Paperwork Management (Part 2) by Terra Graves

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Dec 27th, 2013
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Here are some more ideas to help you manage your paperwork in the classroom.

  1. To identify work, assign each student a number (usually the number next to their name in the grade book). You can also number all of your textbooks the same way to eliminate confusion about who has which book.
  2. Keep track of all assignments turned in with your class list checklist. Once you have checked off their assignments, file them in either the “Teacher Correct” or “Class Correct” tray.
  3. A good thing to train your students to do from the first day of school is to put a complete heading on their papers. Give them a sample page to keep in the homework section of their binder as a reference. Here is an example heading:
    • Name (First and Last)
    • Date
    • Subject or Period
    • Assignment
  4. Make sure students put their heading in the same place on every paper they turn in. The upper right hand corner is a good place for a heading.
  5. You can try positive reinforcement for the first few days of school. For example, give out candy or stickers (or something they will like) to everyone who has headed their papers correctly.
  6. You may need to have a negative consequence like not accepting papers without the proper heading, or marking them as “Late” after the positive reinforcement period. Some students get the message right away, and others take the whole year (and longer). Decide how important it is for you and act accordingly.
  7. Stress the importance of this by not accepting papers with improper headings. So much time is wasted trying to identify no-name papers, or which assignment they turned in (spelling, reading, etc.).
  8. For elementary grades a good way to handle absent work is to provide every student with an “Absent” folder. When they are absent, take it out of their desk and put everything that is handed out or assigned in it.
  9. If you don’t think they will leave them in their desks, keep them in a file crate near your desk or instruction area, and pull them out when they are absent. Leave it on top of their desk for when they return or a parent comes to pick up their work.
  10. As papers are passed out, write absent student names/period on them. Store in your class period trays/files in a folder labeled “Absent”.

© Terra Graves. Terra is an educator in Reno, Nevada. She has been a classroom teacher (elementary and middle school) and a mentor teacher (K-12). She continues to educate teachers through professional development courses and is currently the professional development coordinator for the Nevada Pathway Project, a technology integration project for middle school teachers across Nevada.

Terra is the author of Organized Teacher, A Guide for Beginning Teachers, and 102 Classroom Set-Up Tips for the Organized Teacher.  These items are available for purchase and immediate digital delivery at:  www.teachingjustgoteasier.comFollow Terra on Twitter: @teachingeasier

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