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Friday, September 14, 2012

Homework Strip & Friday Flashback

I'm not sure when there will be the next Monday Made It, but I wanted to share something I started making last night and finished today: Homework Strip.  I'm not sure how you all deal with homework, but for my class, things have gotten a little out of control.  Math homework is the problem.  I don't give a grade for math homework, but I do expect every student to complete their homework every night.  It is super hard for me to figure out who turned in homework and who didn't without it taking several minutes.  I don't have several minutes to waste!  One of the 4th grade teachers introduced a genius system for collecting homework.  Her mom was a classroom teacher before becoming a principal and came up with the idea.  All you need is 2 poly folders, fun duct tape, a ruler, sharpie, and scissors.  Check it out:

Basically, the students find their number on the homework strip, and just slip their paper under their number.  When all homework has been turned in, all I have to do is slide the homework papers out of the strip in one swoop.  The best part: they're in number order!!  The homework strip also allows me to quickly see who has/has not turned in their homework.  Here is a picture with homework:

I need to make a slight adjustment on a couple of the numbers, but that's an easy fix.  If you'd like to see how to make one for your classroom, I'm including the link to Katie's blog: Cardigan Way.

I've also decided to implement the Homework Black Book.  Some of my students seem to think that I don't realize that they're not doing their homework.  We're going to TRY to put a stop to that misconception.  If students do not do an assignment, they are going to record their name, the date, the assignment, and the reason for not completing the assignment.  THEN, they're going to do it during recess.  One student said it wasn't fair, but my rebuttal was, "Is it fair that I stand up here and teach you all day, but you can't complete a homework assignment that takes 10-15 minutes?"  He said, "Oh, never mind."  :)  I'll give an update of how it's working in a few weeks.  Moving on...

I'm joining Amanda's (Teaching Maddeness) Friday Flashback linky party.  I'm not really sure if what I'm posting qualifies, but I figured I'd give it a shot.  Today in science, we were continuing our unit on Forces and Motion.  We had a whole-group experiment where the students needed to make hypotheses and observations about what they thought would happen when I let a Hot Wheels car roll down a ramp, and then what would happen when I added more weight to the car.  The only problem was that our ramp had "speed bumps" and the car kept tumbling down the ramp.  I got the genius idea to use a clipboard and pop-cubes to make a smooth, flat ramp.  Well, at least I thought it was a genius idea! :)  I love when the students are able to figure things out by experimenting and making observations instead of reading a text book.  After a few "trials", most of the students were able to understand that because of the extra weight, the car gained speed going down the ramp and was able to move faster and farther.  Woot!  Here is a picture of my make-shift ramp:

P.S. Be sure to view yesterday's entry to watch the music video we made at my school.  AND, let me know what you think!!  Study Maybe!


  1. Homework strip, how inventive! we have 30 minutes of "morning work" where kids slowly come in and unpack for the day. I have them come in at that time and bring up their homework notebook. That way, by the time announcements come on, everyone is checked in. We have a clip chart system.IF they do their homework they move up automatically. It's a great reinforcer!
    Jessica (check out my page from the linky party)

  2. Love your study maybe video! So fun! The kids must love it! Hope you raise a lot of money and they do well!

    Pixy Stix and Teacher Tricks

  3. Wow - that is a genius idea! Can't wait to make mine! Thanks for sharing :-)

    Teacher and a Mom

  4. That homework strip is a great idea! My team also has students stay back from recess if they owe work. We have one teacher stay back for the " work room" and we rotate. Thank you for sharing:)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  5. What a great idea..the homework strip is great! For my little ones (I teach kindergarten) it would help with number recognition, number sequencing and responsibility! Thanks for sharing!!


  6. It looks great, Leslie! I LOVE the white numbers - it's so easy to see. And I love the colors you used...definitely will have to come down and see it. :) My students do their HW during "their time," too. I tell them that's part of "working hard" (one of our classroom expectations). I even keep a couple of extra copies these first few weeks while they are relearning the habit of homework. If someone forgets it at home, I just hand them a copy and tell them how fortunate they are that it won't take long. :)

    Can't wait for the video next week! Happy Weekend....

    1. Thanks, Katie! Come on down!! BTW, what is this "their time"? The only "their time" we have in our slam-packed schedule is after they finish morning work (until RAM time starts). Do you mean during lunch and recess?

      Have a safe flight! See you Tuesday!

  7. Thanks so much for linking up!! I know the kids LOVED using the ramp and car for forces and motion. :) I also love your homework strip - what a great idea!

    Hope your year is off to a great start! LOVE the Study Maybe video...soooo cute!


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