How do you return students' graded papers to them? Returning papers can take up so much time, there has to be a better way. Through the years, I've tried countless different ways but I have yet to find the perfect way. I'll share a few of the ways I've tried and then I'd love to hear your ideas. Maybe together we can solve this dilemma.
Each student is assigned a number (alphabetically). Students put their name and number on all assignments. My mailboxes were numbered so I didn't have to add names to the mailboxes each year - a definite plus. I graded papers and put them in a bin. Student helpers (mailmen) put the graded papers in the mailboxes. Some years I had my students collect their "mail" at the end of the day and other years mail gathered in the box until Friday when they took it home. The problem with this system is it can get crowded around the mailboxes. It can be time consuming to send a few students at a time to collect their mail. I tried assigning a group of students to get their mail on each day of the week. Example: Student #1-5 get their mail on Mondays, students #6-10 get their mail on Tuesday, etc. The problem with this system is what do you do when you have time sensitive papers that need to go home? I.E. test that needs a parent's signature
With this system, I graded papers and stuffed them in folders that were sent home on Fridays. This system, by far, took the least amount of class time. Ya for that! But . . . drum roll . . . it took many hours, hours of my personal time, to stuff the folders. Think of how much time two students helpers spend a week stuffing the mailboxes. Then take that times two since there are two students mailing the papers when there is only one of me and you can see why this system is so time consuming. The glitches to this system is what do you do when students forget to return their folders? The big positive about this system is parents knew graded papers were coming home on Friday. The consistency factor of this system is a major plus! Signatures on tests and other required paperwork came back from parents better with this system.
Wrap up was the last 15 minutes of the day. Students were assigned jobs to do during wrap up. One of the jobs was passing back graded papers. The plus of this system was students got feedback (grades) quicker. When graded papers went home on Fridays, the papers weren't always looked at which is a shame because students miss out on an opportunity to learn from their mistakes. The other thing that happened with this system is I often found graded papers on the floor after students left at the end of the day. Paperwork that required parents' signatures did not come back as readily with this system.
How do you return your students' work?