Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Daily Assignment #6 : Notices/Homework

If you are reading this, Congratulations, you have made it through the first day of school and you still want to teach!!!!

I would like to share with you an organizational strategy for sending School Notices and homework home.

The custodian, at my school, would always say he knew more about my classroom than parents because he always found the notices and homework on the floor.

So, clearly I needed a new strategy for notices and homework assignments going home and coming back.

Have a pocket folder for each student, labeled with their name in one corner and Homework written on the center of the folder.  On the pockets, on one side write "home" and on the other write "school."  Any notices/homework assignments that were to go home, you guessed it, went on the home side and, I think you can figure out the rest.  Have a basket large enough to hold all folders near the door of the classroom, along with a class list.  As students come in the next day, have them put their folders in the basket and check their names off the list.  Simple, and yet, basic skills are being taught, e.g. organization, responsibility, to mention a few.

The first day you try this, there are several steps you will need to do.  First, write a letter to parents letting them know about this strategy/routine.  Then you must teach your students how to do the routine.

Remember: 1. Name it.
                   2. State it's purpose.
                   3. Model how it will look-- what the folder will look like; how they should take the papers out when they get home; how it will look when they complete their homework; making sure their name is on the papers; how to put papers back in the folder neatly; how to put the folder in the basket when they return to school and how to check their name off the list.
                  4. Have the students practice with a partner.
                  5. Give feedback
                  6. Practice

Now send it home.  Are you exhausted yet?

I know some of you are saying that this is way too elementary.  Trust me, it isn't.  Kids may role their eyes and giggle, but they will remember.

Okay, on the next day, everybody gets it right!  YEA!!  You are awesome, which is probably what you're thinking, but in order to keep this routine successful, you must be tenacious about the steps.

Let's say it doesn't work the next day, what do you do.  Re- teach.  Sometimes it takes many reteaching lessons, but if it is important to you, you need to be tenacious.

If you're not, the students perceive that you don't care.  This is not a good precedent to set.

So, give it a lot of thought.  Figure out if this is a strategy that is important to you and would make your life a little easier if you put in the effort now.

Let me know how it goes.

Best Effort,

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