Handing Back Papers

Discussion in 'General Education' started by mariecurie, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. mariecurie

    mariecurie Companion

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    Handing Papers Back

    I'm a new teacher trying to come up with a system to hand papers back, maximizing instructional time while maintaining student privacy. Please let me know if you see any flaws in my method, or if it could be improved in any way.

    The students will be grouped by table. I will create a file folder for each student (color-coded by class period) with their name on a label; to the left of their name will be the student's alphabetical rank (#). To the right of the student's name will be their current table number - this is to make sorting easier for me. When grading, I would sort the folders alphabetically to file papers quickly. When I'm ready to distribute them back to the students, I would sort the folders by table number & hand them out to each table. The table numbers would have to be re-recorded on each folder for each seating chart change - that is a drawback, but I think it's doable.

    What do you think?
     
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  3. andreww22

    andreww22 Rookie

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    hi...i am new to this forum...please help me out...so that i can cope up with the topics ...!!!!!
     
  4. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Now that I don't have my own classroom and don't want to take a lot with me as I move from my office to teach my two classes I've found it easier just to stand at the door and hand students papers as they enter/exit.
     
  5. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Some assignments may take longer to grade- at least in my classroom where students may have a 1 page assignment or may have a multiple page written essay for me. I do something called a quick check while the students are unpacking for my class- I have my online gradebook up on my laptop and I'll start calling students up to mark down if they turned in an assignment (sometimes I just want to see that they did it and will give them 10 points for it so that we can go over it in class that day).

    If you get stickers with numbers on them, you could just put the new table number over the old one :)
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Your system sounds overly complicated and time-consuming to me.
     
  7. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Waaay too needlessly complicated.
     
  8. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Way too complicated. I let the kids pass back homework and class work. I pass back quizzes and tests. It doesn't take that much time, and kids love to hand out papers.
     
  9. glen

    glen Companion

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    I fold papers in half to cover the grade but not the name then either let the kids pass the papers back or leave them on the table for students to pick up.
     
  10. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    This sounds like it will take time that you will not have.
     
  11. mariecurie

    mariecurie Companion

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    My two goals with this system is to maximize instructional time while maintaining student privacy. I want graded classwork as well as quizzes/tests to remain private, which is why I would have folders set up. The students who are passing papers back could be losing work time.

    Yes, it's a little more work for me outside the classroom, but I think being organized in general takes more work from the teacher. As for being complicated, it's a folder with student rank & table that I pass back quickly once a week or so. It's maybe complex, but it's efficient.
     
  12. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Me too. A lot of times I pass out quizzes and tests while they work on their warm up. Takes the same amount of time.
     
  13. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

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    I have a student pass them back and act like I'm helping. Really, what I'm doing is passing back assignments with failing grades :cool:
     
  14. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I teach pre-first (the age of first grade in the states) so I don´t know how well this could be used at your level, but I have a TA who files outgoing work into their Friday folders. Friday folders go home, as the name implies, every Friday. Again, my TA does that and I don´t know how that system would work for someone at your level.
     
  15. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    when i was in middle school our teacher kept each classes papers in a folder. when it was time to get them back, he either passed them out at the beginning while everyone was still coming into the room, or he'd wait until the end of class and give them back himself or ask someone to pass. Another teacher used to just have us line up at her desk and she'd give back our papers like that.

    keep it simple imho. theres so much more stuff to stress about!
     
  16. eddygirl

    eddygirl Companion

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    I tried to do something similar with folders my first year teaching HS ELA. I found that many kids did not take their papers out of the folder, took (then lost) the folder, or just pulled the papers out to put in their own folders. I abandoned the practice after a couple of weeks because it was time consuming and not as efficient as I thought it would be.

    Now, I pass out papers during a transition during class. While the kids take out paper, journal, text, etc., I call on 4-5 kids to pass out homework papers while I pass out tests/quizzes.
     
  17. mariecurie

    mariecurie Companion

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    Thank you for giving specific examples! My cooperating teacher had a plastic bin for each period, and she would pass papers back during work time. I might just do that.
     
  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Will this be your very first teaching job?

    I ask because most teachers want to spend their time working on things that are meaningful and important, like planning good lessons. Spending a lot of time on a pass-back system is going to get really old, really fast.

    I also don't think that your system sounds efficient at all. If it ends up working for you, great. I don't think it will, though.
     
  19. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Before reading ahead...

    I pass back papers during bellwork or independent/group work. I have large classes so I tend to call students to me to get their papers if saving time is important. If I have more time then I walk around and place the papers face down on in front of the students as they are working.

    The key to being efficient is not having that many papers to hand back.
     
  20. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    I think that if you can make it work for you, go for it.

