What are we grading?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by dendrite, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. dendrite

    dendrite Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 9, 2007

    :cool: A debate over how to eliminate all F's (every kid succeeds) begs the question, do we evaluate knowledge of the standards or study habits and quality of work?
    :confused: Our middle school admin. says that teachers cannot fail those who do not turn in classwork or homework, only those who do not demonstrate mastery of the standards. Playing the devil's advocate...what happens to the student who passes tests of all the standards for his/her grade level in September? Do we promote them?
    :confused: Evaluating study habits and quality of work prepares students for the world of work. Businesses hire people who show up on time, follow directions, work well independently, finish their tasks, and do quality work. Some very intelligent people with lots of knowledge lose their real world jobs because they don't produce.
    :angel: Narratives probably would yield more meaningful feedback than grades do. Granted their preparation consumes more time, effort, and thought on the teacher's part. The use of narratives would eliminate the ambiguity of letter grades, especially if teachers avoided vague cliches and focused on accurately describing the student's progress.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2007
  2.  
  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,640
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 9, 2007

    I sincerely hope that my future doctor, lawyer and accountant do not attend your middle school. Sure, I want good study habits and work habits.

    But I also want them held accountable for content.
     
  4. Research_Parent

    Research_Parent Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    Messages:
    649
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 10, 2007

    If the student is only going to be responsible for passing a test, WHY GO TO SCHOOL EVERYDAY...just show up for the tests...You know..its called giving your students a G.E.D.!!! instead of a DIPLOMA!!!

    For the administrators in your district who hold that view...
    WHAT IS S/HE BEING PAID FOR?

    And while I do not believe not turning in homework is worthy of totally FAILING a course (F), it does warrant a resounding D!
     
  5. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    848
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 10, 2007

    I have to respond because in school I was the child who rarely turned in homework. Then in high school I did not do much work, I often showed up for tests only. Always recieving the best grades. Bottom line was that I showed mastery of the content, and nothing was done. When I was younger my parents didn't want to "skip me" on or even two grades (both were suggested numerous times), because they felt it might have hurt my brother's self-esteem. In the end I was plenty thankful they didn't, the social aspect of school made school worthwhile. That said, I have worked many jobs since. I was always the Teacher who showed up extra early, and stayed extra late. Thusly I conclude that homework for the sake of homework serves very little purpose. If you are considering raising the quality of education that your school gives, consider more service learning oppurtunities.

    And by the way...Some very diligent and hard working people lose their jobs because they couldn't produce. I believe that the group to which you were refferring would have been marked as the people who were able to produce who lost their jobs because they didn't show.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    12,947
    Likes Received:
    873

    Jan 10, 2007

    Our province uses a standardized report card--almost every student (except those Special Ed students with alternative programs) receives the same report, with separate formats for Kindergarten, elementary (grades 1-8) and secondary (grades 9-12). The first part of the report card is for reporting on progress in subject areas (English--Reading, Writing, Oral, Media, Math--Number Sense, Geometry, Patterning and Algebra, Data Management, and Measurement, Science, Social Studies, The Arts, etc.). In this area we are directed to report only on the student's level of mastery of the curriculum expectations in each subject area. The second part of the report card concerns Learning Skills (Homework Completion, Cooperation with Others, Independent Work, Initiative, etc.). This is where we report on work habits (or lack thereof). Consistently late work, etc. is reflected in this area of the report card, not in the subject areas. I know that late and missing work is able to be reflected more in grades (i.e. marks) in high school, but is not supposed to be in elementary.
     
  7. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Messages:
    7,794
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 10, 2007

    Just a comment on homework. Homework is a national disaster for our youth. It is one of the main reasons that children HATE school.
     
  8. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,439
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 10, 2007


    Grammy, I think the right type of homework ( practical, more hands on type stuff) has value. Homework provides practice, and I don't think that's terrible. To fail a child for not turning in homework is wrong. It will just frustrate the child even more.
     
  9. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Messages:
    3,327
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jan 10, 2007

    A student who can not be trusted to do and turn in his/her work can not be trusted to do anything else, either.

    Ditto for adults.

    Decent people do their jobs, and a student's job is school. Often, jobs require us to do things we personally would rather not do, things that cut into our 'me' time, things that are hard, things we just don't like. Tough scheisse.

    Do them or take the consequences. And I sincerely hope the consequences are SEVERE.

    I never gave much homework but when I did, it was worth 100 points, just the same as any quiz, test, or in-class assignment. Students who didn't do it, generally failed. Their choice, completely.

    I think "choice" is the focus, here. Life is full of choices. People who actively choose to be lazy drones are labeled 'lazy drones' and that is the label they chose, earned, and deserve.

    No slack should be cut for them. None. Zip. Zero.

    And parents who enable these behaviors are even worse.

    Yes, there should be time to just be a child. That time is AFTER obligations have been met, and in the summer.
     
