Taming the Paper Monster - How to Hand Back Papers Faster

http://createdforlearning.blogspot.com/2014/08/taming-paper-monster-how-to-hand-back.html
       As if grading papers wasn't bad enough, handing them back can take up so much time. So I thought I'd share a little process I started 2 years ago that has saved me a ton of time.
       It started when I realized how long it took to walk around the classroom to each student to give them their paper. There HAD to be a faster way.
       So I started this process, and I lurve it!!! (though, I'm always welcome to even better ideas!)
My classroom has 6 rows, so instead of walking around the room, I sort them into 6 piles on my desk.
When I'm done sorting one class period's papers, I stack them together, with each row rotated 90 degrees to make it easy to hand out later.
I stuff them into the right class period cubby in my paper organizer.
Then when one class period leaves, I quickly plop the paper stacks onto the desks for the next class period. The student at the front of each row, finds his/her paper, then passes the rest of the stack behind him. Viola! Every paper handed back.
       Almost! What about the pesky papers with no names on them?!?!? That's what this section on my white board is for. I just magnet clip them to the white board under the No-Name Hall of Shame.

I know some of you might be thinking though, But I thought Rule #5 of Effective Communication in the Classroom said No Blaming or Shaming?! And you're right...we need a new name for this wall, don't we? Any suggestions?

       And that's the process. That sorting trick at my desk has saved me so much time, but I'm always open to new tricks. So if you know an even faster, more effective way, share your thoughts in the comments section. Let's help each other become efficiency machines and tame the paper monster!



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NOTE: Paper Monster image credit goes to Neat Company. They'll help you organize your home office to be super neat! (We weren't paid by Neat at all to say that :)

12 comments:

  1. EXCELLENT management techniques. Sharing! :) erin

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    1. Awesome! Glad you love them. You got any tips for how you hand back papers?

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  2. That is a great way to manage the daunting task of handing back papers. I have a crate in the back of my classroom. Each class has their own color of hanging file folder. I put their names on each file folder, and when I finish grading, I put in their file folder. The next day when they walk in the classroom, they see a note on the board that says "You've Got Mail." They know to check their file folder before taking a seat to get their graded papers.

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    1. Do you have a file for each student or for each class period? When I first started out, I had a file for each student, but I found that was taking just as much time to sort the papers into their files as it took to hand them out around the classroom. Everything felt pretty inefficient until I started this method.

      I'm interested in how you do it. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Awesome idea! I use "No Name, No Fame!" on my no name wall. I will be using my idea in my class. Thank you!!

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    1. I changed mine to say "If you wanted credit, then you shoulda put your name on it!" And I offered the poster for free on TpT.

      http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/No-Name-Poster-If-You-Wanted-Credit-1557842

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  4. I have a hanging file Folder system as student mailboxes that are color coded by period. I put handouts for the period and hw as well. Graded work goes back to the homeroom teacher so students can put the graded work into their portfolio binders.

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    1. Our school doesn't have homeroom periods or portfolio binders. What do they end up doing with their portfolio binders?

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  5. I have a file folder for each class and assign one student to pass the papers back. They may also choose someone to help if there is a lot. This also pushes the students to learn each others names and who they are. They love seeing their name assigned to the job.

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    1. That looks like a cool way to help students learn each other's names. How do they find out each other's names if they don't know them? How do you choose which student to hand them out? Won't that student miss out on the independent practice during that time? Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  6. My only concern is that students lose their privacy. Their classmate will see their grades.

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    1. Totally get this concern. I would suggest asking your students. I also think this is connected to a previous conversation of ours on grading for effort or accuracy >>> https://youtu.be/Sb5dGBDGJsk >>> When you're grading for effort, I've never had any student complain or really care about anyone seeing their grades because it's based on their effort, not their intelligence. Intelligence is where people start shaming each other. When it comes to bigger grades where I think students will be more sensitive to privacy issues, I hand those back in person. And privacy is connected with good and bad grades. Many students don't want their peers to know they're doing well in grades. You'll find a balance. :)

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