Then I discovered the magic of Fun Friday! I can’t take credit for the idea, but I can tell you that it works! It was definitely the most effective system I've ever used for dealing with the homework problems.
Let me explain how it works. Fun Friday is a weekly event that three or four teachers organize and implement together. On Friday afternoon, each teacher hosts one activity in his or her classroom for 30 minutes. One person usually takes a group of students out to play. Another teacher hosts a free time in the classroom where students play board games, draw on the Smartboard, use computers or iPads or play with a class pet. The third teacher supervises a “study hall.” Students who have not completed all homework for the week attend the Study Hall and use that time to make up missing work. If there are four teachers working together, two can supervise recess or one might offer a special arts and crafts activity. Each week the teachers rotate activities so that everyone shares the responsibilities equally.
Over the years I did have a few principals who needed to be convinced that the 30 minutes we devoted to Fun Friday were not wasted. My rationale was that we easily made up this time by not having to deal with missing and late assignments all week. Also, everyone, teachers and students alike, are downright brain-dead by the time Friday afternoon rolls around! Have you ever seriously tried to teach a lesson on a Friday afternoon? Trust me, it’s a wasted effort. You’ll just have to reteach it on Monday!
Do you implement Fun Friday in your classroom? If so, is your program like mine? Have you found it to be effective? If you haven't tried it, I hope you'll test it out in your classroom. I believe you'll discover the magic of Fun Friday, too!