Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Name Game

There are times that the typical seventh grader just absolutely blows my mind.  Seriously.  You would think after nearly a decade of spending most of my waking life with twelve and thirteen-year-olds (also known as the kids most of you would avoid like the plague) I would be used to some of their idiosyncrasies.  But nooooooo.  Life isn't that easy.  They consistently do things that absolutely make me want to beat my head against my desk.

For example, the apparent inability to put one's name on one's work.

This just absolutely drives me crazy. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why they consistently forget to put their name on their work.  I mean we're talking about an incredibly self-centered generation of kids who will write their name on their jeans, their shoes, their binders, their lunch bag, their lockers, the bathroom stalls, everything But On Their Freaking Assignments.  On those, their leave a big white vacant spot where their name should be.

This is a skill they learn in Kindergarten, folks.  The First Thing You Do When You Get Out Your Paper Is To Put Your Name On Your Work.  So for eight years my little darlings have been taught to always put your name on your work, and still - STILL! - they forget.  This past weekend I graded packets of vocabulary cards and I had fourteen kids who did not put their name anywhere on their cards.  That's somewhere along the lines of ten percent of my students.  Fourteen kids who merrily managed to do their vocab cards, even do some extra credit drawings on them, but they forgot their names.

Good gracious.

I have tried just about everything I can think of to solve this problem.  I remind them every time we do anything to Put Your Name On Your Work.  I go around and check to see if they have Put Their Name on Their Work.  I have a sign by the turn in basket that reminds them to Put Your Name On Your Work.  I also have torn up and tossed in front of their startled little faces, work that is turned in without a name.  (I'll admit, that's kind of fun, especially if I'm feeling theatrical.)  But still, They Forget To Put Their Name on Their Work.

I am astounded - astounded! - that these kids are alert enough to look both ways before their cross the street.


The Bus Driver said...

They never look before crossing in front of a school bus. We have so many kids that have had close calls with motorists who ignore our big red stop sign and flashing lights, and they STILL won't look!

Fern said...

I'm 17 and can't cope with this! I've just started 6th form college after 5 years of secondary school. At secondary school, you do all your work in an exercise book which has name, teacher etc. on the front. I'm now working on paper in a binder and taking it out to hand it in. Having not put my name on anything in the last 5 years, it's amazingly difficult to remember!

Raye said...

I'm with you 100% of the way!! Today after school I was grading in-class reading assignments and 6 papers didn't have names...this was after another reminder this morning when I collected homework and added more papers to my "no name" file! I just don't get it!

W.R. Chandler said...

In my classroom, assignments with no name or only a first name are entered as a zero in PowerSchool, and then go into what I call "Paper Prison." It is a clipboard hanging on my wall where I stick all no-name or first name-only assignments.

I empty the Paper Prison every Friday and throw the contents in the round file.

My students and their parents are constantly checking their grade on PowerSchool, so they know they turned something in but there is a zero on PowerSchool, they know the first place to check is my Paper Prison.

Ms M. said...

I have the same problem and it drives me crazy! Like W.R Chandler above, I have a 'paper prison' of sorts where I post the un'named papers and toss them after a few days if nobody has come to claim them. I have a poster about putting your heading on the work at both the front of the classroom and RIGHT OVER THE ASSIGNMENT BINS! Still, I get at least a few per class with no names. Apparently this is going to be one of those battles that will never end.

Erin said...

My favorite is when I have modeled the assignment for them on the overhead, and I have written down name, the date, the period, and the title on the overhead. I get a paper with "Name" written instead of their name. Ha ha. It always makes me laugh.