Late work policy help

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by RSA1984, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. RSA1984

    RSA1984 Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2018

    I am in the process of thinking about rules, routines, and procedures I would like to have in my classroom for the coming year; I am a first-year new teacher at the middle school level. One area I've been going back and forth with is accepting late work. Initially, I was going to adopt the policy of 50% per day; after 2 days it is a 0, but I felt this might be a little too harsh at the 7th grade level. Then I was thinking about 20% per day; this, in essence, will give a student a whole academic week to turn in a late assignment for at least partial credit and after that the assignment goes in as a 0. A good friend of mine suggested having a "homework ticket" where students get, say, 2 tickets per quarter and if they do not have a homework or in-class assignment that was due, they can turn in a ticket and the assignment won't count for or against them, but after the tickets run out, assignments go in as a 0, no questions asked (unless there's some sort of extenuating circumstance going on with a particular student).

    The thing is, I want to establish consistency in this particular area, but do not want to come across as a complete jerk. I do believe that middle school is a time where students need to begin learning true accountability for their work, taking those first initial steps. I've seen various teachers accept late work 2, 3, 4 weeks after the fact, and though they were only giving the students 40-50% as a mark, I feel it still is letting the kids think, "I can turn this in a month down the road, and I'll still get some sort of credit for it...no bother."

    I was told by my superintendent and principal that I need to establish clear rules and consequences within the first 6 weeks or else it will be a difficult year. I'm just trying to get everything in place as best I possibly can
    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
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  3. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Jul 24, 2018

    I don’t teach secondary, so consider this knowing that. But I’m a big fan of this “Teachers Throwing Out Grades” movement. We do a less finalized version of this in my elementary school, but I’ve mostly read about it being used in secondary grades. It’s basically mastery-based learning or standards-based grading. Here is an article about it, but there are many more if you Google it. There is even a Facebook group.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.fo...throwing-out-grades-is-good-for-learning/amp/

    Here is a quote from one recent Facebook post that seems relevant: “Kids are often punished by grades because they fail to complete assignments. Then many shut down entirely. They just quit.” It’s from someone advocating for throwing out grades and explaining why it’s necessary (and presumably by late point policies are no good).

    So, this would negate your late policy, if you choose to do it.
     
  4. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Jul 24, 2018

    You could also say that it depends on the type of assignment. One homework assignment likely does not have a huge impact on their grade, so I think a 50% deduction per day is fine. You could also allow a student to miss and make up three homeworks for full credit each quarter -- and after that it is a 0. For bigger projects, a 10%-20% deduction allows a little bit more leeway and might make more sense.

    In my student teaching, we gave students late credit for EVERYTHING. Even a homework assignment turned in two months late. It was annoying, but if a student has a 20% in the class, it made sense to reward him for doing something. We took 10% off for late homework and the lowest they could get was a 60% whenever they turned it in. I think your policy also depends on your school culture.
     
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Phenom

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    Jul 24, 2018

    You might want to wait on making a policy until you see what your school requires. Your school may have a school-wide policy. We don't have a school-wide policy, but each grade-level team makes their own policy. I wouldn't spend my time making a policy of my own until I found out more.

    Does your school do standards-based grading? That will also make a difference.
     
  6. RSA1984

    RSA1984 Rookie

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    The school and I believe district as a whole uses a traditional grading system. Not sure what the school’s policy is at this time; orientation is August 24, but I student taught at the high school in the district and it seemed like a lot of teachers were able to implement their individual policies with respect to late work. Some teachers absolutely never accepted it, others took away varying amounts of percentage points. Granted, this is the middle school, so it is probably best to wait. In the event I am able to develop my own policy, I want something that is fair but still shows real consequences I guess.
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Phenom

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    Jul 24, 2018

    Our high school and middle school have very little in common as far as policies, so you are wise not to assume high school policies are the same as middle school.

    I didn't mention this earlier, but our school accepts late work. It is a pain because the same kids turn stuff in late all the time. We have a make-up day every grading period. The kids who have turned all of their work in on time get a reward activity, and the kids who have missing work are assigned to a work room.
     
  8. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    Jul 24, 2018

    I like your proactive approach. I do think something that is along the lines of 20%/day as a consequence as you mentioned above would be in the lines of fair and showing real consequences. I like that you are aiming with something you can be consistent with. Keep it simple and easy to implement and understand. As mentioned by previous posters, you may have to adapt your consequences to school/district policies.

