SUBJECT: ________ due today! Can I help?
I noticed your ________ was not submitted yet. Is there anything I can do to help you wrap up? Did you have trouble...?
Remember you can...
________should be submitted today so that you can...And you know what else? I blind copy their parents the same email (Google Classroom automatically makes them all BCC, so I send the main copy to myself).
Please let me know what else I can do to help you complete the assignment!
I do occasionally get some questions back, but more than that? I get assignments turned in--sometimes within minutes of sending the email!
Maybe they just need someone to set off a little pavlovian bell on their phone to remember to hit submit. Maybe the "Remember you can" section gives them the missing piece to the puzzle so they can finish. Maybe the "so that you can" section makes them see the importance of submitting the work sooner rather than later. Maybe Momma lights a fire under them when her phone dings. Whatever the case, I have me some instant documentation if somehow my little reminder doesn't work its magic.
I confess this is not much use where neither child nor parent is attached to a smartphone or other email receptacle. Though that is a dwindling problem, it does still exist for a few of my students who fall behind. But at least it does cut back on the number of people I have to chase down during class so that I can actually attend to the ones who don't get the benefit of the inbox buzz the night before.