Keep a designated area of your classroom for posting homework assignments as well as for extra homework packets/worksheets. This is useful for students that have missed class--they will know exactly where to go to find previous homework assignments and where to pick up the accompanying worksheets, if any. This will help to eliminate interruptions as well as excuses. You can post the assignment on the wall in this area and students can copy down the assignment. Have pocket folders nearby with the dittos available. You may also want to post a calendar for long-term assignments, such as science projects or book reports.