Organization – Assignments and Makeup Work

This year I have faced some big changes as I changed schools. I went from teaching seven 45 minute classes a day (each one a different prep) to a modified block schedule with six classes being 1 hour and 30 minute (alternating every day) and two 45 minute classes that meet every day. I only 2 preps. I love the new schedule. Here is how I dealt with some of the organizational challenges.

I created a spreadsheet on Google Sheets that I use to track what I have assigned or shown/discussed during the week. I try to keep all of my English classes the same but sometimes they get off schedule due to assemblies, holidays, etc. My spreadsheet helps me make sure that I remember where we left off and what we still need to do. A great thing about Google Sheets is that I can access it from anywhere with an internet connection.

I also created a calendar in a Google Doc for my students to help them keep track of homework, quizzes, and tests. They have a printed copy that they keep in their portfolio to record due dates on. The Google Doc is also linked under the about tab of our Google Classroom so students can check it if they don’t have their printed copy with them. It’s also nice to email the link to parents that want to help their child stay on top of their work. I took the weekends off the calendar to make more space for the other days. At the end of the month I save a copy of it for my records  then on the original I just change it to the next month so the link remains the same.  I like that I can also link to any relevant website. For our vocabulary quizzes I link to our Quizlet deck for that week. I collect them at the end of the month and add it to their participation grade. They must have added all due dates to it to earn their participation points.

I keep a folder on my desk for anything that I have to reference throughout the week such as master copies, copies I use to demonstrate, a list of students I need to check up with, etc.

Absent Work

Keeping up with absent work can be a challenge. Students who know in advance that they will be gone (such as going to a school sanctioned event or activity or a scheduled in advance doctors appointment) must send me an email to request the work they will miss in advance. The emails help remind me to get it ready and help me create a record of who asked for their work and who did not.

For other absences I have a hanging file folder pocket chart on the wall. Each class period has a folder. Students who were absent are reminded to check their class folder for any assignments they missed as well as checking the Google Classroom. This makes it super easy for me to keep up with missing work. I just write down the students name and date on the paper and stick in the folder during class. That way I don’t have to search for it later and the students know where to find it when they return to school. They are expected to check it when they return and they generally have 2 school days to complete and return it unless it was a long absence.

Coming soon: Organizing Paper

 

Using Google Docs with the Google Classroom

I love using Google Docs with the Google Classroom. It’s easy to create a template in Google Docs and then create a copy for every student in the Google Classroom. The advantage to this versus having them create their own Google Doc is it allows you to pop into their Google Doc and see their progress in real time.

Advantages of using Google Docs:

  • You can view your students edit history on the document. You can see anything they typed or added then deleted. It also allows you to see if anyone else has contributed to the document.
  • Click on the share button to see if they have invited anyone else to edit their Google Doc.
  • I have students do peer workshops on their essays or creative stories by inviting their workshop members to suggest on their Google Doc. Their workshop members can then leave their feedback as comments. I provide them with a list of things to look for and comment on during the workshop.
  • I can also leave the students feedback in the form of comments.
  • When I have students revise it and turn in a final draft I have them highlight everything they changed so I can easily track the changes. Of course you can also go the edit history to see changes.

Here is how to set up the Google Doc in the Google Classroom.

1.) Setup the Google Doc the way you want it. It can be simple with just the prompt or you can have the prompt on one page then the MLA format template on the next page. Here is an example of a simple prompt setup:

Setting up the Google Doc assignment template.

2.) Create the assignment in the Google Classroom. Click on the “Attach Google Drive Item” button.

Adding Google Doc to the Google Classroom

3) Find the Google Doc in your Google Drive and add it.

Find your Google Doc in your Google Drive and add it.

4) Change the setting to “Make a copy for each student.”

Change Setting to “Make a copy for each student.”

5) Then Click “Assign” and you are done!

 

They sky is the limit as to how you setup the Google Doc. Add images, add the full instructions, list of topics, etc. It’s an easy way to keep track of students progress before they turn it in to make sure they are actually working on it in class or at home.  Google Docs is a staple in my English classroom.

SaveSave