Monday, July 15, 2013

Classroom Management - Turning in Homework

When I checked in on Facebook this morning, I saw that the Organized Classroom was hosting a freebie linky.  The freebie I decided to post today is a homework notice, which got me do other people collect homework in an efficient manner?  Here's how I do it...

After I greet each student at the door, they are expected to go in the classroom and complete their morning routine.

You'll see that #2 on the list is to turn in their homework.  My students turn their homework into the top tray (black trays to the far right of the picture-sorry the picture is a little blurry).  Now, I don't typically assign homework, students usually only have to turn in any work they didn't complete from the day before.  Just the same, it is work that they took home to complete, so alas, it's homework.
Once the homework manager completes his/her assignment book (#6), and before they begin their morning work (#7), they collect the homework from the tray and put it in number order (each student is assigned a number which they write along with their name on everything they turn in).  If there is someone who hasn't turned their homework in, the homework manager checks in with that student and reminds them they need to either turn their homework in or complete a homework notice. 
Once the homework manager has an assignment or homework notice from every student, he/she takes a student list (stored by the trays) and puts a check or HN (homework notice) next to each student's name.  They then put a binder clip on the papers (with the student list on top), and puts the stack back in the homework tray.  I make sure to check in with those students who didn't turn their homework in while they are working on their morning work.  All of this happens within the first 15 minutes of our school day. 
I chose to post the Homework Notice that I use in my class as today's freebie because I have found it to be invaluable in helping to not only keep students accountable, but also keeping parents in the loop!  I teach fifth grade, so students can (and should) be more independent at this age (but not too independent they are after all still just 9, 10, and 11 year olds!) 

I hope you find it as helpful as I do!  To download my freebie, click on the image below.

I'd love for you to post a comment (or a link to your blog) describing your homework collection procedure!

If you are looking for more freebies then check out Manic Monday at Classroom Freebies by clicking on the image below.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


  1. I take up homework while my kids are working on their warmup at the beginning of each class. After I have taken up all the homework I do a last call and then staple it all into one packet. The kids know that once the packet is stapled they are late, unless they can get it to me by the end of the day. I keep a notebook where they have to sign their name, the date, that assignment, and the reason they didn't complete it. So it is very similar to yours. I had just never thought of stapling it until one of my first teaching partners told me that she did it so the kids couldn't say they turned it in and she lost it.


    1. I can definitely see how stapling the packet together would solve that problem! Are you departmentalized? I have the same kids all day long, and teach them reading, English, spelling, math, science, social studies, art, health, and technology. I use this system for everything turned in, which by the end of the day can be a lot of papers. Sometimes those silly binder clips slip off, so stapling would be a good alternative!

  2. Thank you for the download!!

    I do have one question... I teach 6th math and wonder if students take the stapled sheet out of their homework binder so parents don't see it? I can see some of mine doing that.
    I want to implement a "no excuses"-type policy this year so students remain accountable for all work. I'm concerned, though, about record-keeping. follow-up, etc. Do you or your followers have ideas to streamline that process so that I'm not overcome with the time factor, phone calls home, and the like? File folders for each student, or a notebook of some kind for keeping the sheets organized for future reference?
    All ideas are appreciated!! :)

    1. I require a parent signature, so if they removed the notice from their assignment book it really wouldn't matter. If it doesn't come back the next day, the student and I call home together.

      For me, this is how I keep track...if you'll recall I check in with those students who didn't turn their homework in while they are working on their morning work. Once I check in with them, I put a small HN in the corner of my paper gradebook for that student and assignment and then I give them back the homework notice that they turned into the tray so they can get it signed. Once it comes back I make a diagonal line across the HN to indicate it has been returned signed. I then put the homework notice in a folder that I keep all homework notices, for all students in. Although I have this system, and definitely use it, my students typically turn in their homework on a regular basis. I rarely get a homework notice, so keeping them altogether has never been a problem. I have never had to go back in my folder to retrieve notices so this system works for me. In addition, I can quickly scan across my gradebook to see how many notices a student has gotten in any given marking period if need be.

      I hope this helps! Thanks for the comment and I hope you have a great school year!

  3. Fabulous Freebie!!! I've downloaded it and can't wait to use it this year! This is a fantastic idea for student accountability. Hopefully I won't need them often, but when I do I'm prepared. Thanks again!

    ~Amanda @elementary teacher files

  4. Thanks for your kind words, Amanda! I rarely have to use it, but when I do I sure am glad I have it! Have a great school year!

  5. This is such an awesome idea. I taught fourth last year and always checked who did and didn't turn in homework myself but it was a lot for me to do with the other necessary morning routines I have. I LOVE the idea of getting a student involved as a job and putting HN in your gradebook for it :) Sounds like you've been a teacher for a while! Thanks!

    1. Thanks, Jen! I've been a teacher for a while...16 years...and I also teach preservice teachers at the college level.

      Anything that allows me to focus less on housekeeping and more on children is a winner in my book!