There are some students who try to be out of class as much as possible. Other students regularly forget to turn in assignments. These are the catch-all classroom passes that I use to take care of a multitude of student issues and to minimize disruptions in my classroom.
I used to work with a teacher who called these type of passes BLH (because life happens) passes. These are great for teaching students classroom routines and expectations while also accounting for the fact that they will sometimes misstep. This pass gives students permission to be imperfect.
How I Use Them
I give each student 2 of these passes at the beginning of a new quarter. If they manage to not use the passes by the end of the quarter, I give them 3 points for each pass. Three points has very little affect on a students grade, but I consider these additional participation points for the students who consistently come to class and are prepared.
Students are expected to quietly hand me the pass after it has been full filled out. This way, if they need to leave class they have automatic permission as long as they have a pass. They can also quietly hand me the pass and communicate what they need from me without interrupting the class.
I currently take late work for 1/2 credit. However, if they staple this pass to their assignment, they get the assignment graded as though it is on time. Students often ask if they can turn in the pass instead of an assignment. I do not allow that. If a student is missing several assignments, I help them to figure out which one they should use the pass for.
I added the “run to” section recently. I am always surprise by how many things middle school students leave in random places. A couple of weeks ago a student made it all the way to my classroom without their backpack and didn’t realize until they started the warm up. I’m not sure how that happens, but it does. More often than not they leave their cell phone charging in another classroom.
What if they run out?
Students should always be allowed to go to the bathroom in my class. If there is 10 minutes or less left in class I let students know. If they need to use the bathroom again, they owe me 10 minutes during their break time.
These passes are great for rewards. Students can earn a limited amount of extra passes by attending an after school tutorial, having great behavior for a sub (you can even use them with your plans for the sub to hand out!) or as a “caught being good!”
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