But I'm back, and with a cool update.
I decided to to Binder Checks this year in my Support class. Not only do they need support in English, but they also need help learning how to be and stay organized. These binder checks are a great way to do so :) I originally got the idea from my friend Liz who taught a Math support class, so I tweaked it for and English support class.
I do the Binder Check on Friday in class, while they're working on an independent activity. For now we are going to do the checks every Friday...once everyone starts getting good grades, then we'll change it to twice a month.
They set their binders on a row of desks so that they can't mess with it until their turn. Then I call up one student at a time--they bring their backpack, and grab their binder off the table. They also bring the laptop they've pulled up their grades on.
Here's the sheet we use: Binder Check sheet
I look for all the set up tabs for the different sections, and that it generally looks organized.
Then I check that their agenda is filled out for the week. Not just English class, but ALL classes.
Then once it's all tallied up, I leave comments [whether they got 100% or 50%].
This the second week we've done a check. I wanted to give them a week to get settled into their new classes and see what supplies they'd need and so on. So far it's been about split-half the kids get close to all points [or all points] and then half the kids are totally bombing it. I remind them everyday that we have a binder check on Friday and to start cleaning out their backpack ;) Hopefully it will start to sink in, they'll become more organized and it will become a habit, and then this will help with their grades in other classes as well.
This doesn't just have to be for support classes. You could do this in your mainstream class, just tweak it a bit for your needs; maybe only do it twice a month so as not to take up too much time. Do what works for you!
Have a great week everyone!