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How To: Help Students to Complete Missing Work: The Late-Work Teacher-Student Conference

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The reasons that students fall behind in assignments are many. Students who are just developing homework skills , for example, often need more time than peers to complete independent assignments, can find it challenging to focus their attention when working on their own, and may not have efficient study skills (Cooper & Valentine, 2001). To be sure, student procrastination and avoidance in work assignments is a widespread problem. And many students who fall behind in their work also develop a maladaptive, self-reinforcing pattern of escape-maintained behavior: as these students owe ever-increasing amounts of late work, they respond to the anxiety generated by that overhang of overdue assignments by actively avoiding that work. And thus the problem only grows worse (Hawkins & Axelrod, 2008).

When a student begins to slip in the completion and submission of assignments, the teacher can take steps proactively to interrupt this work-avoidant pattern of behavior by meeting with the student to create a plan to catch up with late work. (It is also recommended that the parent attend such a conference, although parent participation is not required.) In this 'late-work' conference, the teacher and student inventory what work is missing, negotiate a plan to complete that overdue work, and perhaps agree on a reasonable penalty for any late work turned in. Teacher, student (and parent, if attending) then sign off on the work plan. The teacher also ensures that the atmosphere at the meeting is supportive, rather than blaming, toward the student. And of course, any work plan hammered out at this meeting should seem attainable to the student.

Below in greater detail are the steps that the teacher and student would follow at a meeting to renegotiate missing work. (NOTE: Teachers can use the Student Late-Work Planning Form: Middle & High School to organize and document these late-work conferences.):

  • Inventory All Missing Work. The teacher reviews with the student all late or missing work. The student is given the opportunity to explain why the work has not yet been submitted.  
  • Negotiate a Plan to Complete Missing Work. The teacher and student create a log with entries for all of the missing assignments. Each entry includes a description of the missing assignment and a due date by which the student pledges to submit that work. This log becomes the student’s work plan. It is important that the submission dates for late assignments be realistic--particularly for students who owe a considerable amount of late work and are also trying to keep caught up with current assignments.  A teacher and student may agree, for example, that the student will have two weeks to complete and submit four late writing assignments. NOTE: Review this form as a tool to organize and document the student’s work plan.  
  • [Optional] Impose a Penalty for Missing Work. The teacher may decide to impose a penalty for the work being submitted late. Examples of possible penalties are a reduction of points (e.g., loss of 10 points per assignment) or the requirement that the student do additional work on the assignment than was required of his or her peers who turned it in on time.  If imposed, such penalties would be spelled out at this teacher-student conference. If penalties are given, they should be balanced and fair, permitting the teacher to impose appropriate consequences while allowing the student to still see a path to completing the missing work and passing the course.  
  • Periodically Check on the Status of the Missing-Work Plan. If the schedule agreed upon by teacher and student to complete and submit all late work exceeds two weeks, the teacher (or other designated school contact, such as a counselor) should meet with the student weekly while the plan is in effect. At these meetings, the teacher checks in with the student to verify that he or she is attaining the plan milestones on time and still expects to meet the submission deadlines agreed upon. If obstacles to emerge, the teacher and student engage in problem-solving to resolve them.


  • Download This Blog Entry in PDF Format: How To: Help Students to Complete Missing Work: The Late-Work Teacher-Student Conference
  • Cooper, H., & Valentine, J. C. (2001). Using research to answer practical questions about homework. Educational Psychologist, 36 (3), 143-153.
  • Hawkins, R. O., & Alexrod, M. I. (2008). Increasing the on-task homework behavior of youth with behavior disorders using functional behavioral assessment. Behavior Modification, 32, 840-859.
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Methods for Managing Late Work

Examining the reasoning behind your assessments can help shape your approach to tardy work, says Jennifer Gonzalez.

Illustration concept showing a mountain and clock buried in homework

When she was teaching, Jennifer Gonzalez used to plod through a “pointless” exercise at the end of the term: allowing a few students to complete late assignments and then docking their scores by 50 percent for tardiness. In her recent blog post , she reflects on why that practice didn’t help her students and offers suggestions from other educators on how cope with late work. 

The first step, Gonzalez says, is to examine your assessment procedures as a whole. Ask, “What do your grades represent?” The emphasis should be on learning and growth, not compliance. “If your grades are too compliance-based,” Gonzalez says, “consider how you might shift things so they more accurately represent learning.” Look also at the quantity of what you grade, she advises. Many assignments function as practice, not assessment. Shift to fewer graded assignments, she says, even if it is a challenge to “convince your students that ungraded practice is worthwhile because it will help their performance on the big things.” 

The final step for evaluating your grading system is asking yourself, “What do I assume late work means?” Gonzalez confesses, “I’m embarrassed to admit that when I first started teaching, I assumed most students with missing work were just unmotivated.” But lack of motivation is rarely the cause; many students don’t complete homework because they don’t have the resources of their peers. 

The most important factor in your grading system? Creating a plan you can actually keep up with, Gonzalez says. Once you establish a system, you can develop a strategy for late work. She offers a range of possible options, curated from other teachers through social media, ranging from penalties to the elimination of deadlines. 

Many teachers still opt for penalties, and there’s a reason: “When work is turned in weeks or even months late, it can lose its value as a learning opportunity because it is no longer aligned with what’s happening in class.” If you choose penalization for tardy assignments, a reduction in points can motivate students to complete the work, even if it is late. “This policy still rewards students for on-time work without completely de-motivating those who are late, builds in some accountability for lateness, and prevents the teacher from having to do a lot of mathematical juggling with a more complex system.”

Other teachers implement a policy that rewards students who turn things in on time by allowing them to resubmit their assignments for improved grades; if the work is late the student can’t retake the assessment for more points or receive feedback. 

Punitive policies don't always work as motivators, Gonzalez says, because sometimes the reason for late work isn't related to a lack of motivation. As a result, many teachers are abandoning the practice. "Students may have issues with executive function and could use some help developing systems for managing their time and responsibilities. They may struggle with anxiety. Or they may not have the resources—like time, space, and technology—to consistently complete work at home," she writes. 

Separate Mastery From Deadlines

Some teachers use a separate assessment  to “measure factors like adherence to deadlines, neatness, and following non-academic guidelines like font sizes or using the correct heading on a paper.” Completing assignments on-time, in other words, is part of a separate evaluation from the mastery assessment--and students receive grades for both. 

“Although most teachers whose schools use this type of system will admit that students and parents don’t take the work habits grade as seriously as the academic grade,” Gonzalez writes, “they report being satisfied that student grades only reflect mastery of the content.” Because better work habits can yield better academic results, having this type of “work habits” score can be used to show students the importance of staying on top of deadlines.

Issue Selective ‘Passes’ or Use Floating Deadlines

Another popular option for late work is to anticipate it and offer a pass the student can elect to use instead. “Most teachers only offer these passes to replace low-point assignments, not major ones, and they generally only offer 1 to 3 passes per marking period.” A “next day pass” serves a similar purpose; students can use them to extend the deadline by a day. One teacher reports that the introduction of the pass gave her “the lowest rate ever of late work.” Some teachers use extension requests so students can anticipate when they might be late and write a proposal about why their tardiness should be excused. 

A floating deadline can help avoid the question of how to address late work altogether. Giving students a flexible range of dates when they can submit work allows them to take ownership in their work. “Some teachers offer an incentive to turn in work in the early part of the time frame, such as extra credit or faster feedback, and this helps to spread out the submissions more evenly,” Gonzalez writes. A variation on the flexible deadline allows students to turn in work that’s in process. Teachers then have the chance to review work and give feedback before the final grade. Students can also take responsibility by weighing in on when work should be due. “They may have a better idea than you do about other big events that are happening and assignments that have been given in other classes.”

What is the best policy on late work? The system that actually works for you. Gonzalez encourages teachers to experiment with different approaches and settle on the process that suits you and your students.


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Late Assignments Form

by Admin · 22 December, 2009

Students attach this form to all assignments turned in past due. It has space to explain the reason for it being late. There are two per sheet. Suggested use is to have students staple the completed form to any work turned in past the due date.

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I can’t remember how exactly I found this site, but I use it OFTEN, especially for the graphic organizers. Thanks!!!

A Few Ideas for Dealing with Late Work

August 4, 2019

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Most of my 9-week grading periods ended the same way: Me and one or two students, sitting in my quiet, empty classroom together, with me sitting at the computer, the students nearby in desks, methodically working through piles of make-up assignments. They would be focused, more focused than I’d seen them in months, and the speed with which they got through the piles was stunning. 

As they finished each assignment I took it, checked it for accuracy, then entered their scores—taking 50 percent off for being late—into my grading program. With every entry, I’d watch as their class grade went up and up: from a 37 percent to a 41, then to 45, then to 51, and eventually to something in the 60s or even low 70s, a number that constituted passing, at which point the process would end and we’d part ways, full of resolve that next marking period would be different.

And the whole time I thought to myself, This is pointless . They aren’t learning anything at all. But I wasn’t sure what else to do.

For as long as teachers have assigned tasks in exchange for grades, late work has been a problem. What do we do when a student turns in work late? Do we give some kind of consequence or accept assignments at any time with no penalty? Do we set up some kind of system that keeps students motivated while still holding them accountable? Is there a way to manage all of this without driving ourselves crazy?

To find answers, I went to Twitter and asked teachers to share what works for them. What follows is a summary of their responses. I wish I could give individual credit to each person who offered ideas, but that would take way too long, and I really want you to get these suggestions now! If you’ve been unsatisfied with your own approach to late work, you should find some fresh ideas here.

First, a Few Questions About Your Grades

Before we get into the ways teachers manage late work, let’s back up a bit and consider whether your overall program of assignments and grading is in a healthy place. Here are some questions to think about:  

  • What do your grades represent? How much of your grades are truly based on academic growth, and how much are based mostly on compliance? If they lean more toward compliance, then what you’re doing when you try to manage late work is basically a lot of administrative paper pushing, rather than teaching your content. Although it’s important for kids to learn how to manage deadlines, do you really want an A in your course to primarily reflect the ability to follow instructions? If your grades are too compliance-based, consider how you might shift things so they more accurately represent learning. (For a deeper discussion of this issue, read How Accurate Are Your Grades? )
  • Are you grading too many things? If you spend a lot of time chasing down missing assignments in order to get more scores in your gradebook, it could be that you’re grading too much. Some teachers only enter grades for major, summative tasks, like projects, major writing assignments, or exams. Everything else is considered formative and is either ungraded or given a very low point value for completion, not graded for accuracy; it’s practice . For teachers who are used to collecting lots of grades over a marking period, this will be a big shift, and if you work in a school where you’re expected to enter grades into your system frequently, that shift will be even more difficult. Convincing your students that ungraded practice is worthwhile because it will help their performance on the big things will be another hurdle. With all of that said, reducing the number of scored items will make your grades more meaningful and cut way down on the time you spend grading and managing late work.
  • What assumptions do you make when students don’t turn in work? I’m embarrassed to admit that when I first started teaching, I assumed most students with missing work were just unmotivated. Although this might be true for a small portion of students, I no longer see this as the most likely reason. Students may have issues with executive function and could use some help developing systems for managing their time and responsibilities. They may struggle with anxiety. Or they may not have the resources—like time, space, and technology—to consistently complete work at home. More attention has been paid lately to the fact that homework is an equity issue , and our policies around homework should reflect an understanding that all students don’t have access to the same resources once they leave school for the day. Punitive policies that are meant to “motivate” students don’t take any of these other issues into consideration, so if your late work penalties don’t seem to be working, it’s likely that the root cause is something other than a lack of motivation.
  • What kind of grading system is realistic for you ? Any system you put in place requires YOU to stay on top of grading. It would be much harder to assign penalties, send home reminders, or track lateness if you are behind on marking papers by a week, two weeks, even a month. So whatever you do, create a plan that you can actually keep up with.

Possible Solutions

1. penalties.

