Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Teacher Tuesday: Have Mercy Passes

I think that the hardest part of my job (besides having enough hours in the day to get it all done) is keeping track of late work.  Who was sick, who left their homework at home, who was at the band competition when we were turning it in, who used a mercy pass, etc., etc., etc.  It's a HOT MESS, but the system I use has helped me out dramatically.

I have these "I Don't Have My Homework Because..." pages in a basket at the front of the room and if a student doesn't have their assignment for any reason they grab one, fill it out and turn it in in place of their assignment.  

If they were absent on the day I assign the homework, they would indicate that on the page and when I'm going through papers I make myself a note on what I need to do to get them caught up and put it in my absent folder.

The next scenario is the "Have Mercy Pass".  Each student gets one pass at the beginning of every quarter and they can use it whenever they want.  It buys them an extra night to complete the assignment and allows them to turn it in one day late with no penalty.  As the years go by fewer and fewer kids recognize Uncle Jesse and "get" my passes but I have fun filling them in ;).

If you decide to use these my recommendation is to write your students names on them yourself - I had several instances of kids selling, trading, "finding" passes and this stopped those practices ;) hahaha

 When they turn in the blue paper, they staple the mercy pass to it and I set it to the side so I remember to collect the assignment from them the next class period.

The last situation is if they don't have their homework and they don't have a mercy pass.  BOO!

If that's the case, our school policy is that they come to an academic detention after school.  to get the work completed.  I pull these sheets out and leave them in a stack on my desk so I know who to expect for detention.  If a student finished their homework before detention and they turn it in (during a passing period, lunch, etc.), then they don't have to stay after school but they still receive the late penalty (20 or 30 points off depending on the grade level).

This system has helped me BUNCHES and I'm hopeful you can implement it or glean something from it for your classroom.

You can download the "Have Mercy" four to a page PDF HERE...

or the two to a page PDF HERE.

HAPPY Tuesday, friends!!!

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