Collecting Homework in the Classroom

Tips and Ideas for Collecting Homework

Teacher collecting homework.
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Teaching, as most new teachers find out very quickly, is as much about the day-to-day instruction as it is about mastering daily housekeeping routines. Collecting homework is one part of daily classroom management that can cause many teachers problems. For example, if not done properly it can take up a lot of time. Following are some tips and ideas that can help you create an effective method for collecting homework each and every day.

First and foremost, collect homework at the beginning of the day or period. Following are two methods you can use to accomplish this:

  1. Station yourself at the door as students walk into your room. Students are required to hand you their homework. This greatly reduces the time it takes to complete this task because it is mostly finished before the bell even rings.
  2. Have a designated homework box where students know they are to turn in their homework each day. Remove the homework box after the bell rings and class begins. Anyone who does not get it in the box will have their homework be marked late. Many teachers find it a good idea to give students a three to five-minute window after the bell rings in order to avoid possible confrontations and to keep things fair.

Other tips you might consider include:

  • Avoid collecting homework at the end of the period or the day. Many students will end up working on their homework instead of the day's activities.
  • Don't assign homework until the very end of the class period. If you assign homework too early in the period some students will begin working on it instead of listening to your lesson.
  • Come up with a quick system to mark an assignment as late. You might have a brightly colored highlighter which you use to make a mark on the top of the paper. You could also mark it with the number of points that you will be taking off the paper. Whatever your method, you will want to make it something you can do quickly and efficiently. More on How to Deal with Late Work and Make Up Work

As you teach, you will find the method that works best for you. However, realize that when it comes to daily housekeeping chores like collecting homework and taking roll, creating a daily routine is the most effective tool. If students know the system and you follow it each and every day then it will take up less of your valuable teaching time and give students less time to misbehave while you are otherwise occupied.