“Yesterday was a great day! I had a different student sitting next to me working (it is mandatory he sits next to me). He does not stay on task very well and does not want to write the math problems down.”
Again I am reminded of a checklist that I had for students. I liked for them to do a lot of self monitoring and I think once they learned the process, they could see how it helped them. I spent too much time doing the “housekeeping” chores which took away a lot of teaching time. Too many times I had to ask them to write their name on their papers, put the page number of the work they completed, and other things that I required them to do. Finally I made up a checklist that they had to complete before they asked for help or turned their paper in. At the bottom of the paper they had to write the statement, “ I completed the checklist – (signature of student)” and if they wrote that without actually completing the checklist, they had to copy the whole checklist down.
1. Name is on the paper.
2. Page number is written on the paper.
3. Class Motto is written.
4. Complete Sentences are used.
5. Work is shown for all math problems.
If the student completes the checklist, I’m not wasting time asking them to do routine tasks. By following this checklist, it also puts some responsibility back on the student instead of on the teacher. I no longer have to argue with the student about doing simple tasks that do not need explanation. I also explain this very carefully to the students so they understand why they are doing things like this.
At first the student will write the ending statement and sign it without actually following the checklist. But I stand fast and consistently have them copy the checklist down if they fail to follow it. This does not have to happen too often before they learn to follow it. The key is that I am consistent and fair with this rule. I do not let anyone have a second chance, even if they beg for it. They learn quickly that this simple checklist is not to be ignored.
Using a checklist like this can help both the teacher and the student be successful in the classroom. It enables the teacher to be more effective in the classroom and helps the student be more independent.
Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).
Original image: 'checklist complete'
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