I hate to have to do this, but....

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Caesar753, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Sep 23, 2012

    It looks like I'm going to have to play "teacher-mom" and really get on my students this year about their missing work. In the past, my attitude has always been that these kids are in high school and should be responsible enough to get their work turned in. With some administrative changes, however, I don't think that's going to cut it any longer. We're being evaluated on our numbers, specifically our pass/fail rates. While my fail rates have always been very low, much lower than most other classes in fact, I want to find a way to decrease them even more. One way to do that is to increase my homework compliance rates.

    So my question is: how exactly do I do this?

    I post grades online and in the classroom. Students should know exactly what they're missing. Even so, I'm thinking that I'm going to have to run a report of missing work and talk to kids individually about their missing assignments. This will need to happen at least once per week, I think.

    I'm thinking of printing up a list of missing work for each student and then having each student sign some sort of list indicating that they have been made aware of their missing work and its due date. Does that sound reasonable? Does anyone have such a form or ideas about what to put on mine?

    Is there a better way for me to increase homework compliance?

    (I should add that when I say "homework", I really mean classwork and unfinished classwork. I assign true homework very rarely, if ever.)

    I appreciate any suggestions and advice you have to offer!
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Sep 23, 2012

    Sigh...

    I am afraid that for students who are not completing in-class work, having them sign a weekly report of missing tasks will only serve to prove you shared that information with them (even though you already do through your postings in class and online). Those students will sign it and move on with life. They know they are missing those assignments, I am sure. They just don't care.

    I think it's very difficult to motivate that type of student. Is there any sort of study or catch-up period? I doubt it, but just thought I'd ask...if so, that would be something to use to your advantage.

    If only recess was had in high school! :)
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Sep 23, 2012

    I don't disagree with you. Part of the purpose of having students sign a missing work sheet is to have some hard evidence to show my admin or parents if the need ever arises. I guess my hope is that it will push even just a couple of students into getting their work done and turned in. Every little bit helps. I really am trying to find a way to make things better, even if it's just one small step at a time. Our school is under some very intense scrutiny at all levels--district, state, and federal. It's stressful, and I don't want to give anyone an opportunity to say that I didn't do enough. You know what I'm saying?

    There isn't any sort of study period, although I strongly believe that we should have that built into our schedule. :( The most I can hope for is a weekly mandatory "study hall" that some of the coaches do before practice.
     
  5. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Sep 23, 2012

    I had a huge missing work problem last year. I had to,accept work up until grades went in to keep kids from failing. I hated it! This was a school wide problem.

    This year, I am posting due dates everywhere I can think, encouraging kids who are almost finished to just turn it in anyway, and being very strict about taking 20% off per day. So far, it seems pretty good.

    We will see. If attendance stays good, I think I'll be ok. One huge issue last year was that students would skip and never make up work. This year, it's 20% off right off the bat if their absence was not excused.

    We do have a study period, but I'm not sure what good it does. Math and English have priority.

    Oh. Last year, I also did those mini conferences every week or two. I printed grade sheets and badgered kids. It worked, but only at the end of the quarter; until then, there was no urgency because they knew full well that I couldn't fail them all.

    And, badgered is indeed the correct word choice. :banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead:
     
  6. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Sep 23, 2012

    Absolutely. And you're right that every little bit helps.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Sep 23, 2012

    That's what I'm afraid I'm going to have to do, too. :(
     
  8. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Sep 24, 2012

    It wasted so freaking much class time.
     
  9. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    Sep 24, 2012

    I feel your pain. I am going in the opposite direction though - last year I stayed on top of my kids but this year I leave it up to them. My gradebook is available online 24/7 so a student should know what they are missing.My P is not very happy with my policy but I have high school kids, we have to give them responsibility for their actions. I will take late work (with reduced grades) to provide some flexibility. Last year I found I was worrying more about my student's grades than they were. I think they have become accustomed to this and behave accordingly.
     
