I collect homework daily and I use to tear my hair out trying to keep track of missing papers until I came up with this system. I purchased 2 long red pocket charts, the kind with the pockets that are big enough to put a piece of paper in. Each pocket has a label and I wrote the students' numbers on the labels in alphabetical order, with the lowest numbers at the bottom. When the kids come in, they put their homework papers in their pocket and I can tell at a GLANCE who did not turn in their work. I can quickly check with students who are missing papers and often find that they had just forgotten to turn it in. If the student did not do the work, I quickly jot their name down and they stay in at morning recess to do it. Once I have checked with everybody, I can pull the papers out of the pockets in about 5 seconds and best of all, they are in alphabetical order!!
I use the pockets to collect most of the work the kids do because it is so easy to see when everyone is done and check with those that haven't handed in their work. I don't even have to touch a piece of paper to be able to do this and I can tell from across the room. It is so easy to pull the papers, that I usually pull them after each assignment is done, so the pockets are empty for the next assignment.
I LOVE THIS POCKET CHART. It has saved me tons of time!! Here's a link to the one I use: http://ateachersupply.com/cart/index...&products_id=4