There are many strategies for turning in homework. Some teachers like to grade and go over the homework first thing in class. This is a way of reviewing a previous lesson and a way of having a lesson opener. This is an extremely good idea as a way of establishing structure. Still another way that it can be done is called, “Mini Me.” Students like this method because they feel like they are being rewarded. The idea behind Mini Me is giving the students an opportunity to contribute to the class and give them a little responsibility at the same time. The first thing a teacher has to do to implement this method is to have 3 X 5 cards that say, “Mini Me.” Students can decorate these as they please to make them personal to them. Every day, the teacher draws one of the cards and places it somewhere that the entire class can see it. The person whose name is drawn is responsible for collecting homework. They are also responsible for handing out graded, completed work to the rest of the class. The reward in this besides feeling in charge is that the specific student is allowed to skip that day’s bell work. They simply staple the Mini Me card to the paper when it is turned in. Everyone in the class is given a chance to be Mini Me. Once their card is drawn, it is not placed back into the selection pile until everyone’s card has been used. Students tend to think of this as earning bonus points.
Whatever strategy is used, there needs to be a specific place for the homework to be placed upon collection. This is also a good area to have for turning in assignments as well. A good place for this would be on the teacher’s desk. In that way, it is quickly available for the teacher to grade. If there are different classes and/or subjects, there can be several different trays devoted to each. Late homework or assignments may similarly be turned into the trays without the teacher having to continually having to collect it.
Another way to make students more responsible for their own grades and assignments is having a bulletin board of sorts hanging somewhere in the room. Students’ names or numbers are written on this along with the daily work and homework. For each assignment, a star, stamp, or some other indication is placed so the students can tell at a glance if they are missing work of any kind. This strategy can be used with the first strategy mentioned along with Mini Me.
Whatever method or strategy is used, students need to be as responsible as possible for their own grades and assignments. This is a way of teaching organization, a skill that becomes more and more essential the older they are, and they will become more and more responsible for their own work.