Creative classroom management strategies from fellow teachers and our experts.
Don’t Forget To Doodle
I started telling my students to draw something (like a snowflake or a star) next to their name on their paper. It was different every time. I definitely had a better percentage of kids putting their names on their papers.
Lost And Found
I use a “No Name” board and give students one missing assignment reminder. They have the option of checking the board or redoing the work.
Name Your Prize
I teach second grade and sometimes pick a mystery worker. I check that person’s work at the end of the day during our wrap-up meeting. If all of his or her papers are turned in neatly and with a name on it, that child gets to choose a prize from the treasure box. The kids never know when I’ll do it, so they work harder all of the time.
Round Of Applause
The first direction I always give my kindergartners is “Write your name.” The second direction is “Clap once (or twice, anything with a sound) if you wrote your name on your paper.” The kids who follow the directions right away get positive feedback, and the noise calls attention to those who probably weren’t paying attention or forgot to write their name.
I like to walk around and say, “Wow! I like how [name] remembered to put her name on her paper! Great job! And so did [name].” Amazing how quickly names start going on papers. It soon becomes habit if you reinforce often.
Highlight Of The Day
My first graders have to highlight their names before they turn anything in. I keep a cup of highlighters by the basket where they turn their work in. It works well!
Aye, Aye, Captain
I have students draw a smiley face beside their name before collecting papers. I also have the “table captain” check for names before turning in papers.
We sing, “The first thing on your paper is your name [clap, clap], the first thing on your paper is your name [clap, clap],...” to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” I also keep an ever-changing wall of superstar work. They want theirs up there!
Photo: Koosen/Shutterstock, Doodles: Angelinast/iStock
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