I’d give 2020 a D+ at best and I’m ready for a new year, that’s for sure! And while there were plenty of things I did this past semester that were not awesome, keeping a Running Assignment List was by far, the best thing I did to help my Little Darlings.
Of course, I got this idea like 6 weeks into the semester, after the 10 thousandth email asking where to find a missing assignment and it became crystal clear that my system (which I thought was crystal clear!) was not working! Enter the Running Assignment List, that they could reference all semester long, with every assignment listed in order with links and instructions for completing it late (or redoing it). Behold, a thing of beauty:
6 weeks into the semester, it was a huge pain in the hiney to go back and catalogue all the assignments already in the gradebook, for all three of my levels, but once I had gotten that squared away, maintaining the list was a breeze and it saved us all a lot of heartache when it came to students completing missing work.
At the end of the day, I want my Little Darlings to get loads of input, whether they turn in their dang assignments on time or not! And the easier I make it for them to find it, the more likely they’ll do it. And if you’re one of those teachers who’s like “I don’t accept late work, because I’d rather scratch out my eyes than face the avalanche of late assignments”, I hear you and I wrote something for you!
Let’s take a closer look at The Running Assignment List:
Of course this is only useful if students can find the list and use it! I have it linked at the top of their Google Classroom, and I have a Google Template ready to go, to answer any questions about finding assignments:
Of course, the list is only useful if I remember to update it every time I add a new grade into the gradebook. By clicking on the file, then clicking “Add to Starred”, you’ll be able to quickly find it in your Google Drive.
Does it create a more work for me, to have to update the Assignment List every time I enter grades into the gradebook. Yes, yes it does. Does it save me from answering 10 billion emails about where they can find their dang missing assignments? Yes, yes it does. Does my little bit of extra work make it more likely that they’ll do the work assigned? Yes, yes it does. I am not about creating extra work for me…but in this case, the payoff is worth it to me. Might be something to consider and you start next semester…because trust me, starting from the beginning of the semester will be much easier for everyone than waiting 6 weeks!
Oh friends, wishing you a safe and healthy and back to normal 2021!