Ditch the Assignment Notebook: Empowering Students and Parents with Schoology

Pile of Paper. Ditch the Assignment Notebook: Empowering Students and Parents with Schoology
Contributed By

Joe Sarnes

Asst. Director of Teaching and Learning, Perrysburg Schools

Ditch the Assignment Notebook: Empowering Students and Parents with Schoology

Posted in Community | July 17, 2017

“Jimmy, did you write down your homework in your assignment book?”  

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Smith, I can’t find it.  I think it’s at home.”

How many times have you heard this or something similar during the day? Your school has each student buy an assignment book to keep track of homework, events, and upcoming tests. Many students use this, but not always. There are always some students who can’t quite get the hang or recording things, can’t read their own writing, may not show it to their parents, and might even lose the book!  

Learn how to use all the tools in Schoology to empower students, keep them organized, and inform parents in Joe Sarnes's NEXT 2017 session.

Students today are tied to their phones. Why not leverage that? Schoology has a great app. Hmm. The two seem made for each other! At Perrysburg School Junior High, we’ve linked the two to create a powerful communication and organizational tool for parents and students.



Okay, so you have the tools, but how do you set it up? Should it be student created events or teacher created events? What about linking to a Google Calendar? How can school events be populated? How do parents see this and help their children? How will this help students with disabilities? What about those kids who lose their physical assignment books—why is this better?

Two Strategies for Event Creation and Organization

There are two ways to approach this—Student Created Events vs. Teacher Created Events.

With student created events, the student is completely in charge of the process. In the personal calendar, the student can create an event for each subject or one for each day with the assignments.

The advantage is that links, pictures, videos, etc. can be put in the calendar event to remind the students of important information or ideas they may be working on and want to continue at home. Each subject area could also be color coded for easier viewing.  

Just like the paper version, the kids are in charge of recording assignments, upcoming tests, quizzes and events. Parents have access to this through the parent portal and can keep track of homework assignments as well.  The Schoology app provides a quick reference to the calendar as well.

Teacher created events can also be posted on the student calendar. One way this can work is for the teacher in each subject to create a calendar event for each class and list things such as what We Worked on Today, Upcoming, and Today’s homework. In this way, the teacher is posting to the student calendar.

In addition, if the teacher puts due dates on assignments, tests and quizzes, these items will also show up on the calendar. The teacher would also be able to add links, information, further directions, videos, etc. to the assignments to help with home understanding. If a short video is made of in instructional strategy, this could also be included to help parents see how the concept was introduced to the students so they could further support at home.  

By using this type of “assignment notebook”, it becomes interactive, easily accessible, and always up to date. Create a new normal and give kids and parents a new perspective on checking homework and keeping up to date and organized. Ditching the assignment notebook has never been easier!

Join my session at Schoology NEXT this year to learn more about empowering students, keeping them organized, and informing parents in the digital age.

Register for NEXT


About Joe Sarnes's Session

Ditch the Assignment Notebook

Use all the tools in Schoology to helps students organize homework, inform parents and empower students. No more assignment notebooks to lose or be unable to read. Create the home/school communication tool you've dreamed of!

After the session, participants will have a clear understanding of how to set up and use the calendar to report homework, communicate with parents via groups and empower students to take responsibility for their organization. Examples of parent information forms, group resources and student led groups will all be shared.


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