In my last Team Teacher Check In post, I wrote about my frustration with students not turning in homework and other assignments. So, today, I started a new policy. Today is the first day of the 2nd nine weeks. I reviewed all of my classroom procedures and behavioral expectations, with each classes, and then I revisited my 1st day speech, with a few minor additions. (Harry Wong definitely influences my procedures/routines in class!)
“Today is the first day of the new nine weeks. I want to review my expectations for you as my students and fellow learners in our classroom. It is extremely important for you to come prepared every day and be ready to learn and participate in activities. You need to take responsibility for your learning. I can do everything I can as a teacher, but you must take ownership of your learning in order to be successful. In that vein, if you choose not to do your homework ( or miss any assignment), you will fill out the homework excuse letter stating the assignment missed, why you missed it, your name and the date - and turn it in to the appropriate period’s folder. We are partners in your education, so step up! I want to help you on your journey to becoming a life long learner.”
(Somewhat abbreviated version, but that’s the gist of it.) We’ll see how it works. Any other ideas?
Update: Using the excuse notes, the number of students missing HW has decreased. My students write their HW in their agenda at the beginning of class, and I sign each agenda, so I know they’re writing the assignment down. Also, I’m sending home notes stapled in the agenda after they miss a certain number of assignments. I’m getting good response from the parents, both in the number of notes returned and the phone calls I’ve made home!