How to Create a Check-In Schedule for Accountable Middle and High Schoolers
Updated: May 22, 2019
During the school year, students use planners, binders, divider tabs, calendars, alarms... Did I miss anything else? Here is the one thing that was a must have for me while teaching high school students.
This little handy calendar sets my students up for success. Here is how I use it:
It was a little difficult at the beginning to have students mindful of where they were supposed to be every day after school, but once set in place it became a routine.
Students work with their teachers to fill out a day of the week to check in with their core subject teachers. I advise students to talk with their teachers to find a day that works best for them. Teachers are more apt to help if it fits in with their availability. Some teachers would rather have a lunch or before school check in if they usually have meetings after school.
Once the calendar is filled in, students are to check in after school, before school, during recess or lunch, or advisory on that given day. There are five days in a week and usually five core subjects, which works out perfectly.
At the check in, I advise students to review and check on themselves. They are to sit at a desk and pull out their notes, homework, and classwork. This is NOT the time to walk into the classroom and ask the teacher what they are missing or what they need to do. That makes more work for their teacher.
I tell students to:
Review their notes
Check their grade- on their own if they have an app for checking grades, or ask the teacher to check for them if they don't have access to their own grades
Find and turn in any missing assignments
Complete any "re-dos" on assignments, quizzes, or tests- if they can
Complete any work that was not finished in class
Check for any upcoming due dates of assignments, projects, quizzes, tests
If they are all caught up, they are free to leave! These weekly checks makes sure that students don't fall behind, check their understanding, complete all their work, and it also builds a relationship with their teachers.
Print multiple sets of the schedule and place it where students will see it.
On the front door. When leaving, students (and parents) see where they are supposed to be for the day.
In the pockets of their school binder. Students can look at the schedule to see where they are to be for the day.
In their planners or where they write their daily homework assignments
In my experience, this shifts the mindset of students and they practice responsibility and accountability. This practice can be used year after year until they graduate. I also explain to students that it helps them get used to the idea of office hours, if they attend college.
I once had a student tell me that he was walking to the bus stop after school, but he was replaying in his mind, "What work do I need to finish before I leave?" He had an "a-ha!" moment and ran all the back to my classroom to finish reading a chapter in a novel. He walked in and told me, "Miss, I never thought I would run back to a class after school to finish reading!"
Push back: Some students will say that they don't need to check in weekly and that's great! But, I do explain that many students do need to check in weekly, even if it's just to double check that they are all caught up. If the check-in session lasts only five minutes, even better for both student and teacher.
As you can see, something so simple as a daily checklist can have a profound impact of a student's ability to maintain focus, build routines, and enforce positive habits to achieve success not only in school, but in life.
We all need a little help in becoming HI Achievers!
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