March 24, 2004
I have found a great way to keep kids on task and to record completed assignments. I give my students 3x5 note cards on which they write their names and class period. As I teach, I walk around the class checking to see that the assigned work is being done to my standards. If so, I stamp the student's card with a self-inking date stamp. I prefer a date stamp, because it gives me a record of the weeks covered and because I can tell when I have already stamped a student's card. Surprisingly, it works like magic! The kids really respond. When they ask me why someone else has more stamps, I remind them that student was on time, remembered his books, etc. When the cards are full, I have the students count the date stamps and write the total on their cards. I collect them and a student aide records the number in my book. I choose what amount will be 100% credit, allowing for some students to have more than 100%. This system is more objective than trying to remember how well a student participated over a week or two. In addition, it saves me from collecting and handling many papers. All I handle is a pile of cards. If a student loses or forgets his/her card, I issue another and that student can turn in both if the first card is found.