I was a Loan shark. (Free Classroom Resource)

People who are always late are more successful and creative.

I would take articles with such claims with a pinch of salt.

This is a common challenge. “Sorry Miss C, I did not bring/do/lost my homework, can I hand it in tomorrow?” And we all know the truth. Sometimes, that’s just the prequel to Die Another Day. No matter how you set and stick to the routines, have real good classroom management skills, there will always be kids who volunteer as tributes to take on the role of challenging you.


It has made me an experienced loan shark debt homework collector. I think I should add that to my resume.

As teachers, one of the most common challenge we face is the battle to eliminate late work and teaching accountability. Personally, I prefer classwork, and keep assigning homework to the minimum. I mean, the kids practically spend two thirds of their day in school. Cut them some slack. Unfortunately there are times when we don’t really have a choice but that’s another rant for another day.

In my class, each child gets 3 chances per term before being handed a late work notice on each subsequent late work. I print those notices on a bright yellow paper and get them to staple those notices to their work so they won’t forget about it again. The kids have to explain themselves, indicate when they are able to submit it, and parents have to sign on it so there’s accountability there. Once submitted, I’ll sign the notice and thank the child.

Why thank the child?

Fail badly? Fail better next time. They kept to their promise, so I thank them for their commitment. Before I return them their work, I would tear the notice off. I keep the notice for a term, it’s how I keep track of the child’s progress and decide if the child is in need of help. Then, new term, new start because everyone deserves a clean slate to begin with. Bonus: At the end of each term, let the child tear up their notices. It makes them feel good about starting afresh next term.


Download the homework notice form here if you would like to give it a try. It’s in PDF, if you want an editable version, drop me note and your email address and I’ll send it to you because sharing is caring. 🙂


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