Thursday, April 23, 2015

Incomplete Work Sleeve

Hi everyone! I'm Bex but you might know me as Reading and Writing Redhead from my blog and my teacher store!

Let's do a quick get-to-know-me and then I will share my tip for today! 

I grew up in the Boston area and now live about 45 minutes from Boston and teach in Massachusetts (hello, worst winter EVER!!). I have taught second grade for 16 years and also have a reading specialist degree and certification.  I love reading and love spending times with my family and friends. Until recently I owned an adorable, sweet, lazy Saint Bernard, but he was an "old man dog", as I called him and had to say goodbye to him just a few weeks ago. It doesn't seem right to introduce myself without mentioning him, though, as he was such a big part of my life.

Here are a couple pictures and then I will share my tip!

Here I am around 2nd grade with my brother for a super stylish Easter pic and on the right is Bailey enjoying the first good snow of 2013-4. He loved to stick his head in the snow and rear up like a pony!


And me and the big boy during a photo session a few years ago. He was cracking me up for some reason so it was fun!

So, are you ready for  your teaching tip? Over the years I had tried so many different ways to keep track of incomplete work and some students had a history of just having dozens of papers in their desk that they never finished. What a nightmare! Well, I am not going to take credit for it - I saw it somewhere on Pinterest and I just tried to track down a blogger who may have come up with the idea but I couldn't narrow it down, so if it's you please let us know! 

It's a simple solution- the incomplete (or unfinished) work sleeve!  here is one in my class. It's not cute or pretty, but it works! Just tape it to the side or back of students' desks with packing tape and you're good to go. Now just with a quick glance you can see what they need to do.

And another tip or two- initially I tried taping it horizontally along the top edge of the gallon size plastic bag, but if a student got more than a few papers in their sleeve, or bumped into it or was a little rough when they pulled stuff out, it would fall off. So I added the less attractive vertical pieces of tape. Hey it holds, though! Also, it is very easy for parents at conferences to get an idea of how much work they have to catch up on and that can help if you have a concern and it is also a cinch to just reach in, pull the papers out and right there at the desk, and review them with the student.
I hope you enjoyed my tip and have a great Thursday!  



  1. Great tip, Bex! Wish I would have thought of that year's ago!

    1. Thanks so much ! I was so excited when I came across it!

  2. This is such a wonderful idea. I love, love, love the picture of you and your brother! :)
    Have a great weekend,
    Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas!
    Fern Smith's Pinterest Boards!

    1. Thanks Fern! My brother and I were stylin'! ;)

  3. First, I'm so sorry about the loss of your dog - he was an important member of your family, and it's so hard and lonely to lose a pet. Second, I love the sleeve idea - I use Work Folders that are kept in the kids' desks, but as you can guess - they just shove the papers in the desks. I'm going to try your brilliant idea!