You ever have a run where you feel like there are lots of loose ends? Assignments you haven't checked? Assignments kids haven't finished? Kids who have been in and out because of field trips or something? Or maybe all of the above and your personal to-do list has piled up?

From time to time I resolve this matter with an Agenda Day. For whatever reason Calculus benefits from the tactic to the most. The premise is pretty simple: no new material, an explicit agenda on the board with time frames.

For example:

Dear nerds,

You need to accomplish the following things:

Collect [x] paper from the folder
Homework [x] shown to me by [15 minutes from now]
Grades from Skill Check [x] reported to me [15 minutes from now]
Assignment [x] completed
At least [x] percent of Assignment [y] completed
Never forget I’m the greatest

At my school we stand at the door as kids enter. Having a prescribed agenda ready to go helps them get started without my usual "welcome to today's episode of math class" preamble. I constantly fight a feeling of being rushed, and taking a day to collect ourselves helps the problem from getting out of control.

I don't use this technique very often. It's usually at the end of a grading period, or after we had a bunch of assignments started or whatever. My only recommendation is offering gentle reminders "Hey yo, [x] [y] [z] you haven't talked to me yet!" throughout the process.

AuthorJonathan Claydon