Many teachers give some sort of penalty to students for late work. The thinking behind this is that without some sort of negative consequence, too many students would wait until the end of the marking period to turn work in, or in some cases, not turn it in at all. When work is turned in weeks or even months late, it can lose its value as a learning opportunity because it is no longer aligned with what’s happening in class. On top of that, teachers can end up with massive piles of assignments to grade in the last few days of a marking period. This not only places a heavy burden on teachers, it is far from an ideal condition for giving students the good quality feedback they should be getting on these assignments.

Several types of penalties are most common:

Point Deductions In many cases, teachers simply reduce the grade as a result of the lateness. Some teachers will take off a certain number of points per day until they reach a cutoff date after which the work will no longer be accepted. One teacher who responded said he takes off 10 percent for up to three days late, then 30 percent for work submitted up to a week late; he says most students turn their work in before the first three days are over. Others have a standard amount that comes off for any late work (like 10 percent), regardless of when it is turned in. This policy still rewards students for on-time work without completely de-motivating those who are late, builds in some accountability for lateness, and prevents the teacher from having to do a lot of mathematical juggling with a more complex system. 

Parent Contact Some teachers keep track of late work and contact parents if it is not turned in. This treats the late work as more of a conduct issue; the parent contact may be in addition to or instead of taking points away. 

No Feedback, No Re-Dos The real value of homework and other smaller assignments should be the opportunity for feedback: Students do an assignment, they get timely teacher feedback, and they use that feedback to improve. In many cases, teachers allow students to re-do and resubmit assignments based on that feedback. So a logical consequence of late work could be the loss of that opportunity: Several teachers mentioned that their policy is to accept late work for full credit, but only students who submit work on time will receive feedback or the chance to re-do it for a higher grade. Those who hand in late work must accept whatever score they get the first time around. 

2. A Separate Work Habits Grade

In a lot of schools, especially those that use standards-based grading, a student’s grade on an assignment is a pure representation of their academic mastery; it does not reflect compliance in any way. So in these classrooms, if a student turns in good work, it’s going to get a good grade even if it’s handed in a month late. 

But students still need to learn how to manage their time. For that reason, many schools assign a separate grade for work habits. This might measure factors like adherence to deadlines, neatness, and following non-academic guidelines like font sizes or using the correct heading on a paper. 

  • Although most teachers whose schools use this type of system will admit that students and parents don’t take the work habits grade as seriously as the academic grade, they report being satisfied that student grades only reflect mastery of the content.
  • One school calls their work habits grade a “behavior” grade, and although it doesn’t impact GPA, students who don’t have a certain behavior grade can’t make honor roll, despite their actual GPA.
  • Several teachers mentioned looking for patterns and using the separate grade as a basis for conferences with parents, counselors, or other stakeholders. For most students, there’s probably a strong correlation between work habits and academic achievement, so separating the two could help students see that connection.
  • Some learning management systems will flag assignments as late without necessarily taking points off. Although this does not automatically translate to a work habits grade, it indicates the lateness to students and parents without misrepresenting the academic achievement.

3. Homework Passes

Because things happen in real life that can throw anyone off course every now and then, some teachers offer passes students can use to replace a missed assignment.

  • Most teachers only offer these passes to replace low-point assignments, not major ones, and they generally only offer 1 to 3 passes per marking period. Homework passes can usually only recover 5 to 10 percent of a student’s overall course grade. 
  • Other teachers have a policy of allowing students to drop one or two of their lowest scores in the gradebook. Again, this is typically done for smaller assignments and has the same net effect as a homework pass by allowing everyone to have a bad day or two.
  • One teacher gives “Next Class Passes” which allow students one extra day to turn in work. At the end of every marking period she gives extra credit points to students who still have unused passes. She says that since she started doing this, she has had the lowest rate ever of late work. 

4. Extension Requests

Quite a few teachers require students to submit a written request for a deadline extension rather than taking points off. With a system like this, every student turns something in on the due date, whether it’s the assignment itself or an extension request.

  • Most extension requests ask students to explain why they were unable to complete the assignment on time. This not only gives the students a chance to reflect on their habits, it also invites the teacher to help students solve larger problems that might be getting in the way of their academic success. 
  • Having students submit their requests via Google Forms reduces the need for paper and routes all requests to a single spreadsheet, which makes it easier for teachers to keep track of work that is late or needs to be regraded.  
  • Other teachers use a similar system for times when students want to resubmit work for a new grade. 

5. Floating Deadlines

Rather than choosing a single deadline for an assignment, some teachers assign a range of dates for students to submit work. This flexibility allows students to plan their work around other life activities and responsibilities.

  • Some teachers offer an incentive to turn in work in the early part of the time frame, such as extra credit or faster feedback, and this helps to spread out the submissions more evenly. 
  • Another variation on this approach is to assign a batch of work for a whole week and ask students to get it in by Friday. This way, students get to manage when they get it done. 
  • Other names mentioned for this strategy were flexible deadlines , soft deadlines , and due windows .

6. Let Students Submit Work in Progress

Some digital platforms, like Google Classroom, allow students to “submit” assignments while they are still working on them. This allows teachers to see how far the student has gotten and address any problems that might be coming up. If your classroom is mostly paper-based, it’s certainly possible to do this kind of thing with paper as well, letting students turn in partially completed work to demonstrate that an effort has been made and show you where they might be stuck.

7. Give Late Work Full Credit

Some teachers accept all late work with no penalty. Most of them agree that if the work is important, and if we want students to do it, we should let them hand it in whenever they get it done. 

  • Some teachers fear this approach will cause more students to stop doing the work or delay submission until the end of a marking period, but teachers who like this approach say they were surprised by how little things changed when they stopped giving penalties: Most students continued to turn work in more or less on time, and the same ones who were late under the old system were still late under the new one. The big difference was that the teacher no longer had to spend time calculating deductions or determining whether students had valid excuses; the work was simply graded for mastery.
  • To give students an incentive to actually turn the work in before the marking period is over, some teachers will put a temporary zero in the gradebook as a placeholder until the assignment is turned in, at which point the zero is replaced with a grade.
  • Here’s a twist on the “no penalty” option: Some teachers don’t take points off for late work, but they limit the time frame when students can turn it in. Some will not accept late work after they have graded and returned an assignment; at that point it would be too easy for students to copy off of the returned papers. Others will only accept late work up until the assessment for the unit, because the work leading up to that is meant to prepare for that assessment. 

8. Other Preventative Measures

These strategies aren’t necessarily a way to manage late work as much as they are meant to prevent it in the first place.

  • Include students in setting deadlines. When it comes to major assignments, have students help you determine due dates. They may have a better idea than you do about other big events that are happening and assignments that have been given in other classes.
  • Stop assigning homework. Some teachers have stopped assigning homework entirely, recognizing that disparities at home make it an unfair measurement of academic mastery. Instead, all meaningful work is done in class, where the teacher can monitor progress and give feedback as needed. Long-term projects are done in class as well, so the teacher is aware of which students need more time and why. 
  • Make homework optional or self-selected. Not all students need the same amount of practice. You may be able to get your students to assess their own need for additional practice and assign that practice to themselves. Although this may sound far-fetched, in some classes, like this self-paced classroom , it actually works, because students know they will be graded on a final assessment, they get good at determining when they need extra practice.

With so many different approaches to late work, what’s clear is that there are a lot of different schools of thought on grading and assessment, so it’s not a surprise that we don’t always land on the best solution on the first try. Experiment with different systems, talk to your colleagues, and be willing to try something new until you find something that works for you. 

Further Reading

Cover of E-Book: 20 Ways to Cut Your Grading Time in Half, by Jennifer Gonzalez

20 Ways to Cut Your Grading Time in Half This free e-book is full of ideas that can help with grading in general.

late assignment sheet

On Your Mark: Challenging the Conventions of Grading and Reporting Thomas R. Guskey This book came highly recommended by a number of teachers.

late assignment sheet

Hacking Assessment: 10 Ways to Go Gradeless in a Traditional Grades School Starr Sackstein

Come back for more. Join our mailing list and get weekly tips, tools, and inspiration that will make your teaching more effective and fun. You’ll get access to our members-only library of free downloads, including 20 Ways to Cut Your Grading Time in Half , the e-booklet that has helped thousands of teachers save time on grading. Over 50,000 teachers have already joined—come on in.

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Categories: Classroom Management , Instruction , Podcast

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I teach high school science (mine is a course that does not have an “end of course” test so the stakes are not as high) and I teach mostly juniors and seniors. Last year I decided not to accept any late work whatsoever unless a student is absent the day it is assigned or due (or if they have an accomodation in a 504 or IEP – and I may have had one or two students with real/documented emergencies that I let turn in late.) This makes it so much easier on me because I don’t have to keep up with how many days/points to deduct – that’s a nightmare. It also forces them to be more responsible. They usually have had time to do it in class so there’s no reason for it to be late. Also, I was very frustrated with homework not being completed and I hated having to grade it and keep up with absent work. So I don’t “require” homework (and rarely assign it any more) but if students do ALL (no partial credit) of it they get a 100% (small point value grade), if they are absent or they don’t do it they are exempt. So it ends up being a sort of extra credit grade but it does not really penalize students who don’t do it. When students ask me for extra credit (which I don’t usually give), the first thing I ask is if they’ve done all the homework assigned. That usually shuts down any further discussion. I’ve decided I’m not going to spend tons of time chasing and calculating grades on small point values that do not make a big difference in an overall grade. 🙂

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Do I understand correctly….

Homework is not required. If a student fully completes the HW, they will earn full points. If the student is absent or doesn’t do it, they are excused. Students who do complete the HW will benefit a little bit in their overall grade, but students who don’t compete the work will not be penalized. Did I understand it correctly?

Do you stipulate that a student must earn a certain % on the assignment to get the full points? What about a student who completed an assignment but completes the entire thing incorrectly? Still full credit? Or an opportunity to re-do?

Thank you in advance.

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From reading this blog post I was thinking the same thing. When not penalizing students for homework do you have students who do turn it in getting extra points in class?

From what I have seen, if there is a benefit for turning in homework and students see this benefit more will try to accomplish what the homework is asking. So avoid penalization is okay, but make sure the ones turning it in are getting rewarded in some way.

The other question regarding what to do with students who may not be completing the assignments correctly, you could use this almost as a formative assessment. You could still give them the credit but use this as a time for you to focus on that student a little more and see where he/she isn’t understanding the content.

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Our school has a system called Catch Up Cafe. Students with missing work report to a specific teacher during the first 15 minutes of lunch to work on missing work. Students upgrade to a Wednesday after school time if they have accumulated 4 or more missing assignments on any Monday. They do not have to serve if they can clear ALL missing work by the end of the day Wednesday. Since work is not dragging out for a long period of time, most teachers do not take off points.

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How do you manage the logistics of who has missing and how many assignments are needed to be completed-to make sure they are attending the Catch up Cafe or Wednesday after school? How do you manage the communication with parents?

When a student has missing work it can be very difficult to see what he/she is missing. I always keep a running record of all of their assignments that quarter and if they miss that assigement I keep it blank to remind myself there was never a submission. Once I know that this student is missing this assignment I give them their own copy and write at the top late. So once they do turn it in I know that it’s late and makes grading it easier.

There are a lot of different programs that schools use but I’ve always kept a paper copy so I have a back-up.

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I find that the worst part of tracking make-up work is keeping tabs on who was absent for a school activity, illness or other excused absence, and who just didn’t turn in the assignment. I obviously have to accept work turned in “late” due to an excused absence, but I can handle the truly late work however I wish. Any advice on simplifying tracking for this?

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I tell my students to simply write “Absent (day/s)” at the top of the paper. I remind them of this fairly regularly. That way, if they were absent, it’s their responsibility to notify me, and it’s all together. If you create your own worksheets, etc., you could add a line to the top as an additional reminder.

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It might be worth checking out Evernote .

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In order to keep track of what type of missing assignments, I put a 0 in as a grade so students and parents know an assignment was never submitted. If a student was here on the due date and day assignment was given then it is a 0 in the grade book. If a student was absent the day the assignment was given or when it was due, I put a 00 in the grade book. This way I know if it was because of an absence or actual no work completed.