    I taught 7th grade, and it is funny looking back at it. Some students take grades so seriously and some could care less. For the latter group, they would love to be able to do no work and take a "0". Decide what you will do with those few students who might choose that option. I found it best to still require work to be done someway somehow. In real life, I can't just say I will opt out of doing report cards and just take a cut in pay. I like your approach of getting them to be more responsible.
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jul 24, 2018

    In the schools I've worked at, homework compliance has been a real problem. If I were to adopt a policy of deducting points or a percentage per day, it would be a complete hassle for me. Calculating late grades would be the only thing I'd ever do. Seriously.

    In schools where maybe two or three students might miss any given deadline, such a policy might be more manageable (although I might still argue that it goes against the spirit of assigning grades based on mastery). Where I'm at, easily half of students miss any given deadline. Those who will eventually turn in their work will do it whenever they feel like it, not necessarily in one day or two.
     
  10. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I do 20% per day for small assignments and 10% per day for projects, essays, etc... one of our teachers also doesn't accept late work once he's passed back the assignment in question unless the student comes in to work on it in his room. Too many kids were waiting for their friends to get papers back and then just copying. Something else to keep in mind!
     
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  11. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    It's almost impossible to instill a good work ethic in teenagers who have developed a habit of being lazy. As others have stated, it's a daily uphill losing battle. This is the reason it's soooo critical to establish uniform standards (will never happen) for homework in the primary grades when students are more amenable to being taught proper work habits - by the time they reach middle and high school, homework would be viewed as an accepted responsibility.
     
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  12. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jul 24, 2018

    Homework is not a hill I wish to die on, so my homework policy is quite simple. If the student turns homework in they receive a bonus grade. There is no penalty for not turning it in, except that when a quiz or test comes around, their grade will usually reflect their apathy.

    The bonus grades help students who want to improve their grades and may not do so well on an assessment. The students who choose not do do the homework are then held accountable for their actions.
     
  13. i.heart.trees

    i.heart.trees Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2018

    :tearsofjoy:
     
  14. i.heart.trees

    i.heart.trees Rookie

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    Here's something I used last year. I am more reflecting on what worked for me, but I have a feeling this system wouldn't work for most people because it is a lot of work and some don't feel that students should get a 50% in the grade book for an assignment that was not done.

    Students who haven't handed in one or more assignments received a printed out list of assignments that they were missing ( a week or more late). Included on the list were due dates that the assignment(s) needed to be handed in in order to receive credit (highest grade is an 80%). If there is more than one assignment missing I've staggered the due dates so that they have one due date for each assignment. I am able to print out these lists easily as they are generated by PowerSchool, which your school may also have. Listing which assignments (#1, #2, etc) on the list that need to be handed on certain dates takes some time because I have to be mindful of IEPs and 504s and is the most time-consuming part of the process. However, I prefer having clear expectations for what point deductions will be made and when. I can also easily e-mail the PDFs to students or parents. If you use something like Google Classroom exclusively, it tells you if the assignment is late and (I think) when it was handed in). If the student does not hand in the assignment by the listed date, they earned a 50%. I've used the 50% system because a 50% to me already says that the student has NOT mastered the material, but it won't make it impossible for their grade to recover. I know a lot of teachers don't agree with this, but I also know others who do.

    Another thing to consider is whether your school provides students with e-mails. I have found it helpful when the school provides students with e-mails. In my experience it is a great tool for students to assume responsibility for asking questions about assignments or e-mailing me the assignments that they have missed.


    How you have students make up work, hand in work that is late, or obtain the absent work might also affect your grading policy for late work. I find it helpful to make sure the student is able to take full responsibility for making up missed work. For example, there is a place where the student can easily access any missed work (file system or Google Classroom). Chances are the student who handed in missed work also have a copy of the assignment. When they hand in late work, I've been having them place it in the same 'mailboxes' as they do when they hand it work that is on time. This way is usually easiest for me to determine when the late assignment was handed in.
     