    I have a fairly complicated marking system that incorporates handing stuff back. Because of our outcome-based assessment model, it's more work for me during the week, but come report card time, it cuts my workload by a third.

    Each student has a duo-tang. In that duo-tang is a list of all the outcomes we will be covering during that particular unit. When we do a formal assessment (assignment or test) the student hands in their work. I mark it, place it in their duo-tang and note their mark next to the outcomes covered. Once I'm finished, the duo-tangs go in a magazine rack on my counter. The students know that when they enter the room, they are to get their duo-tang immediately. At that point, they can see how they did on their assessment. It is also their job at this point to place the assessment properly in the duo-tang (I just kinda place them in there. They have to open the metal tabs and put it in properly).

    If it takes me a little longer to mark an assessment, that's fine. The students just don't get it in their folders the next day.

    The duo-tangs stay in my room at all times with the exception of the two days before a test, so they can study, and if a parent requests it to be brought home. I mark those students names down and expect them to return it. In my three years using this system, I've only ever had one student lose his folder.
     
  21. mariecurie

    mariecurie Companion

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    Yep, my very first.

    Student achievement relies on organization, time management, and efficiency as well as good lesson planning - these are meaningful, important things to me.

    The great thing is that I am willing to try new methods and take risks, and if it doesn't work I can try something else until it does.
     
  22. CJandSA

    CJandSA Rookie

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    Have you considered the use of an interactive science notebook? I know they are really popular around my area, and they allow students to keep track of all their notes/assignments/labs in one place. There are many different ways to grade them that can even be done during class so that you are not lugging 150+ notebooks home. I often use a 1-4 rubric to check off whether a certain page or assignment is complete at the end of a unit, and you can also have students take "notebook quizzes" using their notebooks to determine if they completed assignments correctly. In addition to many other benefits, it would cut down on the turn in/handback cycle for daily work and homework-type things.

    I am also a middle school science teacher, and I love notebooking. We participate in AVID (if you've ever heard of that program), and notebooking really goes along with it. Here are a few resources to get you started with ISNs (Interactive Science Notebooks)

    http://sciencespot.net/Pages/ISNinfo.html

    http://www.slideshare.net/arholder/interactive-science-notebook-full-version

    Good luck!
     
  23. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    That's what I do. I just pass back papers at the very beginning of the period as students are beginning the warm-up activity. It takes about one minute of my time as long as I am only passing back one assignment.
     
  24. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Kudos for seeking ideas regarding a nuts and bolts task which, in the scheme of things, seems not all that important. The fact you are cognizant and concerned about student engagement and lost instructional time speaks to your professional focus.

    Whatever paper system you choose it should ultimately reduce your work load not increase it. Consider the notion a method often works well not because of the method alone rather due to the person using it. The idea you are willing to try something but not entrenched in it as the only solution is an admirable trait for any teacher.
     
  25. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I'm a new teacher too, what I do is check homework/collect work/pass back work during "warm ups." Warm-up activities allow students to settle in and get focused while at the same time allowing me to take care of all housekeeping business. I teach middle school though, with 60 minute periods. Warm ups take about 8-12 minutes depending on the warm up, and gives me time to take care of this stuff.

    If I were to step down to elementary, which I am certified in as well, I would have students purchase a folder of some sort which I would pass back with graded work one time per day. Students would then put the folders in a crate or something before leaving for the day for me to update again the next day. I would pass back work whenever kids were wrapping up independent work or something.

    No need to make it really complicated. Being organized and private is extremely important, I agree, but elaborate systems rarely work in a busy classroom where LEARNING is what the teacher is facilitating the majority of the time.
     
  26. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

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    I tried to use interactive notebooks last year. It worked for awhile, but I started feeling like I was taking too much class time pasting things in. I also tried to use the notebook quiz, but I had such a high student turnover that it sort of turned into a mess. Do you have any resources are ideas that address those problems? I really love the idea, but just don't seem to be very good at implementing it. Also, could you give more details or examples of how you grade assignments that are in the notebooks without having to lug them home? I don't want to hijack; you can PM or start a new thread if that'd be better :)
     
  27. mariecurie

    mariecurie Companion

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    I don't mind! I'm incorporating science notebooks into my curriculum as well, so ideas are helpful. I purchased a stamp that will help with quick notebook checks. Also, they can use them on lab quizzes, and occasionally I will grade a lab report in place of a quiz. When I collect their notebooks once a quarter, I will randomly choose which assignments are graded according to a rubric they have in advance. I think it's also important to grade them early on with lots of feedback. My cooperating teacher did a great job getting students organized with the notebooks, but never checked them and eventually the students caught on and stopped doing the work.
     
