Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sharing Thursday #5 ~ Turning in papers


So I shared that one of my teaching pet peeves is when a student says, "I don't know." I am making it my mission this coming year to give my students substitute words that mean more. You can read more about it by clicking the picture!
Another of my teaching pet peeves and struggles is trying to get ALL of my students to turn in their papers. Let me set the scene...
*wavy, blurry screen*
I have just finished my lesson. My student helper has passed out the assignment. We have discussed my expectations and they know to read the directions. I walk around the room as the students get to work, answer a few questions and encourage idle students to get to work.
I know the students need time to finish, so I turn on some work music.

~some time later~
The music cues everyone to finish up and turn in their papers. Most students are finished and walk to turn in their papers. Some rush to be the first. There are a few students who covertly stuff their unfinished paper into their desk, never to be found again.

*back to reality*

I have really been thinking about this problem. I really stayed on my 2nd graders to turn everything in when I asked for it, even if it wasn't finished. I think that might turn into a bigger problem with 4th graders. I know that students work at different paces, but we have limited time during the school day. (You all know this.) So I devised a plan.

I bought three pretty trays at Target's Dollar Spot a few weeks ago, so I decided they would work great for this project. I gathered some clothes pins, and my Xyron sticker maker.

(Side note: These are amazing! I only have the small one right now, but I will own the rest soon.)
Click to go to their website.

This is my new system for turning papers in and keeping track of students who do not turn their papers in on time. As you can see, there is a tray for Reading, Science & Social Studies, and Math. There are 22 clips on each tray and there is a recording sheet for each tray. 

Procedure:
  1. Music cues students to finish and turn in papers
  2. Student walk to the appropriate tray
  3. Lay their papers inside with the top to the left (so all papers are facing the same way)
  4. Grab their clip and place it in a jar beside the tray (I don't have those yet)
  5. Walk back to their desks
  6. After all students are back in their desks or later on in the day, my clerk will record the date, assignment, and any clips that remain on the recording paper
I will be able to see at a glance how many students still need to turn in their work. I usually let students turn in their work as they finish, so this will also be great in that scenario. I will be able to see if I should allow more time or if we should be finished based on how many clips are left.


At the end of the day, I will remind the students with their numbers on the recording papers that they have extra homework and those assignment are due the following day. I will train students to place their unfinished work in their STAR binder so it will find it's way home.

Here are my files if you want them.
Labels for the boxes and the clothes pins - Click here.
Recording Sheets:
          Reading - Click here.
          Math - Click here.
          Science & Social Studies - Click here.

I think this procedure will be quicker and easier than it sounds on paper. What do you think? Is there something I am missing? I am open to suggestions!


44 comments :

Amanda said...

First off how have I not been following your awesome blog yet? I'm second grade too and have loved all the ideas I have read so far- thanks! Good luck in 4th :)

Second I think your system sounds awesome! My only question is that you mentioned that students sometimes race to be at the basket first. Well now they have to do an added step of putting their clip into a jar.. do you think there will still be fighting or shoving going on? Could you have a leader of a group be in charge of putting students pins in the bucket and turning their papers in to cut down on basket traffic? Not sure if this will even be a problem though. I feel like I didn't have too much shoving and fighting last year..

Anyway, bottom line, I think it's a great idea! I'm excited to see how it turns out! :)

Amanda
Reaching for the TOP!

Tania said...

This looks great! How about having the kids flip their clothespin 90 degrees instead of using a jar? It will be easier to see who did not turn it in and it will save time rearranging them in order.
Tania
Mysecondsense

Becca Morris said...

Thanks ladies! Tania I think I am going to do that. I think it will cut down on time and mess. :)

Miss Foote said...

I think I love this! Hopefully it will help students stop asking me if they have turned everything in.

Laurie
Chickadee Jubilee

Katrina said...

I came across this on pinterest and I love it. I have always had the same problem so I will definitely use this in my fifth grade classroom. Thanks for sharing.

Katrina
Teacherofscholars.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I don't know about your school district, but in ours the class size goes up to 33 in fourth grade. I've taught fourth grade for several years and LOVE it, but keeping track of who has turned in each assignment has been quite tricky, not to mention extremely time consuming. This is a great idea and I can't wait to try it in my classroom this year!!! Thanks for the great idea :)

Becca Morris said...

