Stop the Missing Work Avalanche


Prevent Missing Work from Piling Up With These Ideas

My middle school students are master procrastinators!  They will put off absolutely everything and anything to the absolute last moment and then expect me to work some extensive overtime on their behalf. 

Now don't get me wrong - I want the students to master the standards and be able to show that mastery through their work.  But let's be honest, completing work after the unit test seems a bit well, too late,  don't you think?  

So I came up with a plan to prevent the missing work avalanche!

1.  Students must use a paper planner. 

I say paper planner because while students say they are using a digital one, there's no way to check it and hold them accountable.  And this is primarily what they need - someone to hold them accountable. 

The paper planner comes out each and every day and is on each student's desk while students are working on their bell work.  I walk around and inspect the planners to see if they have written the work they need to complete in the planner. If they have, I stamp it.  A full week of stamps gets a reward in my reward system.

2.  Students need accountability.

It's not enough just to write in the planner, students need to create a plan to get the work done.  

As soon as a due date has arrived and the student's work is missing, I have the student complete contract for missing work with a new due date.  I snap a picture of that contract and send it home to be signed and returned.

If the new due date comes and goes, then I call the parent that signed the contract and let them know that the work is still not done as per the contract.  I give them one final opportunity to get it in for the next day (or perhaps by the end of the week depending on the circumstances).

Once students see how serious I am about the contract and contacting parents, they generally begin to take on the accountability for themselves because they realize I'm not going to give up.

3.  Positive Reinforcement

Some of my students (well, maybe most) need a little something to get them motivated.  Since I like to focus on making progress, I give my students stickers on a reward card as they get work completed.  Students who have no missing work also get rewarded!

The reward cards are attached to my version of the "Super Improver System" from Whole Brain Teaching.  See more about that by clicking here.

Ready to give it a try?  Get a free copy of the missing work contract by clicking here!