You get a log, you get a log, everyone gets a log (in my Oprah voice)! Everyone who knows me in the classroom, knows one thing about me...I love me some logs! I have a log for everything. Logs are a great way to track any and everything. The logs have completely changed the way I run my classroom. They allow the teacher to track the time and frequency a student is doing something. I find myself printing the entries for parents and administrators because they are great pieces of evidence for any situation. I am lucky enough to work at a digital school so my logs are on the computer. I use Google Forms to create my class logs.
Logs also eliminate any miscommunication between teacher and student. I have over 200 students and I forget when students tell me something quite often. They stop students from saying “I told you I turned it in” or something similar. I always tell my students to “tell” me in the log so we are all covered. Also, I will not do anything without it being put in the log if I made a log for it. Example: I will not grade late work if it is not in the late log. All of these “Log Procedures” are explained in great detail in the beginning of the year and occasionally as the year progresses.
Here are a few of my favorite logs I use in my classroom.
Late Assignment Log- my students are only allowed to turn in 4 late assignments per quarter. I created one log for each entry (Assignment #1, Assignment #2, etc.). Each log only allows a student to submit an entry one time and it locks. This ensures students only use each log one time. I have several different fields that are required (i.e. Name, Class, Type of Assignment, Reason Why the Assignment is Late, and more).
The most important field for me is the “Reason why Assignment is Late” field. This allows me to track and view the top reasons students are turning assignments in late.
The number 1 reason my students give for turning in late assignments is, “ Too busy doing other teachers work”. I’ve found students are very truthful when telling me why they haven’t completed their assignments.
I check the late logs once a week. I normally print the new entries and cross them off as I check them. Then I go online highlight the entries, put the date I checked the assignment and notes if needed beside each new entry. My students and parents know the schedule.
Fix My Grade Log- this log allows students to inform me I made a mistake on a grade. When inputting over 400 grades a week, I sometimes make mistakes. It was difficult to teach when students would crowd my desk to talk about their grades. And truthfully as soon as they walked away I would forget to go and check the error. So I created this log for students to use when a mistake was made. I try to check this log daily or every other day. This keeps instruction time solely for instruction and limits interruptions/distractions. When students utter the words “mistake” and “grade” in the same sentence, I quickly direct them to the log. This log is open for unlimited entries.
You can make paper versions of your logs if your students do not have access to a computer using Microsoft Word/Excel or Google Docs/Sheets. I hope these ideas help you in your classroom. When in doubt make a log, you won’t regret it!