Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Caesar753, Sep 23, 2012.
Nov 4, 2012
No, I don't think that would work.
Is there anything small that they would go for? An extra 5 min. at the end of the period, choice of where to sit. What about a phone call home for the chronic never turn their paper in on time & then they do? (It's a happy call!)
A Wall of Fame, your name goes up when you turn a piece of work in on time.
I don't know, I work the other end, Kindergarten.
Great improvement! But your question...ah, that always seems impossible. I am of the mindset that high school students shouldn't be rewarded for completing assignments...at least not on a systematic basis. Random treats, okay. But "bribery", not okay. That's just my opinion, of course, and I realize others disagree.
I assign students times to physically meet with me (home room, PRT, after school). Failure to show up results in a detention. I cleared this with administration first and then sent an email to parents about the situation.
Maybe off topic but how can this possibly be a goal of a competent administrator? I teach mathematics and I know that content can be manipulated to produce higher grades and stay within the context of the standards. I would hate to sacrifice rigor to meet some sort of quota.
Pass/fail rates can be manipulated fairly easily. This is well intentioned I am sure but not very well thought out.Not directed at you, just your administration.
Any ideas on how to reduce the number of missing assignments in the first place?
How about an incentive of anyone who turns in all their work on time each day in a week on Friday can_____ (maybe participate in a class review game like Jeapardy for 15-20 min.) while the others do a seat work assignment?
Nov 5, 2012
Caesar---so glad it's working for you! Are students not turning in work because they are absent or late to class, they don't have it finished (doesn't seem to be the case with some students) or just don't remember to turn it in?
All of the above.
When I was teaching 6th grade, I had several "regulars" that simply would not turn in any work. I thought that would change when they saw what it did to their report cards, but they didn't seem bothered by that at all. So I finally stopped giving them the option of NOT doing the work.
Every week, I wrote the names on the board and the work they were missing. I gave them 1 day to bring the work in if they had already done it. After that, I made them come to my room during recess to make up the work. They continued coming to my room each day until ALL the assignments were completed. That cut down on late homework in a hurry
I'm facing the same problem with my current 8th graders. I have a few that simply turn in ZERO work and don't care at all what it does to their grade. So, last week, I printed a list of missing assignments for ALL of my classes. I gave these out on Thursday and pointed out the paper had to be SIGNED by a Parent or Guardian, then RETURNED to me. I explained to the students that I had a second copy of every list I had printed and would be matching up the signed copies with my copies. On Monday, I would see which of my copies did NOT have a matching signed copy attached to it and would begin contacting those parents by phone or email. So - one way or the other - their parents WILL know they are NOT doing their work; three of my students not only returned their signed copies the next day, they also brought in all the missing assignments as well.
How do you prompt students to turn in work? Maybe have a turn in at the beginning of the class and at the end of the class (for students who have already finished the classwork).
For absent students, attach their name to a folder to prompt you to ask for the work the next day (or to prompt them to turn in the work and remove their clip from the folder).
Jan 12, 2013
Well, I've been implementing this system for about two quarters now. I'm pretty pleased to say that I do think that my numbers of Ds and Fs have decreased significantly compared to years past. I'm looking at failure rates of less than 5%, and in some classes there are no Fs at all. I do believe that these extremely low failure rates are due to my incessant hounding and nagging. Hey, anything helps, right?
Basically, what I've been doing is printing up each student's missing assignments every week. I hand out these missing work slips at the beginning of the period during the bellringer, and it only takes about 5 minutes. I instruct students to get their work in as quickly as possible. They are not allowed to do their missing work during class time unless they finish the regular activity first. They have to turn in their missing work into a special basket labeled "Late Work".
My system hasn't eliminated the missing work issue at all. I'm noticing that just as many students fail to turn in work on time. So far I haven't found a solution for that. What is happening is that students do seem to be making more of an effort to get that work in, even if it's a week late (or more). I don't know if that's because they're tired of me nagging them or because they just need more time to understand the material, but I guess I'll take it.
This semester I haven't penalized students for turning in work after the due date. I am tossing around the idea of some sort of academic penalty for late work next semester, but I'm torn. On the one hand, I really hate the idea of academic sanctions for what are basically behavioral problems. On the other hand, there are still a few students who literally wait until the last possible day to turn in work (last day of the quarter) and then turn in 25 assignments all at once. That's a huge overload for me, and I don't think it's at all beneficial to students when their practice work is done so long after the fact that it doesn't help them on their tests and quizzes. I'm thinking that I might take 20-30% off on any work that is turned in late--so the max score possible would be 70-80%. My thinking on this is sort of in three parts:
1. I want students to turn in work on time in order to earn full credit.
2. If students legitimately need more time to understand material, I don't want their grades to be destroyed by late work. A bunch of assignments in at 70% or 80% won't kill their grades.
3. I want students who regularly turn in their work on time to receive some sort of benefit, otherwise what's the point? If they get 100% for work done on time and everyone else gets 100% for work done weeks late, that's not exactly fair.
I will say that I've compared my failure rates (and my Ds) to those of one of the Spanish classes. The other teacher and I have a similar population of students, but her class grades are much lower than mine. Her failure rates are about 25%, and she has about the same number of Ds. This means that half of her students either have Ds or Fs. I'm worried that this will cause admin to look at her numbers more closely, and I don't want that to happen to me. She and I have very similar teaching styles and activities, so I'm reasonably certain that her class isn't harder than mine; in fact, I might argue that mine is a lot harder than hers. The difference seems to be this system of hounding students to turn in their late work, which I do and she doesn't do. Hmmmm.... I will definitely need to do some more experimenting and research on this.
