As the end of the year approaches, many of my students seem to feel that they are done! They start to lag behind in homework, they don't do work in class and hand it in, there is the return of the "Ilostititis" and the "I forgotitathomeitis". The weather is getting nicer each day, the schedule has been off for things like track and field and open house. These changes seem to throw some students right back to September in terms of following classroom norms.
Re-enter the PINK SLIP. I have used this form for years and years, and I know it is not original BUT it has made my life much easier. At the beginning of the year I explain to my students and their parents what the meaning of receiving a "pink slip" is in the real world. Then I tell them that if I have to send home a pink slip for undone homework or missed assignments, it is the equivalent of receiving a "pink slip" in the real world. It is not a first warning, it means that something has gone awry with home and school communication.
Parents in my classroom know to watch for the first sign of the pink page in their child's school agenda/planner. It is a reminder that somewhere along the way, something has gone off the rails. I ask that the parents ensure the missing work is either finished and or returned to me ASAP. As well, I ask that the parents sign the form to acknowledge that they have seen it. I track these notes (sent home stapled to student agendas) in my PARENT COMMUNICATION binder. I also have the students fill out a HOMEWORK NOT COMPLETE form as well. I am all about personal accountability.
Sometimes I need to make a follow up phone call, but I always make sure the form is returned and I keep it with the student HOMEWORK NOT COMPLETE form in my homework binder.
Another rule in my classroom is that everything which has been evaluated by me, MUST be signed by a parent/guardian and returned to school. I do this to ensure that there are no surprises at reporting time. I also like to display student work. I do many other things too (such as maintain a parent blog, classroom website, newsletters, etc.) but I find that having parents look at the student work, with success criteria and rubric attached, helps when we are discussing student progress at parent/teacher meetings. When I send something home to be signed, I use a Parent Signature Requested stamp with RED INK.
If the item is not returned in a timely manner, I use the YELLOW SLIP. It is a friendly reminder that a piece of work has been sent home for review and signature but has not been returned.
Using these forms have saved me hours of aggravation! I have been teaching for almost 23 years now and I have been using one version of the PINK SLIP or another for most of my career. It's quick, it's simple, it takes emotion out of the transaction and it puts the onus back on the student.
If you would like a FREE copy of the PINK and YELLOW slips just click on the image below. You can photocopy them on whatever colour of paper appeals to you!
Have an awesome weekend!