papers, papers, and more papers

How do middle school teachers manage student work? Some days keeping up with student work feels like the neverending battle of picking up pool toys in the summertime!

I collect homework from the center of our team tables. This allows me to immediately address missing assignments. (Our school has a Stop Late and Incomplete Papers "SLIP" policy that encourages all work to be completed in a timely manner.) Also I can avoid the no name assignment trap!

Once papers are graded, I keep them in a folder to be returned during the next class. If a student is absent, then I place any returned assignments or quizzes in the trays shown above. This stack of trays is centrally located so students can check for papers after an absence.

I would love for you to share the paper tracking system used in your classroom. I'm always looking for ways to be more organized. :)

Hope your week is off to a great start...make it count!



  1. I would love help with this too! Next year I am going to have 7 sets of students... makes me nervous!

    As of right now, I only plan to have 2 papers per week (one that the kids will grade). I also plan to have a student sort them into name order.

    Every New Beginning Blog

    1. When I taught high school and had 6 sets of students, I color coded everything! Each class had a color for their period and all folders, binder covers, tray labels, etc. matched the class color. Can you tell I am visual?!? LOL!

      Sorting is a great idea! Younger students tend to function better sorting by number. And f the same student acts as sorter, he/she will know the assigned numbers in no time. ;-)

  2. Love the U-turn sign. I have a paper sorter on the wall that has their names on it, but I do not have a lot of students. I know Jessie uses numbers for her students. I clean it out after every class period and place it in my need to grade folder on my desk.

    1. A former colleague of mine always used a giant alpha paper sorter...the office kind used for filing. Sounds like a similar option to your method that may help for those with large class sizes.

      And my cute sign came from The Learning Oasis in Fayetteville. Love that store! ;-)

  3. I'm curious of your school's SLIP policy. How does it work?

  4. I'm curious of your school's SLIP policy. How does it work?

  5. When I collect work from students, everyone gives me something...either the assignment or a "SLIP" form. The form requires students to list the assignment and reason it is incomplete. These forms are filed away for use when parent contact is needed. Meanwhile, the school uses a web-based system for teachers to enter missing assignments with immediate notification to parents via text or email. These systems also allow teachers/coaches to keep tabs on a specific list of students for support purposes. In my middle school experiences, I have used GradeWatch and The Power of ICU as the web-based software. Hope that helps!