As teachers we know there will always be students who can be counted on for anything, and students who can not be counted on at all. Most of the time these students are not disruptive and do not need major discipline - they are just lazy. While laziness in teenagers is something we tend to expect, laziness is not an excuse for missing work. Students who walk into class without their homework are breaking a rule. Students who walk out of the classroom without turning in their daily work (or without turning in a test -- happens to me every year!) are breaking a class rule and they need to be held accountable for that.
In order to keep track of who is staying on track and who is not, I keep a stack of student responsibility reports on my desk. They look like this (and can be downloaded for free by clicking the picture):
When a student walks into my classroom without their homework, they pick up a sheet. When everyone else turns in their homework students without their work turn a form in. If I grade papers and find out Julie did not turn in her classwork Tuesday, Julie ends up with a paper on her desk to fill out Wednesday explaining why her paper was missing.
These sheets have 2 purposes.
1) They make students take responsibility for their mistakes. Let me tell ya, students do not like signing a paper acknowledging they did something wrong!
2) If a student ends up with a low grade in the class due to missing work, these sheets eliminate problems with parents and/or administrators. Every 0 in the grade book is backed up by a paper the student filled out on their own (and signed!) explaining why the work was missing.
They are also great to pull out when parents come in with the "but my child said they turned that assignment in" excuse. All I have to do is say "well Mrs. Jones, Jesse may have told you that but I have a form right here that Jesse filled out for me explaining why he didn't turn that in to me."
Every page I receive gets hole punched and stuck in the binder I keep for missed work. I use dividers to separate the pages by class so that I can easily access the sheets as needed.
How do you address missing work?