What to do about "lost" work?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Lindsay.Lou, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. Lindsay.Lou

    Lindsay.Lou Companion

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    Dec 3, 2008

    (First year teacher here - I feel like I have to preface all my posts with that!)

    I'm wondering what you guys do about "lost" work? It seems like pretty frequently I have students swear that they turned something in and *I* must've lost it. For example, progress reports are next week so I'm giving my students heads up on missing homeworks. It seems like 1/4 of the students I inform about a missing homework say "But I think I turned that in!"

    In those situations, what do you do? I'm pretty organized and I have a "turn in" basket at my front table (not my desk, more like a workstation). I empty and grade the "turn in" basket during my prep periods. Furthermore, with homeworks, I often just walk around the room with my gradebook. I really don't think I'm losing any assignment, but of course the possibility exists that I could.

    I never know how to remedy that situation. If I make the student re-do the assignment, then any student could get full credit for just claiming I lost it, then "re-doing" it and turning it in!

    What do you guys do?
     
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  3. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Dec 3, 2008

    I usually ask them to double check their locker/binders, etc. For the most part, they usually find the work there.

    If they DON'T find it, if it's something that was typed, I usually ask them to print it again. Otherwise, I'll excuse them from the assignment.

    That being said, with the amount of students claiming you lost things, I would be willing to bet they're trying to play you. Would having students sign a 'homework hand-in' sheet help? Have students place their homework on their desks and as they do seat work, etc., you can go around, collect their homework/assignment and have them initial a sheet that it was handed in? It's a little more involved and would take some extra time, but might solve your problem.
     
  4. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

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    Have no sympathy! They are playing you! My students are the worst about that! I make my students keep their graded work so if they turned it in they should be able to show it to me. If you let them use this excuse they will run with it!
     
  5. Lindsay.Lou

    Lindsay.Lou Companion

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    YOU GUYS ARE CONFIRMING MY FEAR! I had a feeling this is what was going on. It just doesn't seem right that I'd have to jump through hoops (e.g. missing homework log, homework sign in sheet, etc) just because THEY are dishonest. This is really frustrating me. (I had a feeling this is what was going on because it seems to only be prevalent in ONE of my five classes. I think they've seen it "work" on me once or twice and have all taken advantage)
     
  6. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Yep. They pray on weakness. You may have shown it once, and they jumped on it. It might not seem fair that you have to do the extra work, but I doubt you'll have to do it forever. They'll come to see that you aren't going to accept "you must have lost it" anymore and just start being honest about it.

    It will, however, be a way to cover YOUR butt if a parent were to complain about a low grade, etc. You could then show him/her that their child didn't sign the register, etc., etc.
     
  7. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Here's what I do-every paper we turn in goes in our "black box"-just the black plastic paper trays from an office supply store. I, or I have a student, stand at the box as everyone is turning them in, then I offer a 'going once, going twice', and I staple the papers together. When I grade them, I leave them stapled together, until I am ready to hand them back. This takes away all opportunity for someone to claim "but I turned it in"-if you did, it would be stapled together with everyone else's.
     
  8. Lindsay.Lou

    Lindsay.Lou Companion

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    Now that's a great (and somewhat painless) idea! Thanks!
     
  9. Writer's Block

    Writer's Block Companion

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    I love the whole "stapled until ready to hand back" idea...I amy borrow that.
     
  10. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    It's easy, cheap, and nearly fool proof. I've tried numbering, sign in sheets, etc, but when they are all attached together, there is little wiggle room. Not to mention, it really does keep me from losing a page.

    Somewhat related, I use a NFY (not finished yet) Form for all late work (I've mentioned this before). It is on bright orange, and requires the student to list the reason for not having their work done. All students have to turn in a paper, whether it is the actual assignment, or the orange NFY, which gets stapled with the assignments. It holds the students accountable for late work, and further stops the "but I turned in my assignment".

    I am very rigid about late work. I don't necessarily give 0's-I don't believe that gives an accurate representation of ability on a report card. But I do give an additional grade on the report card as a responsibility grade.
     
  11. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    My technique for homework is that it all gets done in a composition notebook, the advantage being that the pages don't fall out. I zip around the room and stamp a blue check on finished work - I give it a quick glance; it's usually vocabulary - and if a student didn't do it, they get a red thumbs down stamped on the blank page. If they make up the work, I stamp over it in blue. Every few weeks I collect the compbooks and give an overall notebook grade. Of course, some students do lose the entire notebook, but since they're graded relatively often, they just have to start a new one.
     
  12. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    I tried the box for handing in assignments and felt kind of out of control about it. I take the extra minute at the beginning of class to have the rows hand in homework. Everyone must hand in a paper - either the assignment or a pink slip that explains where the HW is or why it isn't done. Then I staple them together in front of everyone and put it in a folder marked "period 1 - to be graded." The kids assume that I'm organized and don't try that stuff. Fake organization in front of the kids if you have to - don't let them see you in a scatterbrained state or they'll use it against you.
     
  13. ELA 11 12

    ELA 11 12 Companion

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    Dec 4, 2008

    I give the student another copy of the assignment and tell that student to return a completed version "tomorrow". I also mark a note in my grade book indicating that the student was given an extension. Two things happen, the student has the opportunity to learn the skill, and should the student not be successful in passing a marking period or year, there is a "paper trail" of all the opportunities. I quoted paper trail because I use an electronic grade book software called Easy Grade Pro.

    I've written this before in other threads:
    "If students don't practice and take zeros, they won't learn or be successful with subsequent assignments."

    "No state standard says we have to enforce deadlines."
     
  14. hernandoreading

    hernandoreading Comrade

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    Dec 13, 2008

    I take up homework personally (It really only takes a minute while they do their bellwork) and anyone who doesn't have it must fill out a missing homework sheet explaining why they don't have it. I keep these in the student folder so that, if they say they turned it in, I can pull out the sheet and show them that they did not. This has made my life soooooo much easier!
     
  15. ByCandleLight

    ByCandleLight Rookie

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    Dec 15, 2008

    I'm actually fairly absent-minded and lose things all the time. That being said, even my absent-minded self only loses about one assignment per year...sometimes not even that. A LOT of kids that tell me they turned it in will usually find the item in their binder once I tell them to search again.

    I agree with the other poster that suggested you are being played. And if one got away with it, then a whole slew of others will try...and throw back in your face that you conceded with the other one.

    If they're adamant, I just say, "I don't have your paper. Do it again." If they go home and whine, reiterate to the parents and administration what you just told us: your procedures, your methods, etc...
     

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