Friday, August 2, 2013

Late work

I don't know if it's just me, but I often find myself with a small stack of papers that come in as late work, frequently well after the original due date.  In my district, we're not supposed to deny a child the opportunity to turn in work even if it's two months late, so sometimes work from April arrives in June.  At that point, it's not useful to me or the student since we're well beyond that concept, but I still have to grade it.

Since I assign different points whether the child was absent or just chose not to do the work on time, I often find myself going back to my attendance records to check.  This is a bit of a pain.  I've seen the binders that teachers use where students record that they have a missing assignment on the due date and they're neat but I wouldn't necessarily have that information at my fingertips if I'm grading papers at home.  I realized that I would be more efficient if this information was already recorded on the assignment.  So, I made some labels.  These can be printed on the standard 5160/8160 Avery labels that come 30 to a sheet. I wish I had some neon labels, but I'll have to be content with white for now.

Here they are, along with the directions that I'll post.  Labels are in PDF and Word in case you need to edit and I just put the directions in Word because you'll likely have a different procedure than I do.  Sorry for any wonkiness- Box doesn't love the font that I love (Noteworthy, available on Mac). 

I was totally ready to post this to Made4Math when I realized it's Friday.  I'm sure I'll concoct something else by then!  I'll be linking to The Teacher's Chair instead.  Have an awesome weekend! 

How do you keep track of the late assignments in your classroom?

Mathematically yours,
Miss B


  1. I only collect homework once per unit (it's a packet; I do a walk-around to check daily). At the end of the day that I collect it, I usually remove all the paper from the basket on my desk. Anything that shows up after that gets "Late" written on it (and checking for absences is easier since it's only once every few weeks that I collect anything).

    I like the idea behind your labels, though. I bet some of my colleagues will benefit from that idea, so I'll share it with them.

  2. Good idea Kathryn!

    I went a step further with my students in an effort to curtail the procrastination. I added two questions to what you asked of your students:
    1) Why is this assignment late?
    2) What can you do to avoid this in the future?

    I left space indicative of a complete answer. I also put at the top: For partial credit for this work, the following must be completed. (Tree killer, I know!)

    This combines the need to keep track of late work with studies that show that if we want to change behavior, having the student write about it is more likely to help her to change. It involves not only reflection, but requires the student to think through an alternate behavior.

    This also allowed me to file the late submission reasons for each student. I used them for discussions with the student, the parents, counselors and teams. I did see that it was helpful for some students, and late work decreased.

    Love your blog!
    Aunt Linda