My school has used planners for a long time. When I taught 2nd grade a couple of years ago, the students returned them daily and parents signed them without a problem. Last year when I taught 4th grade, I had problems with students returning them and parents signing them.
Some of the students hadn't even purchased them and they were only $1. In the past, if 1 or 2 students hadn't bought a planner, then I would buy it for them and they would just have to pay me back. Well last year I had at least 10 who hadn't bought a planner. This year I have already decided to buy them for the students who haven't purchased them. I need ideas on how to effectively use them. For the students who had them, I would write down what color they were on.(We have a school wide behavior system)
One thing I would like to do is have the students to write their spelling words in it on Monday mornings. The planner that the principal got for the immediate grades didn't have a place to put spelling words (IMO it was not the best planner in the world and we have had better). Hopefully we will get better ones this year. Anyway how do you all use your planners.? Where do you have the students to put them when they get to school? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
Our intermediate grades use planners. We keep them in our students TEAM binders (many people know these as MOOSE or BEE Books). Students are requried to get their planners signed on a nightly basis but they never leave their binder. (They receive an effort grade at the end of each quarter for getting the planner signed and keeping the notebook clean and neat) Each day I write a number code on the day's signature line to let parents know how their child did for the day. Parents are aware of the code and look for my response. It's a good way to keep parents informed about how their child is doing. I didn't have any trouble getting parents to sign the planner throughout the year...it was an excellent communication tool for them as well...if they needed anything from me, they wrote directly in the planner.
As for spelling, our students write their spelling words on two index cards. They receive their words on Fridays and we test on Thursdays. One index card gets stapled to the agenda page for the week and the other one goes on a binder ring the student keeps in his/her desk. This provides easy access to spelling words...both at home and at school.
We use planners in 4th and 5th grade at our school. I love them. The students write their homework assignments and other info in them each day. They go home and come back each day. I have had problems with some parents not signing them in the past. But for the most part, they are a wonderful tool for communication between home and school. They also keep most students organized with returning assignments on time.
Our students do not buy the planners. The school purchases them for the students. I'm not sure what funds they come out of, though.
Planners are wonderful! 8-) We have used them for years - our school provides them and parents are required to sign them every night. We have students highlight their homework, put a check by completed work, and circle work that may have been written down but we didn't have time to do in class. I also have a stamp that has a parent signature line that I place by work that was not turned in on time. This is my way of letting parents know that the work is missing. It's much easier than filling out a late slip form.
We have B.E.A.C.H. binders (like moose binders) and students must keep the binder and planner on their desk. I ask that students keep their planner open at all times so that throughout the day as work is completed they may check it off in their planner. If they did not finish, it is highlighted and therefor homework.
Students get one day "grace" if the parent did not sign the planner the night before. After that, they lose their "star" for the day and ultimately it shows up as a behavior grade. I've never had it be much of a problem with parents signing planners, but if it did, I would call the parent. We talk about the planners in full during Back to School night.
Hope this helps!
Planners are given to each student. Am I the only one who does not require that they be signed? I tell the parents on Open House that homework will be written in them. I only require signatures if someone does not usually turn in homework or is on a daily behavior plan where I note the behavior and parent signs. By the way, most of my kids do their homework most of the time. I just would rather use that time for checking in another way. Is this odd? Over the years I have learned to do what's more important to me.
I had a horrible time managing planners last year! I'm resolved to make it work this year. How do you go about checking off every students planner each day and writing notes in them?! When do you have time to do this? Do you have them turn them in, or keep them at their desks? Our school buys nice planners and I want to make good use of them.
We start students using planners in 3rd grade. They are purchased from the school for $5.00. Each student is required to have one and they keep them in their binder. They write the agenda for the day including their homework. They are also asked to write their spelling words each Monday. Parents are advised to look at the agenda each night so they will know what is going on in class. I don't require a signature.
