Keeping parents informed on missing homework

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by shoreline02, May 25, 2016.

  1. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    May 25, 2016

    How do you keep parents informed about their child's missing homework?
    I teach science and have about 70, 4th grade students. I thought about sending home a weekly slip if students were missing anything and parents would have to sign and return the slip.

    Also, keeping parents informed about their child's behavior. On the same notice perhaps?
     
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  3. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    May 25, 2016

    I do this:

    Before handing in homework, every student holds theirs up in the air. I can immediately see and make note of who does not have theirs.

    Then, I send a quick email to all parents (bcc) of those children saying that their student did not turn in their homework.

    Simple, easy, quick.
     
  4. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    May 25, 2016

    Can you make use of your district's student information system to share information? I send electronic progress reports to parents of all my students - sometimes weekly and sometimes every other week.
     
  5. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    May 26, 2016

    Most of our parents don't have an email or computer. Some have phones that connect to the internet, some don't.
     
  6. TXforever

    TXforever Companion

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    May 29, 2016

    I bought duplicate missing assignments notes/ forms from Really a Good Stuff. They're kind of expensive, but it's nice to have instant documentation. When the notes are returned signed, I just put them in a file,
     
  7. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    May 29, 2016

    I would have found a blank sheet and held it up. Maybe I wouldn't have gotten away with not having my homework, but it would have disrupted the process.

    Here is what I do. Granted, it may take more work with 70 kids as opposed to my 20, but once you get everything in place, it will be easy.

    First, I harvest all the email addresses I can. However, I'm thinking of switching to a different platform as many people who have email do not check it. So perhaps have a class Facebook group and get parents to join it. Or use Class Dojo messaging. There is also Remind 101, though I've never used it. The best platform is whatever makes their phone beep. In fact, at the beginning of the year, I send home a questionnaire titled "How Do I Make Your Phone Beep" where parents tell me what the best way to get a hold of them is electronically.

    What you do is every day, you send some sort of e-blast to all parents. Just a short blurb that says what your homework is, what your classwork was, and that kids have been instructed to show you the work, even if they finished it. NOTE: I never collect homework if they finish it in class. They must always take completed work home and display it to their parents. Even class work.

    You can also state how much class time, if any, you gave them for the homework. That is useful to curb the "I'll just sit here and do nothing in class because I know that once I get home, I will transform into a highly motivated student who always does their homework" attitude. If the kid has not started their work, and the parent has read your e-blast which says they had half an hour to do it, hopefully there will be a conversation at home about using class time wisely.

    If you want to kick things up a notch, you can also include daily news about your class - projects, what kids are learning etc. It depends on how much time you have at the end of the day. I like to start with things like "If your 4th grader was paying, really good attention in class today, they can tell you all about _________" It is also useful (and parents love it) when you include any possible challenges kids might have completing he work and how to help them with it.

    And finally, if you do this, you probably want to have a policy that if you do not send a message, then either there is no homework or you are not going to hold kids accountable the next day. Once and a while, after school I have commitments that preclude sending the email.
     
  8. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    May 29, 2016

    Unfortunately, many of my kid's parents do not have email addresses, computers, or access to internet with their phone. I guess a note home will be my only way to go.
     
  9. minnie

    minnie Cohort

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    May 30, 2016

    I would suggest Remind 101. Every parent in America has a cell
    now :)
     
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  10. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    How many is "many?" If you get electronically connected with 60 out of 70 of your parents, you might see a dramatic increase in homework completion. I never hit 100% - it's usually about 90%.
     
  11. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    May 30, 2016

    I might be able to connect electronically with 25/30 of my parents.
     
  12. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Since I know for a fact all of our parents have access to a portal where they can view their kiddos accounts, I simply call the parents of those who are disengaged and ask they log in. Sometimes, when it's been a terrible year for a few students, I will send a letter home with a copy of the grade book, making sure the envelope doesn't have school insignia (you'd be amazed how many students will intercept mail).
     
  13. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    May 30, 2016

    I do weekly reflection sheets for students that goes home with their papers from the week. This contains a quick 3/2/1 on how they're doing interdisciplinary-wise as well as an "on-time"/late/missing for each homework assignment. It's supposed to come back on Monday, so they will see it over the weekend. Those with numerous missing assignments I have set up a plan to contact daily - briefly listing the night's HW - so that the parents can help build the stronger habits with their child. For me, these methods give a good balance of driving student responsibility and holding them accountable.
     
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  14. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    May 30, 2016

    Thank you everyone!
     
  15. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Do you have an assignment notebook or agenda that could be signed by parents? I would only use this with frequent flyers.
     
  16. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Jun 5, 2016

    Create a checklist of that week's assignments - check off what assignments came in (with a grade if it's graded) and which assignments did not (you can do this as you go through the week or have it ready to go home for the weekend). (You can probably have students help you do their own checklists as the school year goes on.)

    The checklist can go into their folder and has to be signed over the weekend and returned with any missing work. You can then put that checklist paper into the student folder and have documentation that the parents saw their grades and missing assignments. :)
     
  17. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Jun 6, 2016

    I'm so embarrassed to admit this 30+ years later, but I was an expert at screwing with those checklists when I was in middle school. I'd write the assignments in for the teacher to sign, but I'd do it so lightly that I could erase / edit as I felt like doing. If I could do it in the 80s, these kids could do so now. These days, parents have the ability to check grades and assignments online. Even a weekly check using a library computer should work for parents who don't have home internet or smart phones.
     
  18. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    All of our students in grades 1-8 have agendas to keep track of homework and assignments. During the first half of the year, I check agendas every day as they leave (it only takes about 2 minutes to do a check of all 28); during the second half of the year, I only need to check about 1/3. I'm strongly leaning towards having a Twitter account for the class next year and posting a photo of the Homework board every day. Between these two methods, everyone will have access to the information.
     
  19. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Totally agree - but the parents who need to check the most don't. I have considered asking parents to sign something saying they checked online every 2 weeks or so, but I'm not sure if it would be effective.
     
  20. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Jun 9, 2016

    Then that's a bigger issue that needs to be addressed if it's happening. (Don't get me wrong - I've forged a few signatures myself as a kid) Was just making a suggestion about a tool the teacher might want to use.
     

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