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Homeroom periods during the first days of school are a necessary evil. Important information needs to be provided to the students and parents. Many of these forms need to be signed and returned.
Over the years I have learned a simple trick to save time. Collect the forms in reverse alphabetically order. Below is a 3 day plan to get through the tedious task of collecting homeroom information forms.

Homeroom Day #1

1. Hand out the forms and collect as many as possible. Most forms need a parent’s or guardian’s signature.
2. Create a check-off list for all the forms.
3. Create a manila folder for all your homeroom forms.
4. Be sure to have paper clips to separate the different forms.
5. CRITICAL! Stress the importance of getting the forms in. Create a sense of pride in being the 1st homeroom to have all the forms in. Have students write the “Homeroom Homework” in their assignment notebooks. (I always say “We are the best homeroom in the school, let’s show the other classes how to be perfect!”)

Homeroom Day #2

1. Have students take their seats quickly.
2. Clear an area for the students to leave forms.
3. Call the students up. Check off the forms as they are handed in.
4. For those students who have not brought in all the forms repeat step #5 from day #1. Have students write the “Homeroom Homework” in their assignment notebooks.
Hopefully, the majority of your students bring in the forms on the first day.

Homeroom Day #3

1. Have students take their seats quickly.
2. Call the students who need to hand in forms as you did on Day #2.
3. Flip the piles until their name is in the correct order.
4. If necessary, have students who still have not brought in all forms stay after class / school to reiterate the importance of handing in all forms.
I learned this valuable lesson early in my career when I witnessed a veteran teacher using valuable prep time putting the forms in alphabetical order. What a waste of time!
There are so many requirements of teachers today, that it is critical to work smarter and whenever possible make your job a little easier and less time consuming.
I hope this tip saves teachers some time during the first days of school.
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