Now that classes are in full swing, a lot of teachers are starting to assign more homework. And with more and more schools going digital, a lot of these assignments are being posted online. Depending on your student’s school, assignments may be announced in class, posted on individual teachers’ websites, or posted on a learning platform like Scoology, Canvas, Edmodo, or Its Learning.
This can be challenging for students, especially if they forget to check the website every day, or if they’re checking the wrong sections of their websites and missing important announcements.
I’ve been having lots of fun this week exploring some new tools and techniques to make it simpler for my students to track their homework more effectively, and wanted to share a couple of videos with you about how to make this process easier.
Here are Two Quick Solutions to Combat Missing Homework:
Technology Tip 1:
Create a bookmark folder for teachers’ websites
If you have teachers who post their assignments online, it’s a really good idea to check those websites every day to make sure there’s nothing new that’s been added. However, a lot of students find this is tedious to do, so they don’t end up checking as often as they should.
So, here is a quick tech tip you can use to make opening the teachers’ websites quick and easy…
- Turn on the bookmarks bar
- Create a folder for your teachers’ websites
- Consider adding any calendar or planning apps you use to keep track of homework in the same folder, so it’s easy to open them all at once when you’re planning what to do each day
- When it’s time to do homework each afternoon, right click on the folder and select ‘open all in in new window’ to display all your teachers websites in one click
* Note: If your teachers websites are on a platform like Schoology that requires you to login, make sure you log into Schoology first, before opening all the tabs. Otherwise, they will all lead you back to the login page.
Technology Tip 2:
Create a weekly routine to review grades & check for missing assignments
If students are not checking their grades regularly, it can be easy to miss something important — like a test they need to retake, or a missing assignment they need to turn in — until it is too late to do anything about it.
So, it’s a good idea for students to choose a day of the week, or two days if you want to check more frequently, to look over your latest grades and confirm if there is anything that is missing or needs to be made up.
If you’re just starting to create this routine, it can be helpful to set a calendar or phone reminder to go off once a week, reminding you to take a minute and check on your progress.
Students who enjoy tracking their progress may want to set up a graph in Google sheets so they can see the trajectory of their grades over time in each of their classes. This is something I do with my private coaching students, and they really enjoy seeing where they stand at the end of each week.
But what if your teachers aren’t posting grades regularly?
A lot of students don’t know for sure how they’re doing in their classes at the end of each week, because grades are either not posted online, or are posted 2-3 weeks later, at which point it is often too late to retake tests or turn in missing assignments.
If your teachers don’t regularly post grades online, and you know that you have missed things in the past, it’s a good idea to check in with them once a week to see if you’re missing any work in their class.
Often, students have good intentions to ask about missing assignments in class…but it’s very easy during the school day to get busy or distracted, and forget to ask a teacher something until after you’ve already left their class.
Here are two alternative approaches you can use to check in with teachers that are quick and easy to set up, and make it much more likely that you will remember to touch base with them regularly.
- For Google calendar: Set up a recurring event, with the teachers emails, subject line, and body of the message you want to send in the description section of your calendar event. Set up a notification and an email reminder through Google calendar, see you remember to send this email out each week.
- With Right Inbox or Boomerang*: Set up the email you want to send to your teachers each week, then select ‘send recurring’ and schedule it to go out once a week. Once you have it set up, it will send automatically each week without ever needing to remember it again.
* Right inbox and Boomerang are both paid Gmail extensions, but you can do this same thing for free with other services outside of Gmail, including Send Recurring.
Putting these ideas into action…
There are lots of reasons why students have missing assignments, so these solutions won’t ensure students get all of their work turned in from now on, but they can at least help to make the process a bit easier!
If you give either of these approaches a try, I’d love to hear what you think of them.
Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your feedback, or post a comment below!