No Excuses List

Has this ever been you after reading your students work?
Sally has forgotten to use punctuation. Joey has misspelled “the” and “at”. Yousuf has forgotten to start his sentences with capital letters! You know that you have taught your students these basic writing concepts, but for some reason they keep forgetting! 

Enter the MAGICAL “No Excuses” list!!!!

Your “No Excuses” list includes things that have already been taught to your students. I teach fourth and fifth grade so my “No Excuses” list contains the following elements:
  • Name
  • Sentences start with an uppercase letter.
  • Sentences end with punctuation.
  • Word Wall Words are spelled correctly.
  • No little “i” stand alone.
It is super important that all of my students fully understand all of the elements on my list because I don’t accept work that doesn’t meet the standards.

As students hand in their work, if I notice that they have forgotten a capital letter I just say “No Excuses” and hand it back to them. Then they go back to their desk and fix the problem. If I notice that their work isn’t up to standards while I am marking, I simply write “No Excuses” on it and hand it back to them. I find that by the end of September, most of my students are consistently remembering to check their work and I rarely have to return papers. 
I love my list for a couple of reasons.
  1. I don’t spend all of my time correcting simple mistakes.
  2. My kids are taking ownership of their own work.
I totally suggest that you try creating your own “No Excuses” list! If you would like my headers, click here. I am unable to give you a copy of the Clip Art that I used due to copyright restrictions. However, you can get it for free here.

Alternatively, if you would like a “No Excuses” list that is ready to print and post, check out my TPT store! This product is only $1 and it comes with two different versions. 

Lastly, I have to thank the AMAZING Language Arts Consultant that shared the idea of a “No Excuses List” with me!
What do you think? Do you use something similar in your own room? Feel free to share in the comments below!

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