Ok, so collecting and returning student work. There are many methods, ranging from trays to baskets, to throwing work at a child and saying, “OMG hand this out please, kthx.”
But the method I’ve used for the past few years is tried and true, and saves me so much time and sanity. Mailboxes!!!
You can get mailboxes from a variety of places. You can pay a ton for a colorful one from a teacher store, or you can pay a little less than a ton at Staples or something of that sort. I got mine at staples. For a few years, I’ve stared at this sad puppy.
As un-cute as it was, it did the trick. I assign my students numbers at the beginning of the year. Here in Florida, we cap out at 22 in upper elementary grades, so I labeled each box 1-22. Every morning, students had a routine which went as follows:
-Write in planner
– Give and get mail
My kids knew that meant to visit their mailboxes. That is where they could expect everything they would need for the day, and that’s where I expected to see their work turned in. (Sometimes, some days were less enchanting than others when it came to that…)
It’s an easy way to do all of that giving and collecting of work. It’s also an easy way to glance over the mailboxes and see which little lovely didn’t turn in spelling homework. At that point, you can
yell across the room quietly call over child #2 and ask, “My dear, I see your mailbox is empty. Explain?” and then you can go on a life experience lecture about excuses if you don’t like what you hear. But that’s another story altogether.
Anyway, this year my classroom is themed with black backgrounds and a variety of bright colors. It’s nice and cohesive, and easy to add to. So I went to Walmart and collected all of the black spray paint they have. Then I went to Lakeshore, and found these calendar numbers. They were flimsy, so I laminated them and then used fabric glue (IDK why, it works?) to stick them to each box. I made the MAILBOXES sign and viola! So much more appealing to look at. *happy sigh*
Now…who is going to help me carry this back to my classroom next month? Any takers?