Oh wow. 33 kids! Ouch. I hope this system works out for both of us!

Anonymous said...

I totally love this idea, I think I will modify it a bit and have the clips have the student's name on it. That way they can clip the clip to their papers which will show who is finished and eliminate no name papers.

natue said...

Cute idea. I like the idea of turning the clips around when they are done instead of putting them in a jar. You could have a smiley face instead of their number on the back.

Raye said...

I have those same turn in trays :) I really like this idea, even though it wasn't what I had planned for my class....now I might change it :D

I got the matching buckets too so I'm not sure quite yet what I will do with them!

Anonymous said...

I love the clip idea too, but only need one set since we do a packet once-a-week....I'm thinking I'd put their name or number on each side, but paint one side red and the other green....they would all be facing red, but when they turn in their homework, they'd flip the clip to the green side...at a glance, I could see who still needs to turn it in (red).

Becca Morris said...

Thanks for sharing your ideas ladies! They sound wonderful!

Heather said...

Collaboration at its best! Love this idea and discussion.

Andi Gardner said...

That really is a great idea! So much better than what I've got going on! I need to figure out a way to adapt a lot of the ideas I read about so that they will work in 7th grade!

--Andi
Mommy, Teacher, & So Much More

PS: I'm your newest follower! I love your blog! :)

Tiffany said...

I love this. I use popsicle sticks (for asking questions, drawing helpers, groups, etc) and let the kids decorate them with their name and class period. Think I'll add a clothespin for turning in papers. Thanks for the tip!

jackie'snaturalnow said...

Love this idea as well. Will most likely steal it...lol. I was thinking maybe I will either paint the clothes pins red on one side and green on the other or have kids move their clothes pins to the front of the bin when their paper is turned in. So the ones that are left in the back are the ones who still needs to turn in their paper.

Unknown said...

I do something similar at our middle school. Since I have different groups coming in each class period, I listed numbers down the middle of a piece of posterboard. All of the clothespins, with the numbers 1-26 on both sides of the clothespin, are on the left side under "no". As they turn their paper in, students move the clothespin to the right side under "yes". The title of the board is "Who has their paper turned in?" I have the same thing on the back of the poster. That way at the end of the period, I record who hasn't turned their paper in and flip it over so I don't have to move all the clothespins over. All of the clothespins are on the same side ready for the next class.

paulas said...

I do this with homework as well so I quickly know who I have to nag (I mean, remind...) to hand in their homework.

I can't believe I have not found this awesome blog before. BUT...I have found it at the right time. I am moving from 2nd to 4th this year too and your energy has helped my jitters.

Becca Morris said...

Thanks Paulas! We can do it!

Blah said...

I love that idea! I want to try this, but was concerned about the clips.

Jennifer P. Underwood said...

I have tried a couple different ideas with turning papers in also. In my fourth grade room, I have three classes of students that rotate, and then I teach my homeroom two different subjects so it gets a little confusing!! I love the idea of turning the clips around, I think it might be time consuming to take off and put back on 65 clips. We also color coded the different groups and I have color coded the trays, homework trays, and the students write their color group on their paper. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

Stephanie9598 said...

How would this work best for an assignment you give at the beginning of the week like a spelling packet for instance? This is a really good idea trying to figure out how best to make it work for me.

Becca Morris said...

I guess you would just use the clipboard and not the clips.

mrsvanner said...

Great idea. I agree that is is bes to have students work on their own pace and turn in assignments when they are completed. This system will reduce the need for me to engage the students to ask them who is still working thus I am not interrupting my entire class. Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

They could also move the clip to another side of the tray...

Anonymous said...

I wish my teachers had done something like this when I was in school because I had seemed to never remember if I handed in the correct papers or not and all your "kids" would have to do is know their number instead of digging through the bin. Also good because sometimes teachers papers get mixed with other classes all you'd have to do is look for the clip that day and know if your missing it or not. Kudos on the good idea! Best of luck.

Teach 3 and 4 said...

This is awesome! Normally I my class completes assignments, but I have one or two sneaky ones who don't AND don't take it home to finish it up. This will definitely help me see who needs to take some time to finish it up at the end of the day :) Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Students could just highlight their number on the clipboard paper when they turn in their work. I've also had students highlight their name on their own papers. This helps to get them to remember their name on the paper. Highlighting their name/number on the clipboard would eliminate the clothespins all together, but still show who has not turned in their work.

