Holding Students Accountable During Math & Literacy Centers

One of my favorite ways to keep up with grading & checking work is by going paperless. Let’s be honest, there’s been a few times that I’ve taken a stack of completed worksheets or recording sheets from centers and just tossed them in the recycling bin.

ideas for checking work without stacks of paper

I know, I know. That’s terrible. But if we’re being honest, it’s really hard to keep up with it all! That’s why I decided I’d share with you a little bit about how I maintain center accountability without having to throw away work.

The big question: How can I reduce the amount of work I have to grade/check while still holding students accountable for centers?

The solution: Take pictures!

Here are examples of some of the times I have students take pictures rather than turn in work into the turn-in bin. Note: Students took these pictures so the quality isn’t great, but I do love the messages they add for me to see!

My students love math puzzles and matching activities, and it’s so easy to just let them snap pictures to show what they’ve completed.

Any time we do practice work in our interactive notebooks, I have students take pictures to show me. This student worked on the interactive notebook puzzle above for an entire week before he finally mastered it.

During word work, I always have word sorts available, and this is a great way to show the sort. You can also have students take pictures of any pocket chart activities they complete!

Because I’m sure some of you are wondering… YES, my students do complete worksheets/recording sheets with their center work. I manage this a few different ways. If time allows, I laminate the recording sheets for students to use with a dry erase marker and take a picture. However, when I don’t have time, I just make the copies like normal and still have them take a picture.

Now you just need to have students submit their work to you. I use the free app Seesaw so my students can upload their work. I know some teachers use ClassDojo, and I’m sure there’s many more options out there!

Want to share/collaborate with other teachers about holding students accountable? Join our free Facebook group, just for elementary teachers – Simply Creative Teachers!

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