Whenever I reproduce activity sheets, study guides, permission slips for field trips, or any of a number of xeroxable forms, I always make 5 or 6 extra copies. Then, after the papers have been given to the students, the extra copies are dropped into the Extra Papers tote tray. By having all extra copies of everything I've reproduced in just one spot, it makes it easy later on to deal with students who do need an extra copy.
I used to put the extra copies of math assignments in my math guide or on my desk or with a stack of loose math papers or on the overhead projector or in the math tote tray. You get the picture.
And since I didn't have a specific procedure for stashing the extra papers, I found myself looking in twelve different places trying to find one when a student asked for an extra. Used to wear me out just looking.
Now, they're all in one place. If you need an extra, there's only one place to look. We've either got one or we don't.
A special ed teacher told me her students really appreciated this technique because they could get an extra paper themselves without having to ask the teacher or interrupt a lesson.
Before I place extras in my basket, I write the name of each absent student on a clean copy, which I then place in the "Absent Folder." This keeps my paper-losers from taking copies needed by absent students.
With a little diligence, I've trained students to check the "Absent Folder" for returned homework, missed assignments, and miscellaneous notes I need to give them. It is especially helpful as I am a middle school teacher and have more than one student assigned to a desk each day.
7th/8th grade teacher
Costa Mesa High School