Monthly Archives: August 2009

Spiral notebooks

I require the students to own spiral binders. I give one out to each student on the first day. (I teach five classes. Each has 40 students. I can get spiral binders for about $0.30 each if I’m lucky. You do the math.)

Students do primary work on right-hand pages (of spiral binder) only. This is for notes and homework. Left-hand pages are for miscellaneous: arithmetic, drawings, quick tables, other real-time work, etc.

On the homework log — a separate piece of paper — students track a month’s worth of homework. I examine it at the beginning of each period. Each student. Every day.

I travel with an assistant who mans the stamp. I announce the number of points. If the points are fewer than 10, I also announce a code or codes explaining why they missed points. (There is a legend on the back of the homework log.) The assistant stamps the homework and the log. At the end of the week, I do all this and record the number of points for the week.

It’s a lot of work, but in an organized class I can do it in about six minutes. I will not visit a student twice or wait for them to get their things out.


Welcome to fluxion.  I’m using this blog to record a couple things:

  1. Papers I wrote as I worked toward my teaching credential and my MA in Education (both at a California public university), and
  2. Random thoughts regarding teaching and managing a classroom.

The blog is anonymous so that I can include details about my work that would otherwise be considered indiscreet.