Remember that time you had a great lesson prepared only to have it sabotaged by 3 kids pestering you before class for the assignments they missed while they were absent, 6 kids pestering you at the start of class for assignments missed while they were absent, 4 kids who raised their hand 12 minutes in to class to ask what assignments they missed when they were absent, and 2 phone calls from angry parents who claimed you never gave their kids their missing assignments?
I no longer have to deal with this scenario. But I used to, and this is how I solved this high school classroom management issue.
One of the Many High School Classroom Management Issues That Can Be Solve with Planning and Organization
99% of high school classroom management problems can be solved with communicating expectations, following through on those expectations, and organizing your classroom management. Here’s how to solve the make up work dilemma.
Supplies. You will need a 3-ring binder for each class and, paper to fill the binder, a responsible student or student aide.
Organization. (1) Clearly label each binder for each period; (2) Fill the binder with paper. You may wish to create a form to make it easier to organize. In fact, I’d recommend it; (3) Set the binder in an obvious location and let students know where it is.
This is where the magic happens…
- Choose a responsible student to copy down the day’s activities, what assignments were collected, what assignments were given, and what the due dates are. Make sure these items are labeled and written clearly. Again, you may want to type up a form and make copies of it. It doesn’t have to be fancy.
- Instruct the aforementioned responsible student to grab an extra copy of handouts for each missing student that day, 3-hole punch it, and put it in the binder behind the day it was assigned. If you have a really super duper responsible student, he or she can write the names of each student who’s missing on the paper. (This makes especially good ammunition during parent/teacher conferences and student whining sessions.)
- Instruct all students that when they are absent they need to check the binder before they ask you any questions about what they missed. If they do ask, point them to the binder. If they still have questions after the binder has been checked, then they can ask you after class or during a less frenetic class time.
This particular high school classroom management strategy is especially effective if your classroom is set up in a manner that students know what’s going on, even when they don’t know what’s going on. Here are two simple things you can do to make that fantasy a reality.
- Designate a spot on the board where you write your plans for the week. Just write the assignments. Don’t bother with the objectives. The weekly schedule should be complete on Monday when students enter.
- Take the first 5-7 minutes of class each Monday and go over the plan for the week. Make students write it down in a daily planner or calendar. Now they know what they missed before they even missed it.
The best thing about these strategies is it makes your life easier and it helps students develop an important life skill. Everybody freaking wins!!!!!
(An additional bonus to writing the schedule on the board is when students shout down the kid who claims he didn’t know there was a quiz even though it had been written on the board for 4 days.)