Do you ever feel like you’re drowning in paperwork? Do you have stacks of papers as far as the eye can see? Is it a rare occurrence when 100% of your class turns in an assignment? I’ve been in your shoes and there is a way to tame the paper tiger. Have you ever read the book “The Tipping Point”?
The author, Malcolm Gladwell, gives examples of how small things can make big differences. My tipping point with paperwork was when I came up with this form:
The form above is a microsoft doc. For some reason when I upload it to google docs it changes the format so it no longer looks like the picture above. If you want to use this form, you will have to do some editing. After you click on the picture above, click on “file”, and then click on “download as”, you will download as a microsoft doc. After that you can edit the doc. to fit your needs.
HOW TO USE THIS FORM:
I print off several copies of this form, cut them apart, and keep a stack near my “turn in” spot for work.
I’ve done this differently depending on the age of my students.
When I taught 3rd grade, after I taught the lesson, handed out the assignment, I filled out the top of this form, and TAPED a strip to the counter by the “turn in” spot. When students finished their assignment, they highlighted their name on the strip with a yellow marker, highlighted their name on their assignment, and turned in their assignment to the correct tub/slot/file or whatever the “turn in” spot is. Having them highlight their name on the strip and their assignment solves 2 BIG problems. You will rarely have students who forget to write their names on their assignments and when work time is over it is very easy to see who hasn’t turned in their work because their name isn’t highlighted. With older students I have a “O” helper which stands for organizer helper. My “o’ helper collects the assignments from the “turn in” spot, puts them in number order (which makes it easier when you record grades), puts the strip with highlighted names on top, and clips them together. I have a special spot to put these collected assignments in. If you noticed, there is a column on the strip for reason why the assignment isn’t done. The reasons are: #1 – absent, #2 – pull-outs (reading specialist, speech therapist, etc.), #3 – left school early, #4 -worked too slow, and the other column is for grades. This is helpful if you have an electronic grade book. I keep all of these clipped together assignments in a tub. In the morning, I lay out the previous day’s work on my reading table. It’s very easy to call on students whose names aren’t highlighted to see if they completed their work at home. If they did complete their work, I highlight their name with a blue highlighter which tells me they completed it the next day. If they turn it in 2 days late I highlight it in pink, 3 days is green, and 4 days is purple. On Friday, any unfinished work is finished during Friday Fun Day. I don’t input grades until that time so assignments – with the exception of students who have been absent – should be finished.
When I taught kindergarten and 1st grade, I still used these strips, put the papers in number order, had students finish their work during Friday Fun Day, but it took a lot longer to train them in the highlight your name on the strip and assignment procedure. Once I got to know my students, I was able to train a student or two who could put the assignments in number order, but I didn’t have an “O” helper as a job.
These strips are great documentation because they are color coded. If your have a staffing for a student, look through your strips to see how many non-yellow marks he/she has. You can also see if there is a reason why his/her work isn’t getting finished. Maybe getting pulled for support is interfering with work time so his/her schedule needs to be tweaked. In this day and age of RTI, pressure for test scores, being held accountable to very high standards, is there really such a thing as too much documentation? With this system, you’re making your life easier, so the documentation is an added side benefit. Good luck if you decide to try it!
This system is a part of my packet which is sold at TPT.
Lorraine @ Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies is having Classroom Organization Tip Linky Party and I’m joining the fun. Thank you Lorraine for hosting the party!
Becca @ Teaching First is hosting an organization linky party. I love parties so I’m joining the fun.
I’m also linking up with Debbie Clement’s linky party.