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This is exactly what I do. Homework can only count 10% in our district. Claims that kids fail due to zeros for homework are specious.

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This is SUCH a difficult issue and I have tried a few of the suggested ways in years past. My questions is… how do we properly prepare kids for college while still being mindful of the inequities at home? We need to be sure that we are giving kids opportunity, resources, and support, but at the same time if we don’t introduce them to some of the challenges they will be faced with in college (hours of studying and research and writing regardless of the hours you might have to spend working to pay that tuition), are we truly preparing them? I get the idea of mastery of content without penalty for late work and honestly that is typically what I go with, but I constantly struggle with this and now that I will be moving from middle to high school, I worry even more about the right way to handle late work and homework. I don’t want to hold students back in my class by being too much of a stickler about seemingly little things, but I don’t want to send them to college unprepared to experience a slap in the face, either. I don’t want to provide extra hurdles, but how do I best help them learn how to push through the hurdles and rigor if they aren’t held accountable? I always provide extra time after school, at lunch, etc., and have also experienced that end of term box checking of assignments in place of a true learning experience, but how do we teach them the importance of using resources, asking for help, allowing for mistakes while holding them to standards and learning work habits that will be helpful to them when they will be on their own? I just don’t know where the line is between helping students learn the value of good work habits and keeping them from experiencing certain challenges they need to understand in order to truly get ahead.

Thanks for sharing – I can tell how much you care for your students, wanting them to be confident independent learners. What I think I’m hearing is perhaps the struggle between that fine line of enabling and supporting. When supporting kids, whether academically or behaviorally, we’re doing something that assists or facilitates their growth. So, for example, a student that has anxiety or who doesn’t have the resources at home to complete an assignment, we can assist by giving that student extra time or an alternative place to complete the assignment. This doesn’t lower expectations, it just offers support to help them succeed.

Enabling on the other hand, puts systems in place that don’t involve consequences, which in turn allow the behaviors to continue. It involves excuses and solving problems for others. It may be about lowering expectations and letting people get by with patterns of behavior.

Late work is tricky. The article does mention the importance of time management, which is why separating academic grades from work habits is something a lot of schools are doing. Sometimes real life happens and kids need a “pass.” If whatever you’re doing seems to be helping to support a student rather than enabling patterns, then that might help you distinguish between that fine line. Hope this helps!

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Thank you again for such a great post. Always high-quality, relevant, and helpful. I so appreciate you and the work you do!

So glad to hear you enjoyed the post, Liz! I’ll make sure Jenn sees this.

I thought that these points brought up about receiving late work were extremely helpful and I hope that every classroom understands how beneficial these strategies could be.

When reading the penalties section under point deductions it brought up the idea of taking points off slowly as time goes by. Currently in my classroom the only point deduction I take off is 30% of the total grade after it is received late. No matter how much time has gone by in that grading period it will have 30% off the total.

I’m curious if changing this technique to something that would increase the percentage off as time goes by will make students turn in their work on time.

My question to everyone is which grading technique would be more beneficial for the students? Do you believe that just taking off 30% for late work would help students more when turning in their work or do you think that as time goes by penalizing their final score will have students turn in their work more?

If anyone has any answers it would be extremely beneficial.

Thank you, Kirby

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When I was in school my school did 1/3 of a grade each day it was like. So 1 day late A >A-. Two days late: A->>B+ so on and so forth. This worked really well for me because I knew that I could still receive a good grade if I worked hard on an assignment, even if it was a day or two late.

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I dread it when I have missing work or unsubmitted work. I would try to get a last-minute effort to chase those needed pieces of work which could be done from those students housed in dorms on campus. It is better than not failing them for lacking to turn in graded submissions or taking scheduled quizzes. I dread this not for the students, sadly, but for likely call to explain why I did not keep physical evidence of students’ supposed learning. In my part of the globe, we have a yearly “quality assurance” audit by the country’s educational authorities or their representatives.

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I am a pre-service teacher and I am in the process of developing my personal philosophies in education, including the topic of late work. I will be certified as a secondary social studies teacher and would like to teach in a high school. Your post brought my attention to some important insights about the subject. For example, before this post I had not thought to use feedback as a way to incentivize homework submission on time. This action coupled with the ability to re-do assignments is a great way to emphasize the importance of turning work in on time. I do have a follow-up question, how do you adequately manage grading re-do’s and feedback on all assignments? What kinds of organizational and time-management strategies do you use as a teacher? Further, how much homework do you assign when providing this as an option?

Additionally, have you administered or seen the no penalty and homework acceptance time limit in practice (for example, all homework must be turned in by the unit test)? I was curious if providing a deadline to accept all homework until the unit test may result in an access of papers I need to grade. From your experience, what practice(s) have you seen work well in the classroom?

My goal is to prepare students for life beyond high school and to support their intellectual, social, and emotional development during their high school learning experience. Similar to a previous commenter (Kate), I am also trying to define a balance between holding students accountable in order to best prepare them for their future lives and providing opportunities to raise their grade if they are willing to do the work.

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Hey Jessica, you have some great questions. I’d recommend checking out the following blog posts from Jenn that will help you learn more about keeping track of assessments, differentiation, and other aspects of grading: Kiddom: Standards-based Grading Made Wonderful , Could You Teach Without Grades , Boost Your Assessment Power with GradeCam , and Four Research-Based Strategies Every Teacher Should be Using . I hope this helps you find answers to your questions!

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Overall I found this article extremely helpful and it actually reinforced many ideas I already had about homework and deadlines. One of my favorite teachers I had in high school was always asking for our input on when we felt assignments should be due based on what extra curricular activities were taking place in a given time period. We were all extremely grateful for his consideration and worked that much harder on the given assignments.

While it is important to think about our own well-being when grading papers, I think it is just as important (if not more) to be conscious of how much work students might have in other classes or what students schedules are like outside of school. If we really want students to do their best work, we need to give them enough time to do the work. This will in turn, help them care more about the subject matter and help them dive deeper. Obviously there still needs to be deadlines, but it does not hurt to give students some autonomy and say in the classroom.

Thanks for your comment Zach. I appreciate your point about considering students’ involvement in extracurricular activities and other responsibilities they may have outside the school day. It’s definitely an important consideration. The only homework my son seemed to have in 8th grade was for his history class. I agree that there’s a need for teachers to maintain more of a balance across classes when it comes to the amount of homework they give to students.

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Thank you for an important, thought-provoking post! As a veteran teacher of 20+ years, I have some strong opinions about this topic. I have always questioned the model of ‘taking points off’ for late work. I do not see how this presents an accurate picture of what the student knows or can do. Shouldn’t he be able to prove his knowledge regardless of WHEN? Why does WHEN he shows you what he knows determine WHAT he knows?

Putting kids up against a common calendar with due dates and timelines, regardless of their ability to learn the material at the same rate is perhaps not fair. There are so many different situations facing our students – some students have challenges and difficulty with deadlines for a plethora of potential reasons, and some have nothing but support, structure, and time. When it comes to deadlines – Some students need more time. Other students may need less time. Shouldn’t all students have a chance to learn at a pace that is right for them? Shouldn’t we measure student success by demonstrations of learning instead of how much time it takes to turn in work? Shouldn’t students feel comfortable when it is time to show me what they’ve learned, and when they can demonstrate they’ve learned it, I want their grade to reflect that.

Of course we want to teach students how to manage their time. I am not advocating for a lax wishy-washy system that allows for students to ‘get to it when they get to it’. I do believe in promoting work-study habits, and using a separate system to assign a grade for responsibility, respect, management, etc is a potential solution. I understand that when introducing this type of system, it may be tough to get buy-in from parents and older students who have traditionally only looked at an academic grade because it is the only piece of the puzzle that impacts GPA. Adopting a separate work-study grading system would involve encouraging the entire school community – starting at the youngest level – to see its value. It would be crucial for the school to promote the importance of high level work-study habits right along side academic grades.

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I teach a specials course to inner city middle schoolers at a charter school. All students have to take my class since it is one of the core pillars of the school’s culture and mission. Therefore it is a double edge sword. Some students and parents think it is irrelevant like an art or music class but will get upset to find out it isn’t just an easy A class. Other students and parents love it because they come to our charter school just to be in this class that isn’t offered anywhere else in the state, except at the college level.

As you may have already guessed, I see a lot of students who don’t do the work. So much that I no longer assign homework, which the majority would not be able to do independently anyways or may develop the wrong way of learning the material, due to the nature of the subject. So everything is done in the classroom together as a class. And then we grade together to reinforce the learning. This is why I absolutely do not accept missing work and there is no reason for late work. Absent students make up the work by staying after school upon their return or they can print it off of Google classroom at home and turn in by the end of the day of their return. Late and missing work is a big issue at our school. I’ve had whole classrooms not do the work even as I implemented the new routine. Students will sit there and mark their papers as we do it in the classroom but by the end they are not handing it in because they claim not to have anything to hand in. Or when they do it appears they were doing very little. I’d have to micromanage all 32 students every 5 minutes to make sure they were actually doing the work, which I believe core teachers do. But that sets a very bad precedent because I noticed our students expect to be handheld every minute or they claim they can’t do the work. I know this to be the case since before this class I was teaching a computer class and the students expected me to sit right next to them and give them step-by-step instructions of where to click on the screen. They simply could not follow along as I demonstrated on the Aquos board. So I do think part of the problem is the administrators’ encouraging poor work ethics. They’re too focused on meeting proficient standard to the point they want teachers to handhold students. They also want teachers to accept late and missing work all the way until the end of each quarter. Well that’s easy if you only have a few students but when you have classrooms full of them, that means trying to grade 300+ students multiplied by “x” amount of late/missing work the week before report card rolls out – to which we still have to write comments for C- or below students. Some of us teach all the grade levels 6-8th. And that has actually had negative effects because students no longer hold themselves accountable.

To be honest, I really do think this is why there is such a high turnover rate and teachers who started giving busy work only. In the inner city, administrators only care about putting out the illusion of proficiency while students and parents don’t want any accountability for their performance. As soon as a student fails because they have to actually try to learn (which is a risk for failing), the parent comes in screaming.

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Yea, being an Art teacher you lost me at “ irrelevant like an art or music .”

I teach middle school in the inner city where missing and late work is a chronic issue so the suggestions and ideas above do not work. Students and parents have become complacent with failing grades so penalizing work isn’t going to motivate them to do better the next time. The secret to teaching in the inner city is to give them a way out without it becoming massive work for you. Because trust me, if you give them an inch they will always want a mile at your expense. Depending on which subject you teach, it might be easier to just do everything in class. That way it becomes an all or nothing grade. They either did or didn’t do the work. No excuses, no chasing down half the school through number of calls to disconnected phone numbers and out of date emails, no explaining to parents why Johnny has to stay after school to finish assignments when mom needs him home to babysit or because she works second shift and can’t pick him up, etc. Students have no reason for late work or for missing work when they were supposed to do it right there in class. Absent students can catch up with work when they return.

Milton, I agree with all of what you are saying and have experienced. Not to say that that is for all students I have had, but it is a slow progression as to what is happening with students and parents as years go by. I understand that there are areas outside of the classroom we cannot control and some students do not have certain necessities needed to help them but they need to start learning what can they do to help themselves. I make sure the students know they can come and talk to me if needing help or extra time, tutor after school and even a phone number to contact along with email if needing to ask questions or get help. But parents and students do not use these opportunities given until the week before school ends and are now wanting their student to pass and what can be done. It is frustrating and sad. I let students and parents know my expectation up front and if they do not take the opportunity to talk to me then the grade they earned is the result.

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I am a special education resource teacher and late work/missing work happens quite a lot. After reading this article, I want to try a few different things to help minimize this issue. However, I am not the one making the grades or putting the grades in. I am just giving the work to the students in small group settings and giving them more access to the resources they need to help them be successful on these assignments based on their current IEP. I use a make-up folder, and usually I will pull these students to work on their work during a different time than when I regularly pull them. That way they do not miss the delivery of instruction they get from me and it does not punish my other students either if there is make-up work that needs to be completed. I try to give my students ample time to complete their work, so there is no excuse for them not to complete it. If they are absent, then I pull them at a time that they can make it up.

