are different reasons for this:
- Students was absent when the assignment was given.
- Assignment was lost in the student's Bermuda Triangle desk.
- Assignment is left in student's homework folder.
- Student left assignment at home.
- Student lost his/her assignment.
- Asking student for assignment.
- Student looking for assignment in desk, folder, locker, or backpack.
- Finding or making copies of missing assignment(s) for students who no longer have a copy of it.
- Asking for assignments again and again.
It is not realistic to expect 100% of the class to turn assignments 100% of the time. I realize that there will be days when students are absent and adults occasionally forget something, too. But, I did want to help my students improve their work habits.
Students who forget to turn in their work fill out a reflection page called "Oops! I forgot to bring my work." Students write their name and date at the top. Then they answer:
I do not have my work because . . .
To fix this problem, I will . . . .
The Oops! page is stapled to the missing assignment. Students complete the work, parents sign the Oops note, and then students turn in note/assignment. Communication with parents is key to this system.
You can color code the Oops notes by subject or by grading period. Use the Oops notes for R.T.I., report cards, or parent teacher conferences. You can get a free copy .
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