And I’m never going back. NEVER.
Last year, I decided that I would require my students to keep a calendar of assignments and activities for my class. Over the course of the year, I observed my students relying more on themselves (and less on me) when it came to knowing when assignments were due. They taking RESPONSIBILITY for their own education and I loved it! At the high school level, it seems we always have students missing class for some kind of extracurricular activity such as football, volleyball, band, choir, basketball, track, etc., so the weekly calendar made it easy for students to anticipate what they would miss which resulted in them ASKING for their work in advance. I know what you are thinking because that’s what I thought also. I honestly couldn’t believe how something so simple could so easily transform the way my students worked in my class. I firmly believe that if we give students the tools to take ownership of their learning, then they will find meaning in their education. Starting the weekly calendar was just one way I decided to do this.
SO here’s the breakdown of how this looks in my classroom…
The FIRST day of each Nine Weeks I give each student a blank printed calendar and have them glue it in their journal (composition notebook). I will include school holidays but other than that I leave it blank for them to fill in.
Here is a quick glimpse at the calendar I created to use:
As you can see, I keep it super simple because I want students to be able to fill it as they need.
On Friday before I leave, I write the next week’s agenda on the board. For each day I include the title of the warm-up, a list of in class activities/assignments, and homework if there is any.
First thing Monday, students fill in their calendar for the week. They are responsible for having it filled in by the end of class on Monday. In addition, I send out a copy of the weekly agenda via Remind so that students who were absent can easily access it and post it to our Google Classroom.
Throughout the Nine Weeks, I do random journal checks where I check to see if students have their calendar up to date. These surprise checks help to hold students accountable, but I find that as the year progresses, most students take the initiative to keep it up to date on their own.
I am including the template I use here. Feel free to use it and I hope it brings more student ownership to your classroom!
I would love to hear more ideas about how you communicate with your students. Please share in the comments!
Until next time,