Don't trust your memory when it comes to important names, faces, and events. Keep a record.
What's In a Name?
Make a class name book.
Take a picture of each student holding a sign with his or her name on it. Glue each photograph onto a piece of oak tag labeled with the student's name, and use binder rings to connect the pages into a book. (Be sure to include a picture of yourself as well.) Create a cover for the book. Allow students to take turns taking the book home to show their families.
What Did You Do?
Keep a record of student behavior.
Have students fill out a questionnaire that provides such information as their address, phone number, interests, hobbies, and so on. (See Back-to-School Templates for some sample forms.) Put each questionnaire in a 3-ring binder. Whenever a student does anything either negative or positive in class, record it on a piece of paper and put it in the student's folder. The information will serve as an important resource at report card or conference time.
What Happened When
A date book comes in handy for reminding yourself of faculty meetings, PPTs, school events, and so on. That same date book also can be used to document those unscheduled events that come up in the course of a day. You might think you'll never forget the first time Darrell's father called to complain about your discipline policies, the day Tamika's mother stopped in to request a speech evaluation, or what you did when Patrick bloodied Joe's nose on the playground. But you will -- unless you jot it down immediately in your date book.
Article by Linda Starr
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