Helpful Classroom Tip for the New Year!

One of the things that is always a constant struggle for me is managing all the paper in my classroom. Trying to keep track of who has returned homework, reading minutes, and behavior reports has always been a juggling act for me. This year I started doing the simplest, but most effective thing I have found that allows me to manage all the paper.

Each morning as I greet my students at the door I have a clipboard with one of my gradebook sheets on it with me. Students unpack before they enter and show me their homework and I check it off, they show me their signed behavior reports and reading minutes (on Mondays) and I check everything off right then. Then they place the papers in the correct piles. By doing it this way students also remember to give me any notes or lunch money first thing. By announcement time I have everything checked off and then I can grade their homework when I can get to it.

One thing I really like about this is the one on one conversations I can have with kiddos about their work ("Hey, that's really great handwriting!") or the less pleasant conversations about why they might not have completed something. I think is also good for the kids to know that I will be checking everyday!

What management tips do you have for taking care of the morning paper crunch?
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