Suggestions for keeping track of student work (w/ 150 students)

Discussion in 'General Education' started by BioAngel, May 3, 2011.

  1. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    May 3, 2011

    I'm usually a very organized teacher. But it seems I can only stay organized when I teach 1 subject to just a few classes and limit the number of students to around 65. :)

    This year I was given a new opportunity (which I honestly LOVE :wub:), but its 8 classes, 4 different grade levels, and around 150 students. And I do all of this in one classroom which is honestly too small.

    I had/have no clue how to stay organized. So I'm looking for tips from any teachers who may be in a similar situation.

    Here's where I need to improve:
    -- Keeping track of handed in assignments
    -- Tracking missing work from students
    -- Figuring out how to have a calendar of events for each grade level.
    -- Showing off student work (I don't have a bulletin board outside my classroom, so I have student work on all the walls, all over the cabinets and on the windows at this point)

    What I do have so far:
    -- A folder for each individual class so I can at least put put some place to grade
    -- A set of cabinets for each grade level to showcase a little work or show what we're studying.

    Thoughts? Ideas? Even neat web-sites would be appreciated (my book list is currently too long and I'm planning a wedding for July so I don't have any money for books)
     
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  3. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    May 3, 2011

    I wanted to add one idea I had but I wasn't sure if it would upset a child--

    Keep a laminated sheet with all of the students' names on it. If they don't have any work missing, they have a green light next to their name. If they have an assignment or assignments missing they get a red light next to their name.

    How does that sound?
     
  4. DallasLady

    DallasLady Rookie

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    May 3, 2011

    I teach two subjects and have about 150 kids also. When I started teaching, I did the folder per class period method, but I found that just didn't flow with the way I was naturally doing things. So now I do a folder per assignment.

    For example, my Physics students just turned in a graphing assignment. I marked a manilla folder "Magnetism Graphs" and put both class periods in the folder, paper clipping 6th from 7th period. Then when I am ready to grade the assignmet I just grab that particular folder. Or if a student was absent and turns it in the next day, I just stick it in the folder with the rest of them. I also keep extra blank copies of the assignments in that same folder so I can find them easily.

    On my desk I have a wire file folder organizer like this: http://www.amazon.com/Fellowes-72614-Wire-Step-Organizer-black/dp/tech-data/B0006HXMCA. In it I keep all the "active" assignment folders; things that need to be graded, graded things that need to be passed back, etc. When that organizer gets to the point that I can't put anymore assignment folders in it then I know I have a long night of grading ahead, LOL.

    Inside the folder I make notes to myself about the assignment. For instance, if it's a test I'll make a list of who was absent and still needs to take it. Sometimes I'll even staple or write the answer key right there.

    I also use an old-fashioned lesson planning book. I plan out my units and write down what I actually did each day for both my subjects in that book. It's become a habit for me, plus I keep the planners from year to year so I can remember what I did. It also helps when I student was absent and I can't for the life of my remember what we did last Tuesday.

    Hope that helps!
     
  5. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    May 3, 2011

    Next year, every essay I assign will have three grades: a class participation grade for on-time turn-in, a quiz grade for correct format (MLA, grammar, mechanics), and a test grade for the actual assignment.

    Right now, when I collect an assignment, I give my class something to work on for a few minutes while I put a checkmark in my grade book to show who has submitted the work. Then I can see at a glance who is missing.
     
  6. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    May 3, 2011

    First, do you use an electronic grade book? This might be what you need if you don't.

    -- Keeping track of handed in assignments

    I type up lists of the student in alphabetical order. As I collect an assignment, I cross off their name so that I know they turned it in.

    -- Tracking missing work from students

    Any name not crossed off, is missing. I do put an A next to people who were absent. When they submit an assignment late, I put the date next to the student's name.

    (I keep all these sheets in a binder per class).

    -- Figuring out how to have a calendar of events for each grade level.

    I keep one desk top calendar. Then I write in different colors for different homerooms that I teach.

    -- Showing off student work (I don't have a bulletin board outside my classroom, so I have student work on all the walls, all over the cabinets and on the windows at this point)

    Can you split one wall into 4 different sections, one for each grade that you teach. Then in this section, you could put materials and student work for the kids.
     
  7. tchr4evr

    tchr4evr Companion

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    May 3, 2011

    my ideas

    I have a table on one side of the room that has baskets for each class, clearly labeled. They turn in their work to that basket each day. I try to look through it each day to make note of who is late. I also have magnetic files on the back of my file cabinet that I keep copies of tests, etc, so that if I'm looking for something, it's always in there. If I don't have time, i can tell the student to look in there as well.
     
  8. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    May 3, 2011

    I guess what's funny is that you are in a unique situation in an elementary school, but this is what high school teachers deal with everyday (except I have 210 students).