  10. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    848
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 10, 2007


    wow, is all I can say. I read your post like marching orders. We aren't raising marines, we are raising children. In our jobs we are asked to make sacrifices but we chose our jobs. However, I do agree that you make choices and deal with the consequences, If those consequences are bad grades, then so be it. But, just remember our job is to encourage learning, foster growth and development....I am sure I could give you a list of these catch phrases, but, my point is when someone insists that no slack should be cut for them," and they hope the consequences for actions should be "severe," I wonder if they have forgotten why they started teaching in the first place.
     
  11. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Messages:
    3,327
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jan 10, 2007

    I do not teach tiny children; there, some slack is advisable.

    But from upper elementary on through college, why should there be 'allowances' made for students who actively choose to not do the work, yet expect the same rewards as those who work?

    The business world is pretty darn tired of employees who have never been held accountable for absences, lack of work, inability to put a simple sentence together, no spelling skills, no writing skills, and most of all: no sense of responsibility and personal integrity, ie, DO THE REQUIRED WORK OR LEAVE.

    That class action suit in Canada right now, about the Cable contract and the comma? I hope the people who filed that suit lose.

    They should have read the contract more carefully, and they should have known, as adults, what that very carefully placed comma made the contract say. They signed it, they should live with that decision.

    Maybe if they'd done more homework, and paid more attention, and done their jobs in school, they wouldn't have signed before they read. Maybe they would have understood the incredible power of the comma, if they'd done their job in school.

    Nope, no sympathy here. I save it for when it's earned.

    As for why I started teaching in the first place: maybe some of us want to send people out into the world well-prepared for it, and to do that means requiring work, rewarding those who do it, and letting the consequences fall on those who choose not to.
     
  12. hatima

    hatima Devotee

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,086
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 10, 2007

    Passing students who don't turn in work is horrible. I hate that "ideal" so the child doen't feel "discouraged." (this is such a button with me). I agree with Mamacita.
     
  13. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2,509
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 10, 2007

    Homework is important - children practice what they are learning, get trained in turning things in on time and meeting the expectations set for them.

    There is a big problem though, and part of it is because of teachers who load children down with busy work and call it homework, or who set ridiculous expectations. No child should have to go home from school and do 3-4 hours of homework! If you want them to practice math facts, multiplication, etc, how about 10 problems instead of 40??? We need to encourage family time, home chores, etc. by not loading kids down with tons of silly work!

    I agree with you Miss Frizzle - homework should be meaningful and interesting! Why are we boring our students to death in this country? And
     
  14. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2,509
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 10, 2007

    and that's all.
     
  15. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Messages:
    7,794
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 10, 2007

    I would like to relate a story to you. The other day, I ran into a mom and her 2 children, both whom I had in Preschool. The oldest is now in grade 7. She has 2 or more hours of homework every single night. The family had to run some errands after school and had not been home for supper. After they get home, they have their meal together and clean up. The rest of the evening is spent doing homework at the table. The girl struggles and it takes her until 9:00 to be anywheres near done. This picture is repeated again and again all over our country and in most families. Tell me the value.
     
  16. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Messages:
    7,794
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 10, 2007

    BRAVO! Well stated.
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,640
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 10, 2007

    I think that homework, if assigned, should have value.

    So today I did more graphing of lines with my 7th graders. The HW was to graph 4 more equations. The standing policy in my class is that homework should take 20 minutes, max. They can stop at 20 regardless of whether they've finished or not. (IF most of 180 kids need more time, the error was mine. If it was just a few, they'll know to come to extra help.) Without that drill, I would have a hard time determining who really knows the material and who doesn't.

    I agree that homework for the sake of assigning it is pointless. And that doing what is assigned should count for part of the grade. ( in my school, it's 1/6 of the trimester grade.)

    But I do think that another important part of the grade should be on knowledge of the course.
     
  18. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Messages:
    3,327
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jan 10, 2007

    Teachers who load students down with homework are not good teachers. Good teachers ask for just enough work so they can be sure the students is able to 'do' it by himself.

    Sometimes, school systems are responsible for excessive homework. These are not good systems.

    But a principal who forbids the including of homework and other non-test assignments in a student's assessment is an idiot.
     
  19. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Messages:
    7,794
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 10, 2007

    No homework, no homework, none, zilch, zip, none. No concrete proof that it even makes kids learn better or be any smarter in any way.
     
  20. dendrite

    dendrite Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 10, 2007

    I usually give just enough homework to review the day's lesson. It's my understanding that revisiting new material 6-8 hours after it has been presented transfers the information from the short-term memory to the long-term memory. After that, sleep seems to reinforce the long-term memories and degrade the short-term memories. Anything more would be excessive.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2007
  21. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Messages:
    7,632
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 10, 2007

    That is a great policy, Alice! I think that is very fair and makes a lot of sense.
     

Share This Page

test