Finding papers without names on them is not only frustrating, but tracking down the owners can be time consuming! Here are several tips for preventing and handling no name papers in the classroom.
Tips to Prevent No Name Papers
The best way to handle no name papers is to prevent the problem from happening. Easier said than done, right? Here are a few ideas to help students remember to write their name on their papers.
Use a Class Chant
Adding a simple chant to your school day works for many kids. Here are a couple you might try:
- The first thing I do is always the same. When I get my paper, I write my name.
- When I get my paper, it’s always the same. The first thing I do, is I write my name!
Give Students a Highlighter
Next to your turn-in basket or designated location, place a couple of highlighters. Before students turn in their work, they must highlight their name. This offers a quick and easy reminder for students to double check that their name is on their paper.
Make it a Goal
Kids do well when working towards a common goal. Add a visual and students can track their progress towards that goal. When the chart is complete, celebrate! You could offer a short period of free choice time, take kids outside for an extra recess, offer a small treat, etc.
You can even take it one step further and add a sign that says “We’ve gone ___ days without a no name paper!”
Many elementary students love stickers. While walking around the classroom, put 3-5 stickers on the tips of your fingers. As you walk around, randomly check papers for names and place a sticker on those papers. Once students see the first few students earning stickers, they will quickly check their own paper to make sure their name is written down. If you don’t have stickers, pick your favorite marker and place a star or smiley face next to names instead.
Use Classroom Buddies
Once independent work has begun, ask students to pause and do a partner check. Students look for a name on their neighbor’s paper and give the teacher a thumbs-up or thumbs-down sign. If your desks are separated, ask students to look at their own paper and give the signal.
Tips for Dealing with No Name Papers
Even with the best systems and procedures in place, you are likely to have students who still forget to write their name. Here are some tips for dealing with those no name papers.
Tie it Into Your Classroom Economy
If you are using classroom money, you can either pay students for remembering to write their name or fine students who forget.
Make it a Student Job
Do you assign classroom jobs? If so, assign this job to a student. At the designated time, they can go through the turn-in basket to find the no name papers. Using a class list, they can determine who has missing work and match those students to their no name papers.
Create a No Name Paper Board
Near your turn-in basket, create a space to display no name papers. Students can check this space at certain times during the day to claim their work.
Try the Stand Up, Sit Down Strategy
Have all students start by standing up. Begin reading names off the papers from your turn-in basket. When a student hears their name they sit down. Those left standing either need to claim a no name paper or didn’t turn one in.
Do you have a favorite tip for preventing no name papers? I’d love to hear about it!
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