June 6, 2017

Change Your Homework Collection FOREVER!

Yep, the more I look at this, the more that I know I have changed my collection of homework FOREVER!  Here's how!  

A few years ago, our district adopted Danielson as it's teacher observation tool.  We were NOT shown or inserviced on how dramatically different Danielson was from Marzano.  Marzano was very teacher friendly, a nice transition into a system that was designed to highlight teacher success in both traditional methods and more modern methods of learning.  Let's put it this way, this system was used for good, not evil!  Danielson on the other hand-pure EVIL!  Really, this system CAN and WILL be used to hurt teachers, depending on how your administration views the tool.  Well, needless to say, it was used as just that!  Instead of training and assisting teachers, this system was dropped into our laps and then administrators picked and chose who and how they would use this system of evil against-and I GOT IT!  Yep, I passed out post-its in the middle of a lesson-needs improvement!  That simple! The kids weren't doing the work, I was!  So, I set out to learn how to beat the system.  Not that I didn't want my students leading the classroom-I was known for how much differentiation I did with my students, the creativity I brought to lessons, project based learning, TECHNOLOGY! I mean, this was my thing-yet, BAM!  Needs improvement.  

So, I set out to change.

It started with being more organized in handling materials I use with the students and the creation of Table Leaders/Team Leaders in my classroom.  How this looked was simple.  On each desk I taped a pretty circle with a number in it-1 through 4.  The Team Leader was always person #1 at the table team.  They were "it" basically.  If there were any materials to gather and collect, it was their job to do so.  Everything I needed, they were my go-to students.  (I did still have a leader in class for leading the line, etc. I also still have classroom jobs!)  So, the next logical step was to use them to collect HOMEWORK-the job I literally hated the most in my classroom.  "Why not!" I thought!  This could be a totally great way for me to loose that job I hated!  I created a basic collection paper and it worked!  Then I started to think, "How can I get this to work on a long term paper to track it more easily for record keeping" and the Editable Student/Table Leader Checklist was born!  

This product is super easy to use.  You need to be sure you have the two fonts to view it in the best possible way-but, as you can see, my school computer doesn't have those fonts, so it can be used without them (just not as super cute!)  

Once the students bring me the clipboard, it just takes me moments to gather the work into the correct piles and check it in on the clipboard.  You can see my system has also developed some easy to use letters-M for missing and then smaller letters for the subject.  I also use AB for absent.  The greatest thing about this system is I keep these pages in my teacher binder  to go back to at report card time.  There are spaces for 4 students at each group and each day of the week.  The kids manage it all!  

One of the best things about this is that it also sets the students up for more responsibility and more ownership in the processes of the classroom.  The best thing for you is that it is FREE!  It is one of the easiest ways to set up Student Led Learning in your classroom! 

Over the next few months I will be talking more about how I am growing in the use of Student Led Learning and some of the Professional Development I am engaging myself in!  So, come back often and learn more about the Student Led Classroom!  

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