Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Class Folders

I've noticed over the years that students will give just about any excuse to get what they want. Most of the time the excuse is geared towards making their life easier all while getting the best grade possible.

My next few posts are going to be geared towards showing ways to eliminate those excuses (mostly through classroom organization).  Hopefully they can kill two birds with one stone: firstly keeping you (the teacher) organized and secondly, DRASTICALLY cutting down on excuses and increasing student self-responsibility.

In my room, each hour has a box (I use a magazine holder box).  In each box are three folders: IN, OUT and ABSENT.

Rather than have students pass forward their work and then I put it in some sort of grading pile, I have them turn it into the in-folder.  This majorly cuts down on "Madame I gave that to you!" or "Madame, I put it on your desk!"  If it's not in the in-folder, it's not in.  The out-folder is where I put finished/graded items for students.  They are always welcome to dig through there to see if they have anything to take.  Whenever there is a work time and the out-folder is getting particularly full, I'll pass it out as well.  The absent folder is where I put any worksheets students missed while absent.  I put their name on it and they go to the folder to get any handouts they missed.  It saves my sanity from having to keep track of extra copies for students who are gone.

I also have my OWN set of folders in my school bag to keep organized.  I have a "to correct/grade", a "to hand back/to", and a "my papers".  I ALWAYS take anything from the in-folder of a class to put it immediately into the "to correct/grade".  Once it's graded, it's put into the "to hand back/to" folder, which then goes to the out-folder.  By using a folder system, I have found that losing student work is minimal to non-existent, which not only cuts down on their excuses, but mine as well.  Whenever a student comes up to me and tells me they handed something in (even if I'm showing it's not), I can say with SO much more confidence, "Sorry Pierre, I don't have it here.  Maybe check your folder?"

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