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I too agree with that there’s a need for teachers to maintain more of a balance across classes when it comes to the amount of homework they give to students.

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I had a few teachers who were willing to tolerate lateness in favor of getting it/understanding the material. Lastly, my favorite teacher was the one who gave me many chances to do rewrites of a ‘bad essay’ and gave me as much time as needed (of course still within like the semester or even month but I never took more than two weeks) because he wanted me to do well. I ended up with a 4 in AP exam though so that’s good.

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Late work has a whole new meaning with virtual learning. I am drowning in late work (via Google Classroom). I don’t want to penalize students for late work as every home situation is different. I grade and provide feedback timely (to those who submitted on time). However, I am being penalized every weekend and evening as I try to grade and provide feedback during this time. I would love some ideas.

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Hi Susan! I’m in the same place–I have students who (after numerous reminders) still haven’t submitted work due days…weeks ago, and I’m either taking time to remind them again or give feedback on “old” work over my nights and weekends. So, while it’s not specific to online learning, Jenn’s A Few Ideas for Dealing with Late Work is a post I’ve been trying to put into practice the last few days. I hope this helps!

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Graded assignment flexibility is essential to the process of learning in general but especially in our new world of digital divide

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It is difficult to determine who is doing the work at home. Follow up videos on seesaw help to see if the student has gained the knowledge or is being given the answers.

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This is some good information. This is a difficult subject.

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I love the idea of a catch-up cafe! I think I will try to implement this in my school. It’s in the same place every day, yes? And the teachers take turns monitoring? I’m just trying to get a handle on the logistics – I know those will be the first questions I get.

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I really enjoyed this post. I think it provides a lot of perspective on a topic that teachers get way too strict about. I just wonder: wouldn’t it be inevitable for students to become lazy and care less about their understanding if there wasn’t any homework (or even if it was optional)? I know students don’t like it, and it can get redundant if they understand the content, but it truly is good practice.

Hi Shannon,

Glad the post helped! Homework is one of those hot educational topics, but I can’t say I’ve personally come across a situation or found any research where kids become lazy or unmotivated if not assigned homework. In fact, research indicates that homework doesn’t really have much impact on learning until high school. I just think that if homework is going to be assigned, it needs to be intentional and purposeful. (If students have already mastered a skill, I’m not sure how homework would provide them much benefit.) Here’s an article that I think is worth checking out. See what you think.

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I like how you brought up how homework needs to be given with the understanding that not all kids have the same resources at home. Some kids don’t have computers or their parents won’t let them use it. There is no way of knowing this so teachers should give homework that requires barely any utensils or technology.

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I think having students help determine the due dates for major assignments is a great idea. This works well with online schools too. Remote jobs are the future so helping students learn how to set their own due dates and to get homework done from home will prepare them for the future.

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This year I am trying something new. After reading this article, I noticed that I have used a combination of some of these strategies to combat late work and encourage students to turn work in on time. I only record a letter grade in the grade book: A, B, C, D, F. If a student turns in an assignment late, I flag it as late, but it does not affect their “grade”.

If a student wants to redo an assignment, they must turn something in. If they miss the due date, they can still turn it in, but lose the opportunity to redo the assignment. Students will meet with me one last time before they turn it in to get final feedback.

At the end of the grading period, I conference with the student about their final grade, looking at how many times they have handed work in on-time or late. This will determine if the student has earned an A or an A+ .

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I really appreciate how your post incorporates a lot of suggestions for the way that teachers can think about and grade homework. Thank you for mentioning how different students have different resources available as well. As teachers, we need to be aware of the different resources our students have and tailor our approach to homework to match. I like the idea of grading homework based on completion and accepting late work for full credit at any time (substituting a zero in the grade book until it is turned in). This is definitely a strategy that I’ll be using!

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So glad the article was helpful for you! I will be sure to pass on your comments to Jenn.

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I also have been teaching for a long time and I have found that providing an END OF WEEK (Friday at 11:59) due date for assignments allows students to get the work completed by that time. It helps with athletes, and others involved in extra curricular activities. I feel this is fair. I give my tests/quizzes on the days assigned and the supplemental work on Fridays.

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I personally, as a special education teach, would allow my SPED students extra time to complete the work they have missed. This is in alignment with their IEP accommodations. I would work with each one independently and have remediation with the content that they are having difficulty. This setting would be in a small group and separate classroom.

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I really like the idea of a work habits grade. I struggle with students who turn things in late regularly earning the same grade as those who always turn things in on time. A work habits grade could really motivate some learners.

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I’ve been in education for 37 years and in all manner of positions. I share this only to also say that things have changed quite a bit. When I started teaching I only had one, maybe two students in a class of 34 elementary students that would not have homework or classwork finished. Now, I have two classes of about 15 each. One group is often half the class on a regular basis not having homework or not finishing classwork on a regular basis- so far. Additionally parents will pull students out to go to amusement parks, etc and expect all work to be made up and at full credit. I believe that the idea of homework is clearly twofold- to teach accountability and to reengage a learner. Classwork is critical to working with the content and, learning objective. We can all grade various ways; however, at some point, the learner has to step up. Learning is not passive, nor is it all on the teacher. I have been called “mean” because I make students do their work in class, refocusing them, etc. I find that is my duty. Late work should be simply dealt with consistently and with understanding to circumstance IMO. You were out or it was late because mom and dad were upset, ok versus we went to Disney for three days and I was too tired. hmm- used to be easy with excused/unexcused absences, now there is no difference. Late with no absence? That can be a problem and I reach out to home and handle it individually at my level.

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Hi Jennifer! I really like your sharing about this topic! Late work is a problem that every teacher encounters. Thank you for your consideration of this issue and the many wise ideas you have provided. Your ideas also remind me to reflect on whether my overall program of assignments and grading is in a healthy place. I was inspired by the preventative measures you listed in this post. I want to try to include my students in setting deadlines, especially for some big projects. Students will feel respected by teachers and will be more willing to complete the assignments before deadlines! As you mentioned, some teachers have made homework optional or self-selected, or even stopped assigning homework. I partially agree with that opinion. I indeed try to reduce the amount of students’ homework or even stop assigning homework sometime, but doing related practice in class instead. I believe that the purpose of homework is to aid pupils in mastering the knowledge; it is not a necessary thing.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Yang. Jenn will be glad to know that you found the post inspiring!

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Thanks so much for all your insights on giving assignments or homework. All are very helpful as I prepare to return to work after an extended medical leave. It is good to refresh! Anything we require of our students should be purposeful and meaningful to them, so they will give their best to meet whatever deadlines we set. I also like asking our students when is the best time they can turn work in; this is meeting them halfway. And if one strategy does not work, there are more to try; just read this post. Thanks a bunch!!

Jenn will be glad to know the post was helpful for you, Jo!

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Late Work and Absences: 4 Steps to an Easily Implemented System

I would argue that there’s nothing more frustrating as a teacher than having the perfect lesson or activity ready to go, only to find out that there are students absent or that they did not bring the work that they needed to proceed. After switching to a student-centered model and then having these roadblocks hit me in the face, I knew I needed a system for late work and absences that would make this a non-issue or at the very least, soften the blow.

Make sure what’s missing is important

There is nothing more frustrating to the students to know that the work they are completing is nothing more than busy work. While, yes, sometimes we need filler activities for a plethora of reasons, we should really be ensuring that the assignments we are having our students complete both inside and outside of the classroom are meaningful and engaging (and guess what…this doesn’t have to be more work for you!).

If a student’s work is late, I want there to be a mutual understanding that there should be a good reason for it (I always emphasized to my students that I fully understand that they have lives outside of the 4 walls of my classroom). I never wanted to give my students the impression that I am upset with them for being late or missing an assignment. The late work should be thought of as an extension of what they needed to do or a step towards the final piece, not just busywork.

When the proper systems are in place, and students understand the relevance of the work they’re doing in class (as well as understand why the due dates exist as they do), they get that missing work will disrupt the flow of the classroom. It’s not a matter of compliance in their completion, but taking a step towards the end goal of that topic of study.

A plan for late assignments

I stopped taking off points for late work once I had these systems in place because, frankly, the only time work was missing is if a student struggled with it (which, by nature of how I implemented my curriculum, I was able to recognize and deal with in a quick manner before it became an issue) or if there was an extenuating circumstance. Did work still roll in late? Yes, but I had a plan.

…and yes, a student would still receive a zero if something was never turned in. You can’t grade what you don’t have!

In 2006, Harry and Rosemary Wong wrote an article on Teachers.Net that explained the concept of a “Pink Slip”. When a student did not complete an assignment as required, they had to fill out a pink slip, putting not only ownership on them for the lack of completion, but also began to develop a plan to complete regardless.

The completion regardless is the key point here. First, while most students found themselves squirming a bit when they had to take ownership of why their assignment was incomplete (if it wasn’t a good reason, of course), they learned quickly that they still needed to finish it (again, because it was a stepping stone to the next part of the topic, not busy work).

Plus, how I arranged this really cramped their style. I had a sign-up sheet that had various times before, during, and after school that they needed to sign up to come to finish the assignment in my presence. This did one of two things: 1. It made them even more accountable for the discretion and 2. It allowed me to see further if the incomplete issue was due to the student struggling that I may have missed otherwise.

Trust me: once or twice going through this process was all it would take for most repeat offenders to change their way of doing things!

Use technology to your advantage

Technology in the classroom is no longer something that we can ignore. With so many ways to connect with our students outside of the four walls in which they sit, it just makes teaching a little easier. When late work starts rolling in, we have a few options at our fingertips for communicating with late parents/guardians.

What’s late is late, but nothing that is late should be destroyed or recycled because it still has value and can demonstrate to students how they need to improve their processes in completing assignments in the future (and, again, is vital to the roadmap of the curriculum). In those late situations where it seemed like a missing assignment was not appearing to be a one-off incident, I would send out a late-night email to parents/guardians explaining the situation and getting their word on how they’d like me to handle it.

Having the pink slips was also helpful as it showed the student intent and together, we could theoretically create a plan moving forward to prevent this from becoming a long-term issue.

If late work was not an issue, then students were able to keep their late assignments to better reflect what they learned late. It doesn’t matter if the work is late or early; it’s about ownership and following through on expectations!

The end result? An awesome boost in student engagement!

I can say without a doubt that, while late work was still an issue that I had to deal with, it happened much less frequently once all of these systems were in place. The students who struggled with late assignments became skilled at recognizing the common mistakes they were making and then we worked as a team to create a plan moving forward (or, conversely, as any good teacher would do, I would hold them accountable for late work to ensure they knew what was expected and how it could be done better).

The absent student

Absent students can be a bit more tricky, depending on what caused the absence in the first place. There is a variety of reasons a student can be absent, ranging from short-term to long-term, and making up the work can be more challenging in some situations than others.

The key, no matter what the scenario is, is to make sure it is easy for the student to access what they missed. I did this in 3 different ways:

  • I always checked in with the student in one way or another. Whether it was welcoming them back after missing a day or emailing/calling/utilizing Remind to reach out to see if they were okay during an extended absence. This opens the door to conversations about what he or she is missing (or, on the other hand, assuring them that school will be there when they finish dealing with whatever is going on in their life at the time and that they shouldn’t be concerned about it at the time).
  • Having an “absent drawer” in the classroom. Any papers that were handed out (daily schedules, worksheets, etc.) were placed in here and labeled either by date, class, or student’s name (depending on what would work best for that class or school year). When a student returned from an absence, no matter how long, they could go to the drawer and get anything tangible that they missed.
  • Keeping a virtual schedule active and readily available. In my class, all digital activities were housed on Google Classroom. Whether it was a link out to a website we were using or an actual virtual document that we worked on, everything could be found there and Google Classroom does a great job of keeping everything dated and organized so it is easy to find.

I also kept a real-time, virtual due date calendar that the students could access at any time. This was updated as activities were assigned, so if a student was absent, they could see what was added, changed, etc. This calendar was readily accessible on my website, my teacher Twitter, my email signature, and in Google Classroom. I also set up QR codes for it so a quick scan would take you right there.