  28. mariecurie

    mariecurie Companion

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    On another note, I'd like to start a tape vs. glue debate with the science notebooks. :D
     
  29. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

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    I've found that tape is quicker and easier, but the kids go through it much more quickly than glue. As I can't continue purchasing tape, and I don't expect parent will continue sending tape, I use glue. I used glue sticks last year, but by the end of the year, we were losing papers. I'm going to try liquid glue again this year, but I'll have to do a mini lesson on how to use it (yes, even in 6th grade!)
     
  30. CJandSA

    CJandSA Rookie

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    I haven't really had to deal with lots of student turnover, so I'm not sure how to handle that. I know it is different when students are just absent, but I keep a large chart with our table of contents on a bulletin board in my room. I really expect my kids to be on the same pages that I am, so they can get the titles/ideas of what they might have missed while out. At the beginning of the year when students are setting up a reference section, I sometimes give organized students on of my spirals to set up an extra notebook to have on hand for any new students. Of course it won't have the notes, but at least the cutting/gluing/set-up is done. And most say teachers should keep their own notebook to model how it is done and to provide a reference for students who might miss work.

    We have about 7 units throughout the year in our curriculum, and I have decided that grading at the end of a unit works best for me. I go through and pick the most important pages - what I know we have spent time on or were the most meaningful activities - and plan to score them on a 4-point scale. (4 = Complete, with color, above and beyond expectations down to 1 = Little or no work present) We usually do somewhere around 20-25 pages per unit, and the kids do not know until the last week which pages I will be grading. I do give them a rubric as to which pages I will be checking - I usually look at 7-9 of them, since many of them are notes, etc. I always grade the table of contents and the unit vocabulary assignment. Since starting this system, I've gotten good determining what work counts as a 4, 3, 2, 1 for me. I can usually grade about 125 notebooks (since some students always want to turn them in late! :cool:) in about 1.5-2.0 hours. I can usually fit that in during planning period, after-school, or while students are reviewing for/finishing a test.

    I have students do most labs in their notebooks, and I usually give a separate lab grade. During an activity, I might go around with a stamp/signature to check whether they have done the pre-lab write up, written a hypothesis, or recorded data accurately - when I go back to grade the full lab, that helps me know that they didn't just copy someone else's work at the last minute. I've heard of teachers who do stamps exclusively - during/after a day's work, they will give students certain amounts of stamps based on the work completed. At the end of the unit, all they have to do is count up the number of stamps earned out of the total possible.

    As far as the tape/glue debate, I've had the best luck using liquid glue. I would love to use tape and tell my kids they can, but that they have to bring their own because it gets expensive. IMO, glue sticks are terrible because they dry out in the tube and the handouts often flake off and fall out. If you buy a big jug of glue, you can refill those cheap bottles from the beginning of the year. Another in-class time saver is having as many pages pre-cut as possible. If there are 2 to a page, then find time (or a student volunteer!) to trim them in advance so they dont have to get scissors out or pick up scraps of paper off the floor all day! Or if you have a full 8.5x11 sheet, just have them fold it in half to glue in their notebooks. It doesn't have to be anything fancy and cutesy if you don't want - as long as all edges are inside the notebook, I'm good. That's one reason why I go for spiral notebooks instead of composition books - the smaller size of the comp books can be challenging as far as reducing the size of pages, lots of folding, etc.

    Wow - that was a novel! But I really love notebooking and have had lots of luck with it. I'm not a super cutesy-style teacher, and I've had successful notebooks of all styles from girls and guys. I always keep a few as examples for the next year. If you have any other questions, please let me know!
     
  31. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I want to clarify. It's not that organization is not important. Indeed, it is critically important. What is not important, however, is spending a lot of time on what is essentially "busy work" in the name of being organized. I really think that there is a better system out there. Of course, try your system if you believe strongly in it.
     
  32. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    No offense, but many students dont care about privacy. They show off their grades passing or failing. It's great you want to try new things, but with that...you're spending too much time focusing on papers when you should be focusing on more important things like classroom management, lesson planning etc. Life will not cease to exist and and they wont lose THAT much instruction with 5 minutes to pass back papers.
     
  33. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I do this as well. My current problem is how to collect papers and store them in a place that other students can't access because I've been having theft of work.
     
  34. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    I was not comfortable with students placing homework into baskets. If I didn't grade immediately, I didn't know who hadn't handed in the assignment. Now I collect HW by rows. Students know that they must hand in something - if not the HW, they have to hand in a pink slip which indicates why they didn't complete and when they plan to complete it. To me, it's worth the 2 minutes.
     
  35. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I have trays where I put graded papers. They are folded with name on back. Grades are inside. Students pick up their own papers, or kids who finish early sometimes pass them out.

    Each class has a turn in tray and a pick up tray. I see over 100 kids a day. I have to be efficient.
     
