June 09, 2004
I have taught 6th grade for ten years, third grade for nine, and this is what I do: Send home letters on the first day on what you expect academically and behaviorally. Have the parents sign the bottom of these letters so that you know that they have read them. Get the kids organized. Give them each a homework folder, to be taken home each afternoon and back to school each morning. Number it with their number in your grade book. Each morning have a student helper put the folders in numerical order, and pull out the homework. If any is missing, that student stays in during recess that morning to do the homework. The helper will also collect papers throughout the day, and check off assignments on a page on a clipboard. At the end of the day, make a note of missed work in two places, on a page with the child's name in a loose-leaf binder, and on another paper with a check off for each day i.e. 'Mon. Hw missing, no recess'. This latter page will go home at the end of the week with all or any missing assignments and notes such 'moved his/her desk, talking'. This paper goes home every Friday along with my weekly newsletter that tells the parents just what we will be studying the next week. The parent must sign this paper and return it each Monday, or again, the penalty is losing recess. Getting this signature is the child's only homework on Fridays! Some days, especially at first, it will seem as though you are punishing yourself (you have to stay in for recess with them), but it pays off if you are very persistent. This is not as cumbersome a system as it seems, it gets easier as you go.