  10. MathTeacher29

    MathTeacher29 Rookie

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    Sep 24, 2012

    I had a class one semester that I had to make a make up work day once per marking period a few days before it ended. I would hand the student any missing assignments, quizzes and tests they had and have them work on them. Some of the students who had so much work they couldn't finish it in 90 minutes actually stayed after school. Students who didn't have any make up work worked in groups on a review. You do end up with a large stack of papers to grade all at once though.
     
  11. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Sep 24, 2012

    Honestly, if you want to really motivate them, have them work during their lunch period. I know it would never work at a high school (all the different lunch periods) but you might see more students completing their work to save this time with their friends.
     
  12. platypusok

    platypusok Companion

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    Sep 24, 2012

    I have a dry erase board on my closet door, if a kid is missing work his or her name goes on the board (I have a couple of parents who pop in and check it out too and then ask for what their kid is missing).

    A week before the marking period ends, I give my classes a free day if they have all the work turned in. If they don't, they move to desk by mine and work.
     
  13. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    I would need a white board as big as the Moon.
     
  14. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Sep 24, 2012

    Ditto.
     
  15. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Sep 24, 2012

    My colleague who also teaches senior English got this from a friend in another state, and she and I are piloting it this year: we don't allow students to not turn in assignments. When something is due and a student doesn't have it in hand, we immediately assign an "Opportunity Period" that day at lunch or the following morning at 6:15 a.m. to complete the work (they also lose points). She takes lunch, and since I have a 7 a.m. class, I take the early shift. If a student doesn't show up for that opportunity, they get a second opportunity AND a detention. We'll let it go three times, and then we will give a zero on the assignment.

    We did this because we were ending up with 3-5 seniors who were failing second semester simply because they didn't hand in the work. So far, it's going well; I collected an assignment the other day but was too busy to log it in for various reasons, and one student showed up at lunch without being told to!
     
  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Sep 25, 2012

    Early update:

    Yesterday I started handing out missing assignment slips. I probably handed out around a dozen slips. By the end of the day today, I've gotten 7 of those assignments turned in. In most cases, the students had the work but just neglected to turn it in. I heard a lot of "Oh, I have that!" when I handed out the slips.

    I think that 7/12 assignments turned in is a pretty solid number--that's over 50%. I realize that this is still early in the process, but I think it's a good sign. I will keep doing it as long as I keep getting good numbers like that.
     
  17. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Sep 25, 2012

    That's tremendous!
     
  18. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    What I've started doing is requiring that ALL class work be turned in, finished or not. If it is unfinished, I scan it over, enter an estimated grade in the book, then return the paper.

    If I get it back, I grade it properly and enter in the real grade. If I never see it again, at least the kid got some credit.

    For some bizarre reason, a crappy grade in the grade book is more motivational than a zero. I don't get it at all: a 30 or 49 lights a fire under them to fix it, but a wall of zeros can stay recorded until the crack of doom and they don't care.

    Teenage logic--I don't pretend to begin to understand.
     
  19. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    Sep 25, 2012

    nor do I. Have we been blessed or cursed by our inability to remember with clarity those years of our lives?

    every day at school when I watch these people, I am reminded of the Dickens' line....'they were the best of times and the worst of times' or WTTE.;)
     
  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Nov 4, 2012

    Update:

    We've just finished our first grading period. I realized as I was entering grades that I only gave out one F--total! Normally during the first grading period I give out 10-12 Fs, so this is a huge decrease. Since about 75% of my students this year are students I had last year, I know that something drastic has happened with their performance/grades/something.

    My method seems to be having some effect. It hasn't been as perfect as I wanted it to be, but it does seem to be a significant improvement. I've noticed that there are still a lot of missing assignments when I first collect an assignment--but more students are turning in their work, even a couple of days late, once I hand out missing work slips. I guess I can be pleased with that, for now anyway.

    Any ideas on how to reduce the number of missing assignments in the first place?
     
  21. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Nov 4, 2012

    Would a sticker or stamp on work turned in on time work?
     

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