It's May! And time for another Bright Ideas post.
This month's bright idea is one that I have been using for 6 years and helps me with passing back papers. Think about how many papers you collect and/or grade each week. Some schools have mandated times to send these papers home, other teachers choose when to do this. We send home grades and graded papers on Wednesdays.
When I was student teaching, my cooperating teacher sent papers home on Fridays. She stacked all of her graded papers in a basket and on Friday at the end of the day, students would take stacks of papers and pass them back. It was quick... but not exactly something I felt would work for me. I don't like chaos.
In the beginning, I would bring home all my graded papers and sit on the floor making piles. One pile for each student. Staple them together. And stuff student folders. That lasted maybe a month or two. I didn't have time for that. And so was born my "Bright Idea!"
When I grade papers, I immediately put the papers in number order. This makes the big part of this bright idea super easy. The papers then get thrown into a basket next to my filing system.
When it comes time to send the papers home on Wednesday, I simply grab each child's stack of papers and staple them together. I count the number of grades in their packet and write it in a corner of their top page. (This makes the final step easier since I don't do this all at once.)
Our papers are sent home in a communication folder, which we so creatively call the Wednesday Folder. Inside each child's folder, I place a note that looks like the one below. And this is the final step. I record the date and the number of graded papers (this prevents students from tearing out a page that has a bad grade). Since I already counted and wrote the number of grades on the stapled packs for each student, I can do this quickly. Students must get the paper signed by their parents. There is also a spot for parents to leave comments or concerns if necessary.
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