JSwygard said...

I teach in middle school. How do you deal with the kid that messes with someone else clip or the kid that moves the clip but doesn't turn in his assignment.

Anonymous said...

I teach grade 1 and will try this also. I often have the student at the back of each row pick up papers for his/her row. This works well once the routine is learned because a six-year old loves the power/responsibility of being sure to collect all the papers. I move students around every month, so everyone gets a turn to be at the "back of the bus." Of course this method works best when we are finishing at the same time. So ... I can't wait to try the clip idea. THanks!!

Anonymous said...

I think you may run into problems if you have more than one assignment that belongs in each bin. What if the student put their clip on the paper that they turn in, and if they turn in more than one then they clip their papers together (saves time for you). Or, they could move their clip around the bin. For example, for the first assignment in the Math bin their clip moves clock wise to the left side of the basket, then for the 2nd assignment it goes to the front of the bin, and 3rd to the right side.

julie m said...

My s ystem is much more simple. I copy class lists that had been divided into boys and girls. When i collect a paper, i attach a class list. As the kids turn it in,they highlight their name on their paper and then on my list paper. (This also ensures their name is on their paper.)

Jennifer Moulton said...

Where did you get your turn in trays?

Anonymous said...

Excellent idea! I'm going to use it but make an adaptation. Since I teach several math sections for 2nd grade and we use several 'subjects' for reading and then there is science or art assignments. I'm going to use hangers with the math warm up, math game (curriculum math), word problems, grammar, spelling, phonics, homework. Each hanger will have clips for students painted green on one side, red on the other. They will be flipped to the red side until work is turned in, then the clip can be turned to green on same hanger in same spot.This may be a lot but I will stack the shelves and hang the hangers on the side of the box so I can everyone can see at a glance what work needs to be completed. I'm excited to solve the bane of my existence of tracking paper flow!!! Yeah! Thanks to your original idea and the creative comments!

pjduer said...

Great idea! I am going in to 4th grade next year after teaching special education small pull out for years. I can use all the help I can get with keeping it all organized.

Anonymous said...

I have done something similar to this for years. Only difference...I have students put their initials beside their name on the clipboard when they turn it in. I like the clip idea tho!!

The Queen Bee said...

I love this idea, I am all about the clips!

Anonymous said...

Do you assign a number to the kids in the beginning of the year? I teach HS but still LOVE this idea for organization.

RedSignature said...

In HS, I take a minute to be sure all papers are accounted for before the class is over; I created a form for my kids to sign and stare why the work was not being turned in on time, and kept it with the stack of papers. I had proof that I hadn't lost the work, could account for the missing grade when I recorded grades and could easily see a pattern develop early and use the form when showing the student and parent what was happening. "Failure to Complete/Turn In Assignment" sheets have been a valuable organizational tool and teaching strategy to help me maintain my ZAP policy.. zeros aren't permitted! I require kiddos to do the work even if their grade is low due to required late points, etc. love your different baskets and charts!

cmn's blog said...

I know this blog is old, but similar idea for older grades is have a cover sheet with everyone's name on it & the assignment on a clip board. Kids can cross their names out when they place their work UNDER the cover sheet. Then you can highlight the ones who still have to turn in their work. I do this for turning in HW.

Pat Slozak said...

This is a cute idea. I have also had great success with attaching a class list to the front of a file folder, as the students complete their work, they put it in the folder and check off their name. The assignment is noted at the top of the column - can get 20 assignments on one list before having to replace with a new one. I do have multiple folders for different subjects. Quick and easy to glance down the list to see who has not turned in the assignment. When it's time to correct or go home, I just grab the folder and tuck it in my bag. I have done this with both second, sixth, and fourth graders.

Sophia Phillips said...

Where did you get your turn in bins? I know they might not be available since you got them a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

I think the reason why you may want to use numbers is so that one can continue to recycle the clips the following year...but I can understand why you would like to write their names, too. It's an idea and one should use it as they see fit. Either way, good luck to you in the new school year :)

Unknown said...

I'm glad I read the comments because I loved the idea even better just to have highlighters and students can highlight their number or name on the clipboard and then highlight their name on their paper. This is so much similar and takes less time than the clothes pins. Although I just got done coloring my clothes pins. I will have to find another use for those!

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