I use folders to store all the student’s in progress work. Red or blue are good colors because you can easily see if they are put in desks or left somewhere in the classroom. I have my students turn them in at the end of their research time in a file sorter. With the file sorter you can quickly see that Student #3 didn’t turn in their folder in the picture above. I don’t let them go home or get stuffed in a desk. I have the person who is assigned as the teachers assistant check at the end of the period if all of the folders are filed.
I learned quickly to keep all of the work in the classroom. During my first few years I thought students would be responsible and all of the following occurred:
“I can’t find my folder!”- This causes more frustration the next day when they can’t find it, and you have to tear apart a desk while the rest of the class needs you.
“I took it home by accident.” and it never returns. – This ends up being your time punishment because that is 20 more minutes you end up printing and making custom copies for one student.
“I took it home and couldn’t stop.”- Now this student is done with everything and then have nothing to do but bother their friends and ask for free time on the computer.
“I took it home and my parents helped me.”- We want the students to learn how to research and finish a big project. I had a student that her parents did her board and it looked so superior to the others that this caused tensions among the other parents on State Day.
To prevent any of the above situations it is much easier to collect and store the work on any large project.
Coming Up Next: State Reports Part 4 Assigning States
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To prepare for the project I start by making the necessary copies. I usually have 25 students. I partner with another teacher and they do the other 25 states.
Time-Saving Tip: Print everything and share with your partner teacher. If you don’t have a partner, and you know you are going to do this next year; just keep the other states for next year. Just make sure to keep the undrawn state papers separated, so the next year’s students only draw the states you have printed.
If you are using my 50 State Bundle, I have set up the files so you only have to print once. Print the following:
Print the PDF- 50 State Report Cover Pages
Print the PDF- 50 State Report Physical Maps
Print 1 State Report Research Topics (Make 50 Copies)
Print 1 State Expansion Research Papers (Make 50 Copies)
Print Choice of Rubrics (Make 50 Copies)
If you are in 4th grade and doing one state, print once, and then make enough copies for your class, of the topics you would like them to research.
In order to keep all of my copies organized I use this basket. You can flip the paper both directions to keep papers organized, have easy access, and there are no folded corners.
Grade As the Students Finish Each Section
If you are using my State Research Report from Teachers Pay Teachers then open the “State Report Grade Book” from the files. This will help to manage the grading while the students are finishing each page. Fill out the grading worksheet with your student’s names. I also include the state they are assigned. The spreadsheet is editable. It is easy to copy from your online grade book roster and paste the names into the Excel program. Just print, and as the students complete each page of research, grade them and keep this as a record to enter in the online grade book. This will also give you an idea of research progress and if students are not managing their time.
Look for Part 3 coming soon discussing how to assign and manage a State Report project.
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