  15. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jul 28, 2018

    Sorry if I'm repeating anything, I haven't read through all the replies.
    - I would first check to see how other teachers handle this. You might think an idea is too strict only to find out all other teachers expect it. You kinda want to be in alignment with the other teachers, maybe a little stricter or more lenient in some areas, but you don't want your requirements to be to lax.
    - I wouldn't necessarily give a student a whole week to make up a homework assignment. If he didn't turn it in in 3 days, I don't think he will at all. And besides, you don't want to be overwhelmed with dozens on late assignments to be graded and figuring out how many points they are worth.
    - I would do it like this: 1 day late: worth 50%, 2 days late: worth 25% 3 days late: 0
    With essays and larger assignments I would still deduct for being late, but I would give them some time to make it up. (maybe 2 weeks at the most)

    I've found that with 7-8-9th graders it's not so much about informing them about the policy but to kinda hold their hand and checking on them, instilling the good habits in them. With homework, they will get used to it since it's frequent. With larger assignment that take 3-4 weeks, I would require them to bring it in for you to check it and give points. For example if they're writing an essay, their outline would be due on a certain date, the rough draft another, etc. This would make sure they don't procrastinate and start working on it the day before it's due.

    I also agree with them somehow earning "no homework" tickets. This could be for behavior, or if they have an a on a test (they miht not need to do all the homework since they got the material, and they probably do the homework anyways), but you could get creative with it and offer it to kids who improve on a test with a whole grade level, etc. Or a kid who has been tardy constantly, you could use it as a reward, etc.
     
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  16. mrsf70

    mrsf70 Companion

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    Jul 29, 2018

    I teach 8th grade math and do not give homework. I do, however, collect daily in-class work for a completion grade, and I don't take a grade each day, but only on days I want a more formal check on how students are doing. As for late work, I've found if a student cares, I will get the work. If a student turns work in, I check it for thoughtfulness and completion and give them full credit. If I never receive it, students receive a 30% in the grade book
    . This tells me I never received the work. (I don't give zeros.) I have so many students who have late work, there's no way I would have the time or energy to calculate a percent for being late.
     
  17. Aces

    Aces Comrade

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    I don't generally accept late work. Honestly I'm so lenient with homework. They have a week to complete it and it's due by the end of the period on Monday. I'm even nice enough to remind them about it a couple of times during class on Mondays. It's either yup you did it you get a 1 or nope you didn't you get a 0. It makes my gradebook look like binary though.
     
  18. BreezyGirl

    BreezyGirl Companion

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    Nov 9, 2018

    I teach Grade 8, so am getting them ready for high school. I am very flexible so my class knows if there is a reason why they can't turn something in that they talk to me and also to have a family member contact me. Illness and emergencies happen. With that said, I give plenty of notice for due dates and I allow sufficient class time to work on projects. Students who do not use class time wisely are the ones that are generally late.

    In math, I randomly collect their work that we have been doing. I already know who is working and who isn't as well as which students are trying hard and which I have worked with one on one. Collecting the work is holding them accountable. I do this a few times and they receive points out of 10.

    In LA, socials and science I give time to complete projects in class. I also write due dates on the board and give reminders. I also have due dates on our class website and if assignments are due on Google Classroom, they receive notifications. I also stay in at breaks and lunch if a student wants to work on assignments. And, once a week we have a finishing/study block. I also use Fresh Grade for reporting so families can see my notes on their child's portfolio as I will post a friendly reminder of missing assignments, the due dates, and ways I can support. I love Fresh Grade!

    So, lots of ways and opportunities as to why work shouldn't be late.

    Hence, why I do not give full marks. This seems to have worked with my classes as I only have two students who do not hand everything in. Accountability is on them. Our district has one day each term where students who are caught up have a half day. Students who are missing work stay to do work. For those students it will be 50% if they are overdue by a month or more. If students still go home on this day and project is not done, the mark is a 0.

    I don't do anything that will add extra an workload. We are extremely busy with planning, meetings, marking, you name it.
     
  19. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    We aren't allowed to take points off for late work. I like this because it keeps it simple. If a kid doesn't have an assignment, I just tell them to turn it in to the bin and I go through the papers once a week. It's nice because I just mark it as late but I don't have to deal with calculating how many points to take off.
     
  20. miss_roxy

    miss_roxy New Member

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    Nov 18, 2018 at 10:06 PM

    I give a due date, but I don't take marks off if it is late.
    I will tell the student I am missing their assignment, and write their name under the Missing Work section of the whiteboard. I tell them if it's not in by the time I go to mark the pile, it's a zero.
    After that, it's in their hands. I won't chase them down.
    Then, if it is still not in by the time I mark the pile, it is a zero. I've never had any of them complain because I give them fair warning and a grace period to get it in.
     

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