Snags and Delays with Late Work and Absences

There will be students that you need to remind where to find all of this and what the procedures are. There will be the “one-off” student that never dealt with a missing assignment or being absent before and isn’t fresh on how things work. I found that having “how-to” posters up made it easy to refer to, but a quick acknowledgment to the student about what they needed to do if it didn’t appear that they were doing it was usually enough.

Again, the more organized and relevant you make it, the easier it will be for the kids to keep up and stay engaged with the protocols and procedures you lay out for them. It’s not foolproof, but it adds more ownership on the student, less stress on your plate, and once it’s in play, it’s (mostly) smooth sailing.

Once these late items are dealt with regularly, you won’t need the late work reminder as much (if ever), which is great. Same with catching students up after an absence. It makes life easier for you, helps out in keeping students on track with their classes, and shows them that yes, even teachers have a late work policy and are willing to understand that life does, indeed, happen.

So, late work, absences – yeah, it can be a pain, and yeah, I understand that late work is sometimes outside of your control. But when you do have the ability to handle late work and student absences, don’t forget about it! It’s an important part of being a teacher – our jobs are constantly changing. Set up routines around it (or improve upon them), and it’ll be that much easier on you.

Stop Driving the Teacher Struggle Bus

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About the Author: Jenn Breisacher

After moving from a teacher-dominated classroom to a truly student-centered one, Jenn found herself helping colleagues who wanted to follow her lead.  In 2018 she decided to expand outside of her school walls and help those out there who were also trying to figure out this fantastic method of instruction to ignite intrinsic motivation in their students.  Read more about her journey with Student-Centered World at studentcenteredworld.com/about

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Classroom Q&A

With larry ferlazzo.

In this EdWeek blog, an experiment in knowledge-gathering, Ferlazzo will address readers’ questions on classroom management, ELL instruction, lesson planning, and other issues facing teachers. Send your questions to [email protected]. Read more from this blog.

Late Assignments: Tips From Educators on Managing Them

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Today’s post finishes up a two-part series on how different teachers handle late student work.

‘Taking Late Work Can Be Challenging’

Ann Stiltner is a high school special education and reading teacher in Connecticut with more than 20 years of experience in education. She shares her passion and love for working in the classroom at her blog from Room A212 (www.annstiltner.com/blog). Follow her on Twitter @fromrooma212:

Being a special education teacher means most of my students have the IEP modification of extra time, which generally translates to time and a half. For a test a teacher gives a class one hour to do, my student would have 1½ hours. For a project the class had one week to complete, my student would have 11 days. However, even with this extra time, some of my spec. ed. students are not able to complete the work. With diagnoses such as ADHD, LD (Learning Disabilities), or anxiety, they find maintaining focus and accessing one-on-one support difficult to fit into these time constraints. Their motivation is unpredictable based on their mood, family challenges, or social drama.

Due to these factors, I have adopted a policy where I accept work from both regular and special education students at any time for full credit or I take points off for each day late depending on the circumstances and if that will motivate a student to finish.

I realize that taking late work can be challenging for teachers of 100-plus students. It means constantly updating your grade book and keeping track of papers. Some teachers don’t accept late work because they think a firm cutoff teaches students the importance of meeting deadlines. Even though I agree this is an important skill, I fear that some students won’t learn that lesson from a policy of not accepting work late. These students prefer to give up and forget about the assignment in order to feel a sense of control and protect themselves from failure. Getting a zero on an assignment does not make them rethink their decision to not do the work, since a zero to them doesn’t mean the same as it does to us teachers. To them, a zero is the grade they think they deserve based on their past experiences.

I have found a time limit gives students a reason to give up and not try. This is learned helplessness in action. My working definition of learned helplessness is a person’s lack of effort due to previous experiences which have taught them that making even the smallest effort won’t make a difference.

For many students, trying involves a large investment of cognitive effort and a huge risk to put themselves out there. They are not ready to set themselves up for what, they are sure, will make them feel like a failure and especially not in a setting where they might be bullied, yelled at, or insulted. If they do not feel safe and supported, they will not risk being teased by their classmates. This is the thinking behind my policy to accept late work at any time. I do not want my conditions and requirements to be used as an excuse for why they do not engage in my lesson and do the work.

This same philosophy explains why I provide supplies like writing utensils or computer chargers. I consciously decide not to create barriers for a student to complete work. I do not want to rob them of a chance to engage with the material, learn something new, experience deep thinking and feed their curiosity by dictating conditions that they can blame for not engaging in the work. Accepting an assignment late gives them time to get motivated or set up one-to-one support so they can focus on the work when they are ready. I do not want to distract students with rules concerning time limits, pen vs. pencil, or on paper vs. on computer.

Don’t get me wrong: I do have classroom rules and expectations. I want the focus in my class to be on what is most essential—learning. This approach means the student—and their parents—will have a hard time holding me responsible for their grade. The responsibility falls on the student and their choices. This open policy allows me to create rapport when I explain my belief in their ability to do the work and my dedication to provide them the support and necessary modifications to be successful. If and when a student is ready to engage in the work, make an effort and take a risk, I am ready.


‘A Balanced Approach’

Ruth Okoye, Ed.D., is a 30-year veteran educator. She has taught in private and public school settings and is passionate about literacy, educational technology, and ed-tech coaching. She currently serves as the K-12 director at a nonprofit organization:

As an ed-tech coach working with fellow educators in their journey of professional growth, handling assignment submissions beyond the designated due date is a nuanced process that reflects both practicality and a deep understanding of individual circumstances. The approach I adopt recognizes the unique challenges that my learners who are teachers face in their daily lives, and it aims to create an inclusive learning environment that supports their development while acknowledging the diverse contexts in which they operate.

My policy on due dates is rooted in the realization that a one-size-fits-all approach fails to account for the myriad of responsibilities and situations that learners encounter. Rather than rigidly adhering to stringent deadlines, I advocate a balanced approach that considers the academic integrity of assignments and the need for flexibility.

To strike this balance, I establish a preferred due date for assignments, considering the majority of learners and allowing them ample time to complete their work. This desired deadline also has a more concrete counterpart—a hard deadline—that offers a reasonable time frame for those genuinely committed to finishing their tasks. This dual-deadline structure allows proactive learners to demonstrate their dedication while acknowledging the potential challenges others may face.

For example, in a book study, there would be weekly assignments. The posted due dates would give the learners three weeks to get each assignment done. I would establish a hard deadline for all assignments two weeks after the study is completed. I’ve found that for a six- to eight-week book study, that allows ample time for a learner to deal with an external complication and then get back on track.

Of course, the purpose of the assignment plays a significant role in determining the flexibility of the due date. For instance, tasks geared toward in-class reflection, like exit tickets, maintain their original deadline as they serve an immediate and time-sensitive purpose. On the other hand, assignments designed to assess learners’ application of covered material need a more lenient approach, allowing participants the time to digest the content and apply it effectively.

I also believe in allowing learners ample time to attempt tasks and even granting multiple opportunities for submission. This practice is grounded in the understanding that the learning process is not linear, and different individuals require varying duration to internalize and implement new concepts. By granting extensions and multiple tries, I encourage a growth mindset and empower learners to engage more deeply with the subject.

One of the cornerstones of my policy is the recognition that external factors beyond the learning experience can impact a learner’s ability to meet deadlines. Illness, family emergencies, or resource constraints can hinder progress, and rigid due dates should not serve as barriers to measuring their ability to apply course concepts. Instead of penalizing them for circumstances beyond their control, I aim to evaluate their understanding of the material and capacity to use it effectively, irrespective of external hindrances.

So you can see, my approach to handling late submissions from learners revolves around flexibility, empathy, and practicality. By acknowledging the diverse challenges teachers face and tailoring due dates to the purpose of assignments, I create an environment that fosters deep learning, personal growth, and a commitment to the subject matter. This policy recognizes the unique circumstances of each learner. It underscores the overarching goal of professional learning—to nurture and support the development of capable and resilient professionals in education.


What Is the Goal?

Jessica Fernandez is a full-time high school teacher and instructional coach near Chicago who specializes in teaching multilingual English learners and in supporting colleagues to make small language shifts that will benefit all learners:

Fortunately, my high school freshman English PLC has decided to have two categories: formative (anything at all that is practice), which is weighted 10 percent, and summative, which is weighted 90 percent. Since the purpose of formative tasks is to practice a skill they will later demonstrate, late work is accepted until we complete the summative demonstration for that skill. Afterward, there’s not so much of a point, plus it would drive us crazy and make work-life balance tough.

The goal, after all, is to give frequent and prompt feedback so kids can improve before their final summative demonstration. Late points are more of what we used to call “habits of work”; important soft skills, yes, but for our purposes, if the kid practiced for their summative skill demonstration, I’m happy, and I’m not scoring them on timeliness. Who knows what they had going on? I’ve gotten grace, and 10 percent won’t make or break their grade anyway.


Thanks to Ann, Ruth, and Jessica for contributing their thoughts!

Today’s post responded to this question:

How do you handle students turning in work after the due date, and why do you apply that policy?

In Part One , Chandra Shaw, Stephen Katzel, and Kelly Owens contributed their ideas.

Consider contributing a question to be answered in a future post. You can send one to me at [email protected] . When you send it in, let me know if I can use your real name if it’s selected or if you’d prefer remaining anonymous and have a pseudonym in mind.

You can also contact me on Twitter at @Larryferlazzo .

Just a reminder; you can subscribe and receive updates from this blog via email . And if you missed any of the highlights from the first 12 years of this blog, you can see a categorized list here .

The opinions expressed in Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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  • Jul 25, 2015

Lateness and Learning: Issues and Strategies Associated with Late or Missed Submissions

Bonnie Mullinix Co-President & Educational Consultant - Jacaranda Educational Development

late assignment sheet

Do late assignment submissions equal less learning? Are firm, immutable deadlines the best approach? When zero points are factored in place of a late assignment, is this an accurate reflection of student’s knowledge? Although there are jobs in which one must turn something in on time or else it has no value, there are MANY jobs where deadlines may need to be negotiated at times. Therefore, perhaps we also need to consider strategies for dealing with late submissions in a clear, supportive way that takes into consideration context, general population characteristics, and accommodates individual challenges and situations?

Shared in this blog are practice-based consensus decisions related to late or missed submissions. These decisions resulted from teams of faculty (long-term Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs)/Communities of Practice (CoPs)(Cox, 2001) agreeing on course-based strategies that they collectively redesigned ( Mullinix et al., 2013 ). In striving for student success, the issue of late assignments was explicitly discussed and explored. In several instances the faculty teams looked at the impact that different requirements had on student grades and persistence. I have provided a few of the solutions our teams came up with excerpted from the syllabi (below). But first , in an effort to frame the discussion, I have listed a variety of strategy categories that are related to penalties or responses to late and missed submissions.

Context – Context can be a critical consideration in deciding how to address lateness.  Certain program and professional requirements can include non-negotiable deadlines that should be underscored for students.  And yet others are less critical. Ultimately, different student populations benefit from different policies, and major shifts in student population should allow us to reflect on policies to ensure success, learning, and fairness (Boylan, 2002). Traditional students whose full-time responsibility is their studies can often benefit from structure and deadlines. When students are fitting studies into a full family, work, and life responsibilities ( Kuh et al., 2006 ), it makes sense to allow greater latitude so that they can persist and succeed.

Transparency – In all cases it is important that clear policy statements regarding practices for late submissions should be noted in the syllabus and shared clearly with students.

Extensions/Grace periods – Providing students with a small amount of time, when an advanced request is made and approved, to submit an assignment late without penalty can be encouraging to both class and individual students.  If desired, this grace period may be tempered by having a limited number of times it can be used.

Time-based Penalties – Penalties can be applied on a daily basis, having points/percentages deducted for each day past the due date that it is submitted.

Substitutions – Better scores can be substituted for poor or missed scores for similar assignments.   Example : major tests cannot be made-up (impractical to arrange for/manage makeups), but grades for later tests when higher can be substituted (especially cumulative unit/mid-term/final exams).

