An entire class is failing!

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Peregrin5, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Phenom

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    I've been doing my grades and I realized that 18 out of 26 students in one of my classes is failing or has a D! Mostly D's.

    This is one of my lowest classes and has a large percentage of special ed kids in it but it also has about 3 or 4 GATE kids. The GATE kids all have straight As, but the general population and the SPED students are really struggling. I don't really know what to do. It isn't typical of my other classes, but I give this class the same work but slightly modified so it's easier. I've done all kinds of modifications for this group but it's also hard because I have a few really advanced students in it so I can't dumb it down for everyone. It's also my last period of the day, so the students are kind of checked out.

    But they all just did horribly on the last test, and most of them are missing large amounts of work.

    These kids aren't really behavior problems either. They're really sweet, and I think they try their best. But they're definitely not succeeding! Any ideas?
     
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  3. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Hmmmm....if they're "checked out" it doesn't sound like they're trying their best.

    16 out of 28....that could give you some real problems with administrators and parents.
     
  4. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    I would definitely start re-evaluating what's happening in that classroom. Most of your kids should be passing, with a few exceptions. Not the other way around.

    Is there an intervention specialist assigned to these students on IEPs? He/she might have some insight into how you could make them more successful.
     
  5. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Phenom

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    I talked to her, and she said I'm already doing everything she could have thought of, accommodation wise. They simply aren't taking advantage of the things I'm providing them, like being able to use a notecard on a test, going over the homework answers, etc.
     
  6. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Virtuoso

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    This may make you slam your head on your keyboard, but you might want to reassess your classroom management strategy. I'm a huge advocate of Love and Logic. One of the main components of the system is "consequences with empathy", which means you let them know you feel for them, but they have chosen their actions with full knowledge of the consequences.
     
  7. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    If they aren't taking advantage of what you are doing with and for them, you may want to change how you are doing some of these things. Maybe instead of providing homework answers, have pairs or small groups present how they solved a homework problem.

    Maybe try emphasizing what will be on the test.

    You could try a few lessons in small groups, allowing your gifted students to dig deeper into the material or even teach a small group (I wouldn't use this always, but teaching does cement the learning).
     
  8. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Do they know that the notecard is for use on the test? Do you give some time to start the notecard creation in class?

    How much homework do you assign? I try to keep it short and sweet. Homework is over one concept, and only 5-8 questions/problems. Do they have time to start it in class?
     
  9. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    did you ever think that maybe the grades are truly reflective of their effort/ability? Maybe it really isn't about you after all.
     
  10. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Do you allow the to retest a different version of the test?
     
  11. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Phenom

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    I gave them the study guide (has the test questions almost word for word) a week or so before the test. It included a page that gave them a guide for creating the card and what to put on it. I gave them a whole class period and a 3-day weekend to work on the study guide and the card.

    Homework is usually only what they don't finish in class.

    @Cat: I'm reading Love and Logic right now. Good stuff so far, but I'm having trouble figuring out how to apply it to my classroom. Most management books are very clear cut in what types of strategies to use and how to immediately begin using them. Love and Logic is a bit less well defined but it looks more powerful overall.

    @mopar: I will be definitely rethinking learning strategies in this class.

    @TamiJ: Yes, I let all students retest if they did poorly. They have to complete a test review sheet before-hand so they know what they got wrong, and they have to explain why they got it wrong or why the correct answer is the correct one. The few from that class who even took the test, most of them did worse than they did before.

    I may have to have a separate test for this class and make it easier.

    @GTB: It's possible that it might be reflective of their ability, but I think some are putting in real effort and not seeing results or differences. These students generally have a history of low scores and grades in other classes as well.

    Also, though my class is fun, it's certainly not an easy class. Students need to study for my tests, and I have a feeling many neglected to do so.
     
  12. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Maybe they need instruction on HOW to study? In my experience, most middle schoolers think that staring at the study guide until your eyes glaze over = studying.

    I know this kind of eats into your personal time, but maybe it would be helpful to hold a "lunch bunch" where you teach the kids some study skills. Anyone who failed the last test has to be there, non-negotiable. The "lunch bunch" could meet 2-3 times a week before a test. You could teach them how to make/use flashcards, how to highlight notes, how to quiz themselves using Cornell notes, introduce them to using some review games/websites on the Internet, etc.
     
  13. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    I see some of this. I have some students that put forth genuine effort while in the classroom but haven't developed other skills (note taking, studying prior to tests, doing unsupervised work outside of the classroom,etc.) that support mastery of the content (math).
     
  14. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Fanatic

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    I run into this often. Because it's an elective, and a fun one at that, they think they will just get an A with little effort. Which is not true. After they fail the first couple of tests, they figure it out.
     
  15. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Virtuoso

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    I absolutely adore Love and Logic because it's the ONLY classroom management style I've been able to adopt to an online setting. For example, when your obstinate student starts yelling in class, make sure she knows she has a choice on how to behave going forward and that she knows the outcome of each. That way, she is responsible for her own punishment. If you have students who won't do what they have to do to pass, let them know you feel terrible for them but will be there to support them if they take the class again next year.
     

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