I do believe they are helpful to the students. This is the first thing my kids do in the morning when they come into class and unpack their backpacks. They work well!
Like Trina I only require signatures from stuggling students who's parents I've met with, for whatever reason and have written it into an intervention plan.
I used to get bent out of shape when parents did not sign the agendas (planners). A very wise veteran teacher noticed and pointed out that mom & dad were no longer students, and told me to stop requiring them to do the right thing. She did suggest that I request that they sign (CYA time), and take the pressure off 'Lil John' does what he is supposed to do, unfortunately, his parents will not sign, for whatever reason. Remember some students are better "students" than their parents were.
In my school planners are provided for every student throughout the primary to intermediate divisions. They are used to note daily homework and, in the upper grades, to track long/short term assignments. It is expected that a parent will sign every day. I have a basket into which the students place their planner/agenda as they enter the classroom every morning (open to the previous day's page). I check for communication from the parents and then return to the students before 9:00 a.m. I have found it only takes a few moments.
We use them at our school from 1st grade on up. I have my kids record their homework in them for the week on Mondays and they also glue their Spelling list for the week in the last column which is Sat/Sun. Any special activities are also put in the planner. Each night, students record the name of the book they read, the page numbers, and the amount of time they read (at least 30 minutes). Parents then sign it. This way, I know the kids did their reading homework and parents are aware of any homework assignments or upcoming events.
I call the student's name, they say "hot" or "cold" and at that time bring their planner to me with all their work assigned the day before. If they have it signed, I give them a stamp. If not, I circle it and they get one day's grace to get it signed without a penalty. I also check their work at this time by collecting it in piles by subject. I can see immediately if they are missing anything, and if so I stamp their planner with a late stamp/parent signature by the work that is missing. This system has worked well for me. It takes about 15 min. of my morning time, but I have assignments the kids work on while they are waiting their turn (writing in the planner, D.O.L., D.O.G., cursive practice). It is well worth it because kids know that they can't get by without turning work in - I catch it right away. 8-)
I LOVE using planners. Unfortunately, I changed school last year and they didn't use them. I will be in a new district and a brand new intermediate school this year, and I don't know if we will have them yet....our building isn't even finished! **
However, I have always required their planners to remain in the binder. They write homework/daily agenda in them when they first enter the classroom. Some years I had parents sign them daily and other years it was at the end of the week. Both worked equally well, but I made sure that parents knew up front that it was a weekly GRADE. The students had to write in it for every class every day AND have a parent's signature in order to receive a 100%. Since we know that kids cannot control parents sigining or not sigining, they can still get a good grade if they complete THEIR responsibility of writing in the planner. I am able to keep track of these grades but stamping the planner at the end of each week. You can do this yourself or assign a reliable student to stamp by checking to make sure everything is filled in.
As far as what they write, that would vary from grade level to grade level as well as team configurations. I have the students write what we're doing in class that day as well as homework. Since I teach 5th grade math, a typical daily entry in the planner might be:
1. Vocabulary Cards
3. Order of Operations
4. HW - Review WS 17
The next day's entry would change accordingly.
I have had teammates who prefer to have students write homework only. I prefer to use it as a student tool as well as a parent information tool.
Thanks everyone for responding about the planners. I am still trying to decide if I want the students to put their planners in a basket like I did last year or put them on their desk for me to check. I will definitely have them to write down their homework and what they did that day in it. Hopefully there will be a place for them to write down their spelling words and they can do that on Monday. I will have to make sure that I have them posted. I will definitely do some sort of incentive for having the planners returned and signed.
A quick THANK YOU to everyone for the great suggestions and ideas. This will be my 2nd year teaching 4th and struggled with the planner issue last year. One tip I picked up from a fellow teacher-at the beginning of the day the students copy down the days assignment/activities. the last 5-10 minutes of the day the teacher goes over the entire day with the students and has them record a HW (homework) beside anything the entire class or individual student needs to complete.