Forgiveness – Allow students to choose to miss or drop one assignment/test without penalty. This practice can be reserved for low-stakes assessment items.  Alternately, allow students to retake/resubmit assignments to gain a higher grade.

Fairness to all – Consistency in applying strategies and policies as shared.

In most cases, these strategies can be instituted to help ensure the learning associated with a course happens and provides some space to ensure that students can persist, succeed and be retained in a program. The flexibility of technology-enhanced grading formulas makes these much easier to implement. And yet, any time an assignment that requires faculty grading is submitted late or any changes in practice requires faculty intervention, the impact on faculty schedules and time is noticeable.  As such, faculty need to have a say in how policies are established and maintained.  Further, individual student situations do not fit general population guidelines. Even the best crafted policies need to be phrased in a way that will allow faculty to consider special student situations and needs within the context of fairness to all.

Sample Policies

late assignment sheet

As promised, following are a few of the approaches implemented across several disciplines. The context for these policies is a two-year technical college where most students are first generation college students and students who are putting themselves through school, often while working and often managing families. These examples are drawn from the courses taken by students who are entering into college with limited skills and minimal knowledge of the college environment and culture. All of these point to a combined need for structure and flexibility. Here are a couple of excerpts from syllabi that incorporated appropriate strategies to facilitate and manage assignment submissions with a focus on helping students persist, learn, and ultimately succeed at a clear and high level (note: all redesigned courses included increased attention to active learning, technology-facilitated learning, time-on-task, and supplemental instructional support).

Homework will be done online using the [insert individualized online learning platform or program]. In this software you will study, practice, and “certify” on each topic covered in this class. To complete each assignment you must demonstrate your mastery by passing the certification quiz at 80%. This will earn you 100% on your homework assignment.

Each homework assignment for a class will be due at the beginning of the next class period. If you submit assignments late, you may still receive partial credit for the first 5 days after each due date, but there will be a late penalty of 10% per day subtracted from your score. Any assignments completed after the late period will be recorded at 50%. Because of the time needed to install and learn to use the [insert learning software], your first week’s assignments will be due at the beginning of the first class period of the second week. Your 3 lowest homework assignment grades will be dropped.

Unit Tests: You cannot make up a missed test , but one missed test score may be replaced by the final exam score. Other missed tests will receive a grade of zero.

Final Exam: You must take the final exam to pass this course. The final exam will be comprehensive and cannot be exempted. The final exam score may be used to replace a lower grade.

Activities: Consistent participation in class activities, problem-solving practice, group work, in-class quizzes, online discussions (in Blackboard), and application experiences is a central part of your learning experience.

While a primary strategy was incorporating active practices, engagement, and time-on-task, math instructors who found the integration of math software sufficiently challenging, were allowed the discretion to shift 5% of the grading scheme to the learning software quizzes.

Activities/Daily Grades : Participation in class activities, group work, homework, spiral entries, in-class quizzes, discussions, and writing assignments is a central part of the learning experience. Some in-class activities are participatory in nature and may not be made up.

Late/Make-up Assignments: May/may not be accepted: please refer to individual instructor’s policy.

Late/Make-up work will be addressed according to individual instructor policies (see Course and Instructor Information Sheet and/or Blackboard);

Students requiring learning accommodations must supply instructors with an accommodation sheet from Disabilities Services (SC 105-115) prior to assessment of any major assignment or test.

English instructors felt strongly that the ability to accept or reject late assignments or allow make-up work should be at the discretion of each instructor.  Shared syllabi meant that common grading rubrics and structures were implemented across courses.  Thus, grade deduction discretion was limited to no more than 10% and instructor policy variability was often limited simply to differences regarding whether to accept late assignments or makeup work.

Reading/Vocabulary Quizzes – Students complete quizzes in Blackboard for each of the 10 Chapters and topics covered.  You have two opportunities to take each quiz and the highest score will be recorded.

All course assignments (quizzes, tests, projects, etc.) must be completed by assigned due dates in order to receive full credit.  Under no circumstances may any assignments be submitted after the final exam date.

Reading Instructors shared common course syllabi, grading schemes, and rubrics and limited assignment deductions to no more that 5-10% of an assignment.  In addition to flexibility, substitutions and deduction limits, they further instituted sliding scale of point reductions linked to degree of lateness.

Closing Thoughts

Student success is improved by balancing clear policies against the realities of student lives.  Consistency across course sections and programs in grading policies and practices can improve student understanding and ability to meet course expectations. Even so, challenges faced by students, particularly first generation, non-traditional, and/or returning adult students, need to be considered.  Faculty are the best positioned to know both their student’s challenges and their own. While faculty responsible for teaching courses should agree on common policies and practices to include in syllabi in order to facilitate continuity and comparability, they also should have some latitude to overlay their own insights and needs into the process.  An extremely busy term schedule can influence time to accommodate late assignments. In addition, teaching philosophy can also influence individual policies. Although some faculty feel strongly that deadlines are critical to maintain, others believe that resubmissions, forgiveness, and flexibility are hallmarks of progress and learning. In the end, agreed assessment strategies, assignments, and grading policies are often a compromise that finds the sweet spot between such views.  In order to make such policies and practices work, faculty need some implementation leeway to fit practices to their philosophies while acknowledging their instructional expertise and insights. Providing for individual faculty policies within a defined limit addresses faculty needs for freedom while providing the cross-course consistency and clarity that can help students to succeed.

Students appreciate choice, clarity, and the opportunity to succeed.  If they have clear options and some flexibility to address a life or learning challenge, there is a much greater chance that they will not only continue within a course, but that they will persist in their studies.  Knowing their faculty members are willing to support them and that they are interested in their learning and success increases retention.  In the end, the ability of faculty and programs to embed clear flexible policies and practices that allow for extensions, substitutions, forgiveness, and fairness can provide the latitude to address the reality of students’ lives and give them the chance they need to learn.

References and Resources

Boylan, H. R. (2002). What Works: Research-based best practices in developmental education. Boone: NC: Continuous Quality Improvement Network/National Center for Developmental Education.

Cox, M. D. (2001). Faculty learning communities: Change agents for transforming institutions into learning organizations. To Improve the Academy , 19 , 69-93.

Kuh, G.D., J. Kinzie, J.A. Buckley, B. K. Bridges, J. C. Hayek. (2006). What Matters to Student Success: A Review of the Literature . National Post-Secondary Education Cooperative. Available: http://nces.ed.gov/npec/pdf/kuh_team_report.pdf

Mullinix, B.B. & J.S. Bishop & R. Sawyer. (2013, May 27). Unlocking Educational Futures: Weaving Data in Support of Curricular Development and Decisions . Presentation presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2013 Annual Meeting/Conference, San Francisco, CA. Available: http://tinyurl.com/AERA13-DataCurriculumDecision

Rutschow E.Z. & E. Schneider (2011). Unlocking the Gate: What We Know About Improving Developmental Education. MDRC. Retrieved February 1, 2015, from http://www.mdrc.org/publication/unlocking-gate

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Encouraging Your Teenager To Read: Everything You Need to Know

8 ways to service an air conditioner, 3 ways to stop a baby from vomiting, 3 ways to save instagram highlights, skills needed for reading comprehension: everything you need to know, how to change the language in android, 3 ways to permanently delete facebook messages, how to tie the sides of a shirt: 8 simple steps, phonics rules: everything you need to know, how to fill a flask: 8 steps, google classroom tip #43: 48 ways to manage student assignments.

late assignment sheet

Along with instruction and assessment, assignments form the foundation of the teaching and learning process. They provide opportunities for students to practice the skills and apply the knowledge that they have been taught in a supportive environment. It also helps the teacher gauge how well students are learning the material and how close they are to mastery.

Because of the nature of assignments, managing them can get hectic. That’s why its best to use a platform like Google Classroom to help you manage assignments digitally. In today’s tip, we will discuss 48 ways that you can use Classroom to manage student assignments.

  • Assignment Status – Easily check how many students turned in an assignment as well as how many assignments have been graded by going to the Classwork tab and clicking on the title of the assignment.
  • Assign to Multiple Classes – Post an assignment to multiple classes by using the “for” drop-down menu when creating an assignment.
  • Brainstorm – Use Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, or Drawings to brainstorm for class assignments.
  • Calendar of Due Dates – Link a Google Calendar with due dates for assignments, tests, and other important dates into Classroom.
  • Check Homework – Classroom makes checking homework easy with a quick glance at the assignment page. If more detailed grading is needed, just access the grading interface for the assignment.
  • Choice Boards – Give students a choice in how they demonstrate what they know by creating a choice board and uploading it as an assignment. Choice boards allow students to choose between several assignments and can be created directly in Classroom, using Google Docs, or with third-party apps.
  • Co-Teach Classes – Invite others to co-teach in your Classroom. Each teacher is able to create assignments and post announcements for students.
  • Create Questions Before a Socratic Seminar – Create an assignment for students to develop questions before a Socratic seminar. During the collaborative process, students can eliminate duplicate questions.
  • Detention Assignment Sheet – Create a detention assignment sheet using Google Docs. The assignment sheet can then be shared with the detention teacher and individual students privately through Classroom.
  • Differentiate Assignments – Assign work to individual students or groups of students in Classroom.
  • Differentiate by Product – Differentiate by product in Classroom by providing a challenge, variety, or choice or by using a continuum with assignments.
  • Digital Portfolios – Students can create digital portfolios of their work by uploading documents, pictures, artifacts, etc. to Classroom assignments.
  • Directions Document – Use Google Docs to create instruction documents for assignments in Classroom.
  • Distribute Student Work/Homework – Use Classroom to distribute student assignments or homework to all students, groups of students, or individual students.
  • Diversify Student Submissions – Create alternative submission options for students through the assignment tool. For example, one group of students may be required to submit a Google Doc while another group is required to submit a Slides presentation.
  • Do-Now Activities – Use Classroom to post Do-Now Activities.
  • Draft Assignments – Save posts as drafts until they are ready for publishing.
  • Feedback Before Student Submits – Provide feedback to students while their assignment is still a work in progress instead of waiting until submission. This will help the student better understand assignment expectations.
  • Get Notified of Late Assignments – Select notification settings to get notified each time an assignment is turned in late.
  • Global Classroom – Partner with international teachers to create a co-teaching classroom without borders where students can work on collaborative assignments.
  • Graphic Organizers – Upload graphic organizers for students to collaborate on assignments and projects.
  • Group Collaboration – Assign multiple students to an assignment to create a collaborative group. Give students editing rights to allow them access to the same document.
  • HyperDocs – Create and upload a hyperdoc as an assignment.
  • Link to Assignments – Create links to assignments not created in Classroom.
  • Link to Class Blog – Provide the link to a class blog in Classroom.
  • Link to Next Activity – Provide a link to the next activity students must complete after finishing an assignment.
  • Make a Copy for Each Student – Chose “make a copy for each student” when uploading assignment documents to avoid students having to share one copy of the document. When a copy for each student is made, Classroom automatically adds each student’s name to the document and saves it to the Classroom folder in Google Drive.
  • Move to Top/Bottom – Move recent assignments to the top of the Classwork feed so students can find new tasks more quickly.
  • Multiple File Upload – Upload multiple files for an assignment in one post.
  • Naming Conventions for Assignments – Create a unique naming system for assignments so they can be easily found in the Classroom folder in Google Drive.
  • Offline Mode – Change settings to allow students to work in offline mode if internet connections are weak. Once an internet connection is established, students can upload assignments to Classroom.
  • One Student One Sheet – In Google Sheets, assign one tab (sheet) per student for the student to complete the assignment.
  • One Student One Slide – In Google Slides, assign one slide to each student to present findings on a topic or to complete an assignment.
  • Organize Student Work – Google Classroom automatically creates calendars and folders in Drive to keep assignments organized.
  • Peer Tutors – Assign peer tutors to help struggling students with assignments.
  • Protect Privacy – Google Classroom only allows class members to access assignments. Also, it eliminates the need to use email, which may be less private than Classroom.
  • Provide Accommodations – Provide accommodations to students with disabilities in Google Classroom by allowing extra time to turn in assignments, using text to speech functions, and third-party extensions for colored overlays.
  • Reorder Assignments by Status – Instead of organizing assignments by student first or last name, organize them by status to see which students have or have not turned in work.
  • Reuse Posts – Reuse post from prior assignments or from other Classrooms.
  • See the Process – Students don’t have to submit their assignments for you to see their work. When you chose “make a copy for each student” for assignments, each student’s work can be seen in the grading tool, even if it’s not submitted. Teachers can make comments and suggestions along the way.
  • Share Materials – Upload required materials such as the class syllabus, rules, procedures, etc. to a Class Resources Module, or upload assignment materials within the assignment.
  • Share Resources – Create a resource list or a resource module for students.
  • Share Solutions to an Assignment – Share solutions to an assignment with a collaborator or students after all assignments have been turned in.
  • Stop Repeating Directions – By posting a directions document to assignments, the need to continually repeat directions is lessened, if not eliminated altogether. Keep in mind that some students will still need directions to read orally or clarified.
  • Student Work Collection – Use Classroom to collect student work from assignments.
  • Summer Assignments – Create summer assignments for students through Classroom.
  • Templates – Create templates for projects, essays, and other student assignments.
  • Track Assignments Turned In – Keep track of which students turned in assignments by going to the grading tool.

