Many teachers struggle with how to keep track of student work. There are several things that you can do to make it easier.
1. Number your students
I know some teachers feel that it is impersonal to number your kids, but I don’t because I never refer to the students by their number. The numbering is for ordering the classwork and homework. I even explain this to the students and in my experience they get it (especially when they are organizing the work).
I personally number my students in alphabetical order by last name. This just helps me especially when I have to read names at promotion (it is the same order, so I have it memoried). But it doesn’t really matter. I have had years where I did random order and it didn’t really matter. My team partner organizes her kiddos in alphabetical by students’ first name.
I create labels with names and numbers on them for folders, notebooks, materials, etc.
2. Use a record system
I use strips of numbers to record the students who turned in work and who hasn’t. I can also write grades next to their numbers for the grade book. I can see who was absent or excused from the assignment too. I do one number strip for each assignment, test, or activity. You can also use them for collecting field trip forms, doing a job, etc.
3. Have a place to collect work
It is important to collect work the same way so you create a system for your classroom. All my students’ work goes into the baskets below the Promethean Board. You want to be consistent in collecting work because you always have someone who says, “I turned it in”. Well, if you have only one place turned in work goes, it should be there.
I like to have different baskets for each subject. It helps my students and I stay more organized.
4. Have a way to pass all work back
After entering all work into the grade book, I have the work filed into mailboxes. Students help out with this. I teach them if they keep the work in order throughout the collecting and grading process, then it is easier to file them into the mailboxes because they are in order.
On Fridays, we put all the work from the week into the Friday Folders to go home. I have a color code system that lets parents know how their child is doing with assignments and behavior. Then students bring the Friday Folder back to school on Monday signed by a parent.
5. Use technology
I use technology for two things. The first is I use an online grade book. Several years ago, my computer was having problems and the district tech person had to replace my hard drive twice. Well, each time he wiped out my grades because the grading system was only on my computer. After that I decided I would never use a grading program that wasn’t online.
The second thing I use with technology is Google Classroom. Not only does this help with giving assignments and tests to my kiddos, but it also allows me to grade student work too. I really love this option. We save paper and I can grade the work at home easily.
Whatever you choose to do to keep track of students’ work, just be consistent. Let the students know how you are collecting work so they know what to expect.
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