The Student Agenda is My Bible
Here's Why!!

Student agendas are major - I consider them to be "My Bible".

Students keep agendas from Grade 1 through Grade 12 and in my classroom they are used to the hilt. They are the ideal form of teacher student and teacher parent communication.

Read my introductory classroom newsletter that I send home to parents at the beginning of the school year where I explain the purpose and usage of the agenda.

Schools have different policies regarding agendas. Some schools may charge students for them and agendas may contain many different and interesting types of information, for example;

* famous quotes,
* country and world maps,
* number facts,
* metric units,
* code of behavior,
* message from the school principal,
* fun trivia,
* and much more ...

When my students receive their agendas, we go through it cover to cover. I build up their enthusiasm so that they don't see it as a homework book.

Every teacher uses the student agenda according to their own personal style of teaching and organization. I take full advantage of them. Here's how!

Every day about 10 minutes before school is finished, I will write on the blackboard whatever was important for them to remember for the following day, for example;

* Homework to complete, e.g. math page 76 # 1-23 (in case they forgot what to do)
* Upcoming tests and assignments
* Library books to return
* Things to bring from home needed for an activity

I will then call them up to my desk one small group at a time, having them bring all their necessary books, activity sheets and agenda. Once I'm sure they have what they need, I will initial their agenda for that day. This is also my opportunity to make sure that their parents have signed their agenda from the previous day.

If not signed, I ask for a reason - that's their first warning. If it happens again, the student has to write out 5 reasons why the agenda must be signed each night (I make them do this during recess). The 3rd time a "Homework Contact" sheet is sent home for both the students and parents to sign and return.

This may sound harsh but everyone is accountable - students, parents and me! Parents are informed of what is happening in the classroom and the student agenda serves as documentation for us all.

I also encourage parents to write notes to me in the agenda, for example to indicate if the student has a doctor's appointment, having difficulty with homework or issues with a fellow student.

I, in turn, write notes to parents if I have a particular concern. Why?

* Notes on paper can get lost.
* They are well documented and can be referenced at any time in the future.
* Parents signature indicates they have read my note.

Now you understand why I call the student agenda "My Bible".

Everyone benefits and it can be a positive experience for us all.

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