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Matthew Lynch

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late assignment sheet

Teaching Sam and Scout

Teaching, Motherhood, and Life In-Between

Missing Work Log

March 25, 2014

*Originally posted on E, Myself, and I (4/2011 and updated 8/2013).

EDITED TO ADD: My Missing Work Log/ “Yellow Sheet” is an idea I got from a veteran teacher during my field experience in college.  I have used it for eight years now with great success.  Many of my own colleagues (and lots of you – thanks to the ole internet) have also adapted this classroom routine, and I’ve received a lot of great feedback.  This year, I updated the sheet a little bit and made a simple printable version so it can be used in your class right away.  I hope you will find it useful… To start, here’s a quick explanation of how the Missing Work Log works:

On the day an assignment is due, the rule in my classroom is that EVERYONE turns SOMETHING in.  If a student does not have his/her assignment, he/she must fill out one of these Missing Work Logs (which I affectionately call “The Yellow Sheet” because they are printed out bright yellow paper) and turn it in in place of said assignment.  Blank logs are kept in a stack at the front of my classroom, and my students know to grab one if they are missing an assignment on a due date. (Over the years, this journey to retrieve a yellow sheet at the front of the room has become known as the “walk of shame” in class.  It’s all in good humor; but, it does play on their pride and keep them in line a bit.)

The log itself asks for basic information like the assignment title, due date, and student signature.  Once it has been filled out and turned in, I keep the Missing Work log in my stack of collected papers for the assignment OR on my attendance clipboard so I know to nag remind those students constantly until the assignment is turned in.


The next day/week/month when the late assignment is (finally) turned in, I record the date it was turned in, the number of points deducted (based on school policy – ours is 10% per day late), and the final score.  **This version of the log also includes a spot to record contact with the student and parent about missing work too.  I don’t make personal contact for every missing assignment; but, it is nice to have a spot to record that information right there when I do.

The bottom portion of the sheet is detached when an assignment is turned in and stapled to the assignment, so the student (and parent) knows exactly why they got the score they did on an assignment.  The top portion gets filed and saved in my record.

 If the assignment never comes in, a zero is recorded in the grade book and the yellow sheet gets filed. These work GREAT on parent teacher conference day and help to keep me from being accused of losing student work, etc.

Here’s a closer look:


Click here to download the log as a PDF and start using it right away!  (Again, I usually print mine on bright yellow paper so that they stand out among ALL the papers I usually have.)

Easy, right?!?

I’ve had a lot of success using this method in my classroom and have received plenty of positive feedback from other teachers who have implemented it too.  I’d love to hear how it works for you if you decide to give it a try!

*One last thing… I didn’t include a watermark or copyright on the image itself (because, really, your students don’t need to read my blog); BUT, if possible, please PIN the images directly from this page & include a link back here if you share it on any social media.  I REALLY appreciate it!

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June 12, 2014 at 2:22 PM

First, I LOVE your website! There are so many things I’m going to start doing 🙂 I have one question though about the missing assignment sheet…have you ever had a student refuse to fill one out?

July 31, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Ummm… Yeah… Hello!!! I love this idea! I totally have to implement this! Thank you!!!

August 1, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Do you use this for class work or just homework?

August 8, 2014 at 11:37 PM

This is great! I use a modified version of this, but have been looking to revamp mine. I have a question about yours: when the student does finally turn in the assignment, how do the get the bottom portion back to fill out? Do you have to go retrieve it for them or do you have a system for that? Thanks!

August 22, 2015 at 1:35 PM

I think it only gets detached once the homework is handed in.

Love the blog!

August 12, 2014 at 8:00 PM

This is random, but can you tell me what font you used for the banner at the top? I love the look of it! Thanks!!

August 17, 2014 at 7:50 PM

Just wanted to say I really enjoy your blog/site. I am in my second year of teaching and this has been a great help with revamping and adding to some of the things I already had in place, AS WELL AS bringing new ideas. I really think we all can benefit from other professionals. So keep up the great work! `Alabama Teacher

March 14, 2015 at 2:33 PM

What if the student does not turn in the yellow sheet?? I can see some of the students refusing to fill out the yellow sheet. Have you found this to be a problem? Can any other teachers comment on this?? I have a major issue with missing assignments and am looking for ways to reign it in!!

May 29, 2015 at 5:20 PM

I was wondering if I could get the poster of the guy from Office?

October 6, 2015 at 11:37 PM

Check out TeacherMemes.com

April 29, 2016 at 1:53 AM

That’s not just the best anrswe. It’s the bestest answer!

April 30, 2016 at 8:39 PM

published. Get your copy today and help feed The Geekerella and her many, many cats!Both Plans and People Who Should Know Better

June 3, 2016 at 10:01 AM

I’ve been doing something similar for a long time now. It’s gotten more complicated with the advent of electronic assignments, but I still keep a stack of pink paper handy… https://teacherseducation.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/pink-paper-policy/

June 4, 2016 at 10:36 AM

Bovidino / Qualquer atividade humana em excesso é prejudicial.A insaciabilidade do sexo além de muito desconfortável certamente deve ser altamente destrutiva.Há casos de pessoas simplesmente viciadas em sexo que acabam totalmente destruídas, como outras que são viciadas em drogas.Gostei deste comentário ou não: 1

June 7, 2016 at 6:18 AM

Il y a finalement quelque consolation ? être une vieille peau aigrie. Lorsque Le pacte des loups est sorti, j’étais déj? adulte. J’ai donc pu me rédiger un mot de dispense de cinéma ce jour-l? . Pareil pour Matrix. Ou le Seigneur des Anneaux. Ou Star Trek. Rien qu’? y repenser, j’exulte.

July 11, 2016 at 6:46 PM

The problem is not likely to be reliable. You can afford to fix it? Can you afford not to have a car for a couple of days? How are you going to work? The other problem with older cars is that you might have trouble finding parts for that, depending on the coche.Yo say it's a bad idea for a first car. Just buy a decent car, a couple of years to a great couple. When you get older and can afford two vehicles, then do it. Plenty of time for that.

August 13, 2016 at 3:45 PM

I found your blog last night and I’m in love. Thanks for sharing! Seven years at my prior school and I never had a problem with homework. Last year I began teaching at a new school (after taking off five years) and homework (or any outside assignments) were rarely turned in on time. I’m implementing the log this year and I’m so excited. Thanks!

October 10, 2016 at 2:58 PM

Would you be able to send me an editable version of this resource?

September 9, 2018 at 3:21 PM

Thank you x a million! This is amazing! This is going to be so perfect in my classroom! I can’t wait to share with my peers!

Thank you!!

October 24, 2018 at 7:57 PM

You have wonderful ideas to implement.

I do have one thought to consider with memes:

The image with the office manager (Gary Cole) from the film, Office Space, is from a movie that I loved.

However, this movie has some adult themes and humor that I don’t think we should be associated with as teachers. It’s one of those movies that we might forget that there is an amped up sexual scene with the office manager (Gary Cole) and the Jennifer Aniston character.

These memes can blur the boundaries between teachers and students, so we need to take great care with what we share with our students as it is connected to us.

October 24, 2018 at 9:42 PM

Karen, that image has transformed into an internet meme. Students recognize it as a meme. They are not associating it with a sex scene (seriously? This is what you think about when you see that picture????)

August 31, 2019 at 2:19 PM

The link is broken ☹️

October 21, 2019 at 11:25 PM

Hi I just found your blog and was trying to download the file but it keeps saying not available is there anyway you can send me PDF version? First yr teacher and I got a bunch of for what assignment you talking about ‍♀️Brittney

August 13, 2021 at 12:07 PM

Thanks for the great teaching advice!

August 22, 2022 at 12:02 AM

Do you happen to have the file for this still? The link says it isn’t available anymore. Thank you!

[…] staying in touch with parents about zeros, and keeping records for conferences, etc.  Check out this post for a downloadable copy and more details about how I use […]

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Late Work Assignment Sheet

late assignment sheet


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Assignment Tracker Template For Students (Google Sheets)

Assignment Tracker Template For Students (Google Sheets)

  • 6-minute read
  • 18th May 2023

If you’re a student searching for a way to keep your assignments organized, congratulate yourself for taking the time to set yourself up for success. Tracking your assignments is one of the most important steps you can take to help you stay on top of your schoolwork .

In this Writing Tips blog post, we’ll discuss why keeping an inventory of your assignments is important, go over a few popular ways to do so, and introduce you to our student assignment tracker, which is free for you to use.

Why Tracking Is Important

Keeping your assignments organized is essential for many reasons. First off, tracking your assignments enables you to keep abreast of deadlines. In addition to risking late submission penalties that may result in low grades, meeting deadlines can help develop your work ethic and increase productivity. Staying ahead of your deadlines also helps lower stress levels and promote a healthy study-life balance.

Second, keeping track of your assignments assists with time management by helping prioritize the order you complete your projects.

Third, keeping a list of your completed projects can help you stay motivated by recording your progress and seeing how far you’ve come.

Different Ways to Organize Your Assignments

There are many ways to organize your assignment, each with its pros and cons. Here are a few tried and true methods:

  • Sticky notes

Whether they are online or in real life , sticky notes are one of the most popular ways to bring attention to an important reminder. Sticky notes are a quick, easy, and effective tool to highlight time-sensitive reminders. However, they work best when used temporarily and sparingly and, therefore, are likely better used for the occasional can’t-miss deadline rather than for comprehensive assignment organization.

  • Phone calendar reminders  

The use of cell phone calendar reminders is also a useful approach to alert you to an upcoming deadline. An advantage to this method is that reminders on your mobile device have a good chance of grabbing your attention no matter what activity you’re involved with.

On the downside, depending on how many assignments you’re juggling, too many notifications might be overwhelming and there won’t be as much space to log the details of the assignment (e.g., related textbook pages, length requirements) as you would have in a dedicated assignment tracking system.

  • Planners/apps

There are a multitude of physical planners and organization apps for students to help manage assignments and deadlines. Although some vow that physical planners reign superior and even increase focus and concentration , there is almost always a financial cost involved and the added necessity to carry around a sometimes weighty object (as well as remembering to bring it along with you).

Mobile organization apps come with a variety of features, including notifications sent to your phone, but may also require a financial investment (at least for the premium features) and generally will not provide substantial space to add details about your assignments.

  • Spreadsheets

With spreadsheets, what you lose in bells and whistles, you gain in straightforwardness and customizability – and they’re often free! Spreadsheets are easy to access from your laptop or phone and can provide you with enough space to include whatever information you need to complete your assignments.

There are templates available online for several different spreadsheet programs, or you can use our student assignment tracker for Google Sheets . We’ll show you how to use it in the next section.