It sounds like you've fallen into the same routine that many of my coworkers have - basically give the students grades so you don't catch flak from the administration. I hate it, frankly. Policies like these just encourage students to be slack and makes it harder for other teachers that want to maintain high standards. Kinda like how Disney Dads make it difficult for single moms to get kids to bed on time. However, I understand the pressure and fear. I haven't felt it enough to make me change policies in my room. I hope I don't ever. It really upsets me that administrators back teachers into to the corner like this. I even have coworkers that give Cs to students so they don't have to do all of the paperwork that accompanies a D or F student.
One thing I did last year regarding late/no work, worked VERY well. But it requires the full support of admin, which I had then but I doubt I'd have now. The kids that don't turn in assignments work on those assignments the day you discover they're missing. If you're lecturing about chapter ten and they missed a report for chapter nine, oh well. They sit there and do the assignment.They can get the notes later. They max grade they can get depends upon the class policy. In my class students get 15 points off each day an assignment is late. After three days late, no credit. They do get reminders every day to turn in any late work. If I realize on day four that someone didn't submit an assignment, he still had to do it but because it was four days late, he would not get any credit for it.
Now, students and parents were UPSET about the policy. Why bother doing it if Johnny would get a zero anyhow? Which is exactly what I asked my principal when she suggested it. The principal said that if I assigned it for a grade I must have thought it was worthy enough to do and that importance didn't diminish a week later when no points would be awarded. She said that if a student refused to complete the assignment in class then it became an insubordination issue and I should send him to the office. It worked pretty well. Kids figured that they'd have to do it anyhow, might as well do it on time and get credit for it.
But I didn't do it this year. Just didn't think it would fly so I didn't attempt it. And I do have lower grades than last year.
Whoa. I don't think that I'm "giving" anyone any grades. I'm giving students multiple opportunities to do their own work and be successful.
Ok, point taken.
Since you're working for mastery, do you give all of the students a chance to redo assignments they submitted on time?
I just can't get behind all the hand-holding. Maybe when I've been in the system a bit longer I'll change. Thankfully our district's mission statement clearly states that we are to make sure that our students graduate ready for college or the workforce. Way too many of my students just assume that they can pick and choose what work they do and I simply cannot encourage that thinking. Holding them accountable, and letting them see the consequences of laziness, is part of my job.
But don't get me wrong, I get caught up in nagging and reminding sometimes too. When I do it though, I feel like I'm dragging them behind me and the weight is mighty heavy. Sometimes I just don't have the energy to be more concerned about their grades than they are.
Something that might help you, that I do, is be a bit more proactive with assignments. Especially bigger ones. I email parents on the day that they are assigned (I also email when I send out progress reports). It has helped, but unfortuately some of the kids that are more likely to blow off an assignment are also the ones that don't have involved parents or internet access
I do give everyone the chance to redo assignments and tests until they are comfortable with their score.
Believe me, I'm not a fan of hand-holding. At the same time, I'm not a fan of massive failure rates, failing to meet our school's SIG goals, my school getting shut down by the feds, or me losing my job. If I have to work harder to push my students, then I will do it.
Phone calls and emails to parents doesn't work. I teach in an inner-city school, one of the roughest in the district and the most violent in the state. What works in "regular" schools doesn't work here. It stands to reason that things might work in my school that don't work or aren't necessary in "regular" schools.
I thought that my plan was a good idea, especially since it seems to be getting me results. My grades aren't inflated. I feel like what I've been doing has eliminated the need to inflate grades, which many of my colleagues have had to do--by curving tests or throwing out assignments and quizzes. Right now, though, I'm getting the feeling that you think what I'm doing is wrong.
No, not wrong, just not ideal in high school. I think at this age all students know what is expected of them and they choose not to do it. I do think that policies like yours make it harder for students to know what a deadline really means. But I don't have a perfect solution that has worked with my inner city kids either. If they fail my class they have to take it again. It doesn't make our school look good. But I get really tired of public perception being more important than integrity so I admittedly have a sour taste over things like this. IMO, if kids had been held accountable since elementary school there would be fewer issues like this.
I got asked yesterday if there was anything that three students could do to bring up their failing grade. By three different people. The expectation was that I work through lunch and stay after because the kids finally wanted to pass. As if one afternoon could make up for 90 days. Two of those people said that is what other teachers did for the kids in the past. To me, taking late work like that actually TRAINS students to not do their work on time.
They are already trained to not do their work.
Jan 13, 2013
Sadly, that's true. Right now I have the choice to keep the status quo alive and well or to put my foot down and stop the madness. Right now. Who knows what craziness will come down the line in the future.
I think the point is that Caesar knows what's ahead for these kids if they fail.
As do I. I have a family member that has been treated this way all of his life. People working harder for him than he does for himself. He's older than I am and has made a lifetime of bad decisions due to his laziness and lack of responsibility.
His mother passed away recently and now the family is talking about who is going to take over his bills and such. The paying of the bills and the writing of the checks. Because if we (collectively) do not do it, he will be evicted. @@
While some of my position is based on the fact that I simply do not have the time and energy to baby 200 kids each year, some of it is because I want to avoid the next generation of voters becoming like my family member.
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