  36. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    I walk around the room (inside my circle of desks) and hand stuff back, face down. This gives me a chance to have a word with this or that student as needed.

    If a kid isn't there to get his paper, I put it in the "Corrected Stuff" pile, and finding it becomes the kid's problem.

    Then I walk away, free as a bird, and start talking about something arguably important.

    Simpler is always better, unless no simple option presents itself.
     
  37. mariecurie

    mariecurie Companion

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    Thank you for giving an alternative and explaining why it's helpful to do it that way. I like the idea of being able to touch base with a student on an individual level during pass-back time.

    After reading some of the more constructive comments on this post, I may use this method instead.
     
  38. mariecurie

    mariecurie Companion

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    Students are free to reveal their grades; that is their choice. In my state there are ethics laws preventing me from doing so.

    You say many students don't care about privacy, but what concerns me about that statement is it doesn't address the few that may care - and care strongly. By lumping them in with apathetic students, you are undermining their legitimate right to student data privacy.
     
  39. Miss_A

    Miss_A Rookie

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    I used to have students put their assignments at the front lab counter when done, in alphabetical order. At the end of class would just stick it in a binder clip. This made it really easy to grade by the computer and then when I was done, I would just place the assignments in stacked letter trays, labeled by block.
     
  40. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Mariecurie - congrats on your new job and good luck!

    As for collecting/handing out papers, I have secretaries who do most of the collecting for me.

    1. My kids are in groups of 4 or 5 and they have to put the paper in the middle of the group in number (alphabetic) order.
      Like you, each of my students has a number based on where their name falls in the roster.

    2. Then one of the secretaries collects the papers and puts them all in alphabetical order. I have to teach them how to do it efficiently instead of laying them all out and making a pile for 10s, 20s, etc. and then putting the piles together.

    3. I have a two column six row sorter in the back of the room. One column is the IN side and the other is for papers I've graded. The secretaries put the papers they've alphabetized in the appropriate row on the IN side. I clip these every night and put them in a folder in my bag, or at the very least I just mark that they are handed in, so there are no quietly placed late papers.

    4. After I grade the work, I place the graded papers in the proper place in the OUT column. I then have a trustworthy student file the graded work in each student's folder about once a week.

      I have a crate for each class on a table at the back of the room. Each folder has a hanging folder containing a manilla folder and a pocket folder. All returned papers are placed in the manilla folders. Then, at the end of each marking period, the class spends less than 10 min. sorting the handed back papers according to my instructions. All major writing assignments go in the pocket folder while the rest can be taken home or recycled.

    As for tests, I hand them back ASAP - usually the next day, but collect them after the students look at them and I answer any questions or do a quick mini-lesson based on concepts many students missed on the test. Then they are put in the sorter to be filed in the manilla folders. I keep all graded work for the marking period in the manilla folders. This way, when a student comes to me at progress report time saying, "I handed this in!" I can direct them to go thru their folder. If it isn't there or in the no-name basket, then they did not hand it in.

    Everyone has their own way of organizing, but as long as it works for the individual, it doesn't matter how they choose to organize their work.

    I started my teaching career at age 50 and have been surprised at how much I've changed the way I do many things over the years, but the filing worked for me. Quizzes are usually self-graded, so the kids have an idea of what they got. HW is only 10% of their grade (district policy) so the score is mainly based on effort. They see their tests, so unless they want to know their exact overall grade, they are satisfied with my system.

    Have a great year - be easy on yourself. It is great that you are planning out the minutia, but be flexible. Not everything will work out the same as you planned, and things need to be constantly tweaked because each year brings a different mix of kids.
     
  41. muinteoir

    muinteoir Companion

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    Jun 28, 2013

    My system is similar to parts of several that have been described.

    My students are in groups of four too (also a science teacher:))

    I collect papers by having students pass them them to the corner of the table.
    The person in the corner seat double checks to make sure all papers are there and have names. I use a paper clip to keep the group papers together.

    If the papers are being turned in for a grade, the papers are folded in half vertically and names are also on the outside.

    If I'm collecting the papers to hold for use the next day, I don't worry about the folding.

    I walk by and pick them up. The whole process takes maybe a minute.

    If I am passing them back upgraded, to be finished; it's super quick to hand back the entire groups papers at one time.

    If the papers are graded, how I return them depends on the type of work. Graded papers are always handed back folded in half, grades on inside, name on outside.
    Sometimes I hand back the entire group's papers at once, sometimes individually, it all depends on the types of feedback I want to give in addition to the grade.

    I have a hanging file crate with different colored files. Each class period has a folder in each color.

    One color is for papers I am holding overnight, one color is for papers to grade, one color is for papers to return.

    I have eliminated lost and missing papers, saved myself a boatload of time, and generally made my life easier with this system.

    It works for me.
     

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