How to Use Our Free Writing Tips Student Assignment Tracker

Follow this step-by-step guide to use our student assignment tracker for Google Sheets :

  • Click on this link to the student assignment tracker . After the prompt “Would you like to make a copy of Assignment Tracker Template ?”, click Make a copy .

late assignment sheet

Screenshot of the “Copy document” screen

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2. The first tab in the spreadsheet will display several premade assignment trackers for individual subjects with the name of the subject in the header (e.g., Subject 1, Subject 2). In each header, fill in the title of the subjects you would like to track assignments for. Copy and paste additional assignment tracker boxes for any other subjects you’d like to track, and color code the labels.

Screenshot of blank assignment template

Screenshot of the blank assignment template

3. Under each subject header, there are columns labeled for each assignment (e.g., Assignment A, Assignment B). Fill in the title of each of your assignments in one of these columns, and add additional columns if need be. Directly under the assignment title is a cell for you to fill in the due date for the assignment. Below the due date, fill in each task that needs to be accomplished to complete the assignment. In the final row of the tracker, you should select whether the status of your assignment is Not Started , In Progress , or Complete . Please see the example of a template that has been filled in (which is also available for viewing in the Example tab of the spreadsheet):

Example of completed assignment tracker

Example of completed assignment tracker

4. Finally, for an overview of all the assignments you have for each subject throughout the semester, fill out the assignment tracker in the Study Schedule tab. In this tracker, list the title of the assignment for each subject under the Assignment column, and then color code the weeks you plan to be working on each one. Add any additional columns or rows that you need. This overview is particularly helpful for time management throughout the semester.

late assignment sheet

There you have it.

To help you take full advantage of this student assignment tracker let’s recap the steps:

1. Make a copy of the student assignment tracker .

2. Fill in the title of the subjects you would like to track assignments for in each header row in the Assignments tab.

3. Fill in the title of each of your assignments and all the required tasks underneath each assignment. 

4. List the title of the assignment for each subject and color code the week that the assignment is due in the Study Schedule .

Now that your assignments are organized, you can rest easy . Happy studying! And remember, if you need help from a subject-matter expert to proofread your work before submission, we’ll happily proofread it for free .

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Templates for college and university assignments

Include customizable templates in your college toolbox. stay focused on your studies and leave the assignment structuring to tried and true layout templates for all kinds of papers, reports, and more..

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Keep your college toolbox stocked with easy-to-use templates

Work smarter with higher-ed helpers from our college tools collection. Presentations are on point from start to finish when you start your project using a designer-created template; you'll be sure to catch and keep your professor's attention. Staying on track semester after semester takes work, but that work gets a little easier when you take control of your scheduling, list making, and planning by using trackers and planners that bring you joy. Learning good habits in college will serve you well into your professional life after graduation, so don't reinvent the wheel—use what is known to work!

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Viewing of examination scripts.

Viewing of Semester 1 and 2 examination scripts can be arranged by completing this form .

Students may also make an appointment to  meet, online, with academic staff to discuss their results . The purpose of such meetings is to provide feedback, and not to negotiate results that have already been approved.

Consultation times available are 10am - 4pm Friday, 30th June 2023 , please indicate your preferred time on the form.

All work will be checked for plagiarism. Students who are guilty of plagiarism will go on record as having plagiarised and this record will be kept for the duration of their degree programme. Second and subsequent plagiarism cases are dealt with very seriously indeed.

In the writing of your continuous assessment assignments, you will of course need to refer to both printed and online books, papers and resources.  The work you submit however must be in your own words, with direct quotations or reference to other people’s work supported by proper references and a bibliography.  Direct copying or paraphrasing of another person’s words or ideas without appropriate acknowledgement, constitutes plagiarism.  In order to maintain academic integrity, the School of Applied Psychology takes plagiarism very seriously.  If you are found to have plagiarised other people’s ideas or words you will lose some or all marks for the relevant piece of work.  The School follows UCC policy on the issue, and you will find an outline of this policy at https://www.ucc.ie/en/exams/procedures-regulations/  

Late Assignments

Please take careful note of deadline dates and times set for assignments as there are serious lateness penalties as per the book of modules, which states that:

Work which is submitted late shall be assigned a mark of zero

The school policy is that there are no extensions on work set.

The deadline for all assignments is 11h00 . You may still submit your assignment to the assignment link after the deadline has passed, however, please note that all work submitted to this link after 11.00am on submission day will automatically be given a grade of zero unless you apply for, and are granted, a waiver of the late penalty . If you are submitting late, the link will bring you automatically to an electronic waiver application form also prompts you to email your supporting documentation where necessary to  [email protected]

Late assessment forms are reviewed by the school teaching and learning committee and waivers will normally be given in cases of serious illness or family bereavement. Appropriate documentation, such as a doctor’s certificate covering the time specified, must be provided. In respect of other reasons for late work, the committee will consider each lateness application on a case by case basis.  

If you have missed a mandatory class or practical session, you will also need to submit a lateness waiver to the school. You can find it at this link .

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  1. Late Assignment Slip by Katie Kim

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  2. Late Assignment Note

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  3. Late Assignment Slip

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  4. Managing Late Assignments

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  5. Assignment Sheet Template

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  6. Late Work Form by Pamela John

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  2. Every time I have a late assignment

  3. Assignment sheet front page design part-2🗒️📋💖✨#samikshaa#creative#viral#shorts_video💓❤️✨Social

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  6. Do my late assignment with me! #homework #snack


  1. Results for late assignment form

    Use this form to keep up with your students' late or missing work! It includes questions such as the name of the assignment, the date completed, why it was late, and things they need help with. Easy to use and editable as needed! Subjects: For All Subjects. Grades: 5 th - 12 th, Higher Education, Staff.

  2. Late Assignment Sheet by LPJ's Creations

    This Late Assignment Sheet has 5 questions for students to answer when turning in late work. Directions: ANY & ALL work that is not turned in by the due date is "late." The purpose of this form is to identify the reason the work is late and to assist the students in being more proactive managers of their time.

  3. Late or Missing Work Form

    Communicate with parents about a student's late or missing assignments. Send this home and have parent sign to keep them informed about late or missing work. You may also like...

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    Late Assignment Sheet. Rated 5 out of 5, based on 1 reviews ... If my students have an assignment late, they must fill out this form for why they are turning it in late. Total Pages. 0 pages. Answer Key. N/A. Teaching Duration. N/A. Report this resource to TPT. Reported resources will be reviewed by our team.

  5. How To: Help Students to Complete Missing Work: The Late-Work Teacher

    The teacher may decide to impose a penalty for the work being submitted late. Examples of possible penalties are a reduction of points (e.g., loss of 10 points per assignment) or the requirement that the student do additional work on the assignment than was required of his or her peers who turned it in on time.

  6. PDF Late Assignment Sheet

    the work is late. You must fill out a Late Assignment Form and attach it to the front of the late assignment. No late work, regardless of the reason, will be accepted without a Late Assignment Form completely filled out, signed and stapled to the front of the late assignment. Once this is done, you can turn in the assignment in the Late Work ...

  7. Methods for Managing Late Work

    Methods for Managing Late Work. Examining the reasoning behind your assessments can help shape your approach to tardy work, says Jennifer Gonzalez. When she was teaching, Jennifer Gonzalez used to plod through a "pointless" exercise at the end of the term: allowing a few students to complete late assignments and then docking their scores by ...

  8. Late Assignments Form

    Late Assignments Form. Students attach this form to all assignments turned in past due. It has space to explain the reason for it being late. There are two per sheet. Suggested use is to have students staple the completed form to any work turned in past the due date.

  9. A Few Ideas for Dealing with Late Work

    Some will not accept late work after they have graded and returned an assignment; at that point it would be too easy for students to copy off of the returned papers. Others will only accept late work up until the assessment for the unit, because the work leading up to that is meant to prepare for that assessment. 8. Other Preventative Measures

  10. PDF Late Assignment Sheet

    English III Honors - Late Assignment Form Any work that is not turned in by the due date is "late." Not all late work loses credit. The purpose of this form is to identify the reason the work is late. You must fill out a Late Assignment Form and attach it to the front of the late assignment. No late work, regardless of the reason, will be ...

  11. DOC Late Assignment Sheet

    the work is late. In order to submit a late assignment, you must fill out a Late Assignment Form and submit it to Mr. Lawson. No late work, regardless of reason, will be accepted without a complete Late Assignment Form including signatures from yourself and your guardian. Student: _____ Class:_____ Blk: _____ Assignment _____ # of Assignments ...

  12. Late Work and Absences: 4 Steps to an Easily Implemented System

    Make sure what's missing is important. A plan for late assignments. Use technology to your advantage. The absent student. Snags and Delays with Late Work and Absences. Stop Driving the Teacher Struggle Bus. I would argue that there's nothing more frustrating as a teacher than having the perfect lesson or activity ready to go, only to find ...

  13. Late Work Assignment Teaching Resources

    Late Work Assignment Sheet. by. MissMACfail. $0.99. PDF. Easy way to keep track of late assignments! Print half sheets on colored paper. Have students complete and staple to assignment as they turn in. If a late assignment doesn't have a "Late Sheet" then it is not accepted.

  14. Late Assignments: Tips From Educators on Managing Them

    Accepting an assignment late gives them time to get motivated or set up one-to-one support so they can focus on the work when they are ready. I do not want to distract students with rules ...

  15. Lateness and Learning: Issues and Strategies Associated with Late or

    Shared in this blog are practice-based consensus decisions related to late or missed submissions. These decisions resulted from teams of faculty (long-term Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs)/Communities of Practice (CoPs)(Cox, 2001) agreeing on course-based strategies that they collectively redesigned (Mullinix et al., 2013).In striving for student success, the issue of late assignments was ...

  16. Google Classroom Tip #43: 48 Ways to Manage Student Assignments

    In today's tip, we will discuss 48 ways that you can use Classroom to manage student assignments. Assignment Status - Easily check how many students turned in an assignment as well as how many assignments have been graded by going to the Classwork tab and clicking on the title of the assignment. Assign to Multiple Classes - Post an ...

  17. Apology Letter for Being Late in Submission

    Apology letter for late submission of assignment [May 7, 20xx] [Mr. James Jones] Dear Mr. Jones, I am writing to sincerely apologize for the late submission of my assignment. Unfortunately, I was unable to submit it on time due to a sudden illness. I experienced a high fever, which required my parents to take me to the hospital for medical ...

  18. Missing Work Log

    The next day/week/month when the late assignment is (finally) turned in, I record the date it was turned in, the number of points deducted (based on school policy - ours is 10% per day late), and the final score. ... The bottom portion of the sheet is detached when an assignment is turned in and stapled to the assignment, so the student (and ...

  19. Late Assignments : r/CollegeRant

    Getting behind on/ losing track of when assignments are due is common in college. In high school most teachers made students complete most of the assignments in class and/or reminded the class almost every single day of due dates for an assignment. However, college isn't like that, it's rare to have a professor to remind students of due ...

  20. Late Work Assignment Sheet by MissMACfail

    Easy way to keep track of late assignments! Print half sheets on colored paper. Have students complete and staple to assignment as they turn in. If a late assignment doesn't have a "Late Sheet" then it is not accepted. I work in a district that requires 10 points off of an assignment per day (up t...

  21. Assignment Tracker Template For Students (Google Sheets)

    1. Make a copy of the student assignment tracker. 2. Fill in the title of the subjects you would like to track assignments for in each header row in the Assignments tab. 3. Fill in the title of each of your assignments and all the required tasks underneath each assignment. 4.

  22. Templates for college and university assignments

    Work smarter with higher-ed helpers from our college tools collection. Presentations are on point from start to finish when you start your project using a designer-created template; you'll be sure to catch and keep your professor's attention. Staying on track semester after semester takes work, but that work gets a little easier when you take control of your scheduling, list making, and ...

  23. School Policies & Forms

    The deadline for all assignments is 11h00. You may still submit your assignment to the assignment link after the deadline has passed, however, please note that all work submitted to this link after 11.00am on submission day will automatically be given a grade of zero unless you apply for, and are granted, a waiver of the late penalty.