November 23, 2005
At the beginning of the year, I explain to my students how to pass in papers. They must wait for the papers from behind, put their own on top, and pass the stack forward. When I collect each row's papers from the first seat of that row, I make sure to keep the rows in order, and I keep them that way when I grade them. When I return the papers, they're in the order the kids are sitting, and it takes only a few minutes to go up and down the rows to return them. I have the students do a warm-up of five minutes or so at the start of class (something on the overhead that goes into their notebooks). While they're working on the warm-up, I get housekeeping chores like attendance and paper-returning out of the way, and they're generally settled in by the time I need to start the class with them. At the end of the quarter, they have an open-notebook test on the warm-ups; it keeps them responsible for the warm-ups and saves me having to grade all those notebooks! The big thing is to establish the routine at the beginning of the year.