Zeros for Late or Missing Work

Discussion in 'General Education' started by callmebob, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Jan 11, 2012

    Mopar mentioned this as an issue in another thread. I am curious where people fall on this issue? It is something that has been an issue at our school, we have had times where we have gone away from zeros being allowed, and times where zeros have been allowed. I personally have gone back and forth as well. Currently I am on the side of being able to give zeros.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I teach grade 3. When a kId forgets HW, he or she signs my missing HW book. If the HW comes in the next day, the name gets crossed out. Repeat offenders et a note sent home to be signed by parents and the HW grade on report are reflects the missing work.
     
  4. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I taught 7th grade math. I gave homework every single day. I graded it only on completion, and had a 20 minute rule. At the end of 20 minutes of solid effort, my students could write a one or two sentence note to me telling me why they couldn't complete it (was there something they didn't understand, was one particular step giving them trouble, could they do the easy problems but couldn't bridge to the more difficult problems, were there just to many problems), and that would count as complete. I put a check in my grade book if they had it, and an X if they didn't. Their homework grade was calculated by dividing the number of assignments turned in by the number given. That grade was only worth 10% of their final grade (if I had my way, it would have only been 5%, but that was the school mandate). Considering the volume of assignments, even 5 or 6 missing assignments wouldn't make much of a difference in the overall grade, so I did not accept late work. If an individual assignment made more of a difference, I might have had a different policy.

    Now, projects are a different story. Again, I didn't really accept late work, however, I did have an exception policy. If my students came to me before it was due, and explained to me why they would have difficulty completing it (family issues, tests/projects in other classes, extra-curricular activities, etc.), then I would work with them to work out a reasonable extension. It was their responsibility to talk to me before it was due. On the off chance that there was a legitimate, unforeseen emergency, then I would always accept a note from parents, then work out a reasonable due date considering the nature of the emergency (death in the family, injury, etc.)
     
  5. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I've never thought about that being an issue. If a kid doesn't do work, they get a zero. If they make it up, the grade is put in. HW is only 10% of the grade, so it's barely a big deal for that, but class work and tests it's a zero unless they make it up.
     
  6. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    That is where our issue has been. We do not give grades for homework, but it can count against them if they miss too much. For classwork though, zeros are currently not aloud. If a student does not do the work or complete the work; we can't just give them a zero. Right now, I am not a fan of the policy, when we first started it, I liked the idea, but in practice I do not.
     
  7. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I don't understand why this would be an issue. 0 work = 0 grade. If you get excused from it, why would anyone do their homework? Even if they did it, why turn it in? Especially if it isn't graded on completion - it would make more sense to just tell the teacher you didn't do it than it would to turn it in and risk getting less than a perfect score.
     
  8. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    How do you get them to do anything? When I grade papers, I immediately put in zeros for missing work, whether they were absent or asleep or just didn't do it. The zero stays until it is turned in. That way they know what their grade is if they don't do the work.
     
  9. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    If they do not have it turned in instead of a zero the student receives half credit. We do not tell the students that is exactly how it works, but nothing goes in the grade book less than half credit. So the students are not begin excused from the work, that is different. It still counts against them, just not as badly as if it were a zero in the gradebook.
    Our school got the idea from other schools in the area and the idea has started to grow.
     
  10. Bioguru

    Bioguru Companion

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    My physics classes are given about half the period to accomplish as much of their homework as possible (with a maximum of 8 problems, 20 minutes is usually sufficient to complete 6/8 problems). If they don't have it turned in the next day it's a zero. I used to vigilantly pursue homework, but as classes have gotten larger I just don't put up with it. As juniors and seniors they know the drill.
     
  11. CindyBlue

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    I just don't understand it. If they do NO work, then they have EARNED zero credit. Period.
    If we "give" them half credit for no work, what kind of a lesson is this for their future...so you have a job, and do NO work, but can still earn a paycheck? (Oops, just realized that there may be some truth in this...it may be more reality than I know (smile!))
     
  12. Mrs.DLC

    Mrs.DLC Comrade

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    Jan 12, 2012

    I give them.
     
  13. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Missing work is a zero until it is turned in. I give all late work full credit. In my school, sometimes it is not the fault of the child that the work is missing, and I can't justify taking points off for that.
     
  14. jwteacher

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    I would never take off points for late work. The point of grades is to showcase a student's mastery of specific curricular objectives, not whether they turned in an assignment at a specific time.

    There's a book called