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    Students not completing assignments
    By New fifth grade teacher

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    Hi, kd!

    I know exactly what you mean. Although I am in my first full-time permanent classroom that I can call my own (fifth grade), I have had several long-term sub positions at 4th and sixth grades. It is very frustrating to have students who don't, can't or won't do their assignments and turn them in on time. I've used many of the suggestions made by the others with varying degrees of success. My students know that , unless there are extreme extenuating circumstances with a note signed by a parent, an assignment turned in late receives no credit and will result in points off their final grade for the term.

    What I am doing this year is giving each child a weekly assignment sheet on Monday. This is a chart set up for each day with spaces for each subject in the curriculum. The students fill these in with the work I have listed on the board each day and keep them in their home/school folders (bright purple pocket folders I picked up for $.10 each at Staples). At Open House, I explained to all the parents how these would work and to expect their student to have one with them each day of the week except Friday. (I also sent a copy with a note home to each parent who did not attend Open House). The kids fill them in IN INK each day and the parent is to sign off each day that the child has completed the assigned work. I learned not to be so naive as to believe that fifth graders lack the sophistication to write something in in pencil then erase it before their parents see it!! On Friday mornings I collect the sheets along with their homework and doublecheck that the signatures are there (I generally don't assign work on weekends). The sheets get placed in the records folders that I keep for each child and I then have something to show to parents at conference time when questions come up about missing work.

    Of cours, no system is fool-proof and there are going to be kids who "just don't get it" no matter what you do. This week I had a kid who had not turned work in for two weeks AND he had not turned in an assignment sheet either. I had tried calling the Mom but was never able to reach her. So I kept the boy afterschool for detention for two days to complete the work he had missed. In spite of my reading him the riot act, would you believe that this kiddo did not do his homework THAT night either?! In fact, he had not even bothered to write his assignments down!!! I just about blew a gasket, so I hauled him down to the Asst. Principal and told her what was going on. She climbed all over him, too, and together we all called Mom and explained what had happened. The upshot is that this kid will be after school EVERY DAYthat he does not turn in his work on time. Since he is a walker, transportation home is not an issue, but Mom will be called each day if he needs to stay. Since this took place on Thursday, I'll have to wait until Monday to see if anything will start to change.



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