    I have bins with drawers http://www.amazon.com/Sterilite-209...2?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1304466505&sr=1-2 like this kind of thing, for work. I label each class. That's where work goes before it is graded - whether they are putting it there or I collect it and stick it in there. I also have a tiered sort of thing which I label for each period for passing back. Nothing goes on my desk unless I am actively grading it.

    For a calendar, I just have a section of the board I divide into 4 sections and just put up major due dates - no calendar.

    For posting work - that's a mystery. You have to pick - not everyone's work get posted. I also utilize the hallway.
     
  9. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    May 4, 2011

    I strongly suggest finding a good electronic grade book that allows you to also print reports (if you don't have one already). I take attendance and grade all on the same program, and at any given time I can print out a report with attendance records, grades, missing work, etc.

    I have boxes for each class, and each student has a file in their box. This is where graded work is returned to. If it's not either in my incoming folder, or their outgoing folder, I never received it.
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 4, 2011

    As I collect assignments from each class, I clip them using big binder clips. By the end of the day I should have five big clipped packages, unless I gave a quiz or something in which case I might have ten big clipped packages. For me this method works for a few reasons. First, it keeps all the papers tidy. I find that any sort of mess on my desk multiplies into an even bigger mess. If I can avoid an initial mess, my desk usually stays pretty neat. Second, having the papers clipped together like that means that I can easily throw them into a basket while they're waiting to be graded and I don't have to worry about papers getting mixed up into the wrong classes or lost. Third, and I don't know if this happens to anyone else, but I have some sneaky turner-inners who like to turn in late work by hiding it somewhere in the middle of my inbox, I suppose so it looks like they didn't turn it in late. The thing is that when I find a random assignment from two weeks ago from a kid in second period mixed in with today's assignment from fifth period and not clipped with the rest of fifth period's assignments, I know something's up. That's a weird problem, I know, but it seems to happen all the time.

    As for displaying student work, I think you might just need to pick a few of the very best assignments to display on the wall and/or cabinets. I have almost 250 students and I don't have the physical wall space to display every assignment. The only option for me is to pick 12 or 20 exemplary assignments and post those.

    I know that some folks have already asked, but I am also curious about whether you use any online grading program. If you do, you should be able to print reports of missing work (and a ton of other reports, too) fairly easily. Of course, this would only be useful if you are good about getting assignments into the gradebook right away. If it takes you more than a day or two to get grades entered, it would mean that you couldn't print missing work reports for that same amount of time, and you might want to know sooner who has missing work.

    Finally, you mentioned having a calendar for each class. Do you mean a calendar displayed in the classroom for everyone to see, or a calendar for your use to keep track of what's happening in your classroom? If it's the latter, you could consider an online calendar program. Many email programs offer a calendar as well. If it's to display in your classroom, what I've seen some teachers do is use electrical tape to make a big grid on their whiteboard. Each box in the grid represents a school day. You could color code each class's activities/assignments to make it easy to read.
     
  11. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    May 4, 2011

    Absolutely--and I use colored binder clips. If the papers are clipped with a red binder clip, I know instantly that they belong to my period one.
     
  12. jennyd

    jennyd Companion

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    May 4, 2011

    So many good suggestions from previous posters! I have about 70 kids (every day for Science, then the same bunch once a week for Computers. Come report card time I need 140 grades) and I'm not a naturally organized person. Here's my two cents :2cents: ...


    • I agree with the computer-based grading program. I love the one we use. It's great for me, because I don't have to worry about calculating averages all the time so I can see how any kid is doing at any given moment. Ours is web-based and the parents have access, so there's no surprises come report card time.

    • That said, I also keep a paper gradebook. Sometimes I'm just not near a computer and I want to write things down so I can return the assignment to the kids. What can I say, I like a hardcopy as backup. Plus, when I walk around to check that HW is done I can just check it off on a page in my book.

    • Missing assignments - I've started highlighting the empty space in my paper gradebook when a student doesn't have and assignment. If I rely just on the online gradebook, honestly, I'd forget who handed in what. The bright color draws the eye. I've tried the lists with crossing out names, but this seems to work so much better for me.

    • I've got a set of paper trays for each class I teach, two trays high. The organization is starting to fall apart as we get closer to the end of the year, but I put handouts/papers to return on the top shelf (where I could see) and collected papers on the bottom shelf. I have a long counter behind my desk, though, so depending on space this may not work for you.

    I think those are my go-to organization tips. Binder clips are the greatest thing ever (Staples makes some super fun ones, too!) so lots of those are always handy to have.

    My biggest downfall is grading late papers. If it's not with the original batch it takes me so much longer to get back to it! (the penalty for not having it in on time in the first place, I suppose)

    It'll take some trial and error, but I'm sure you'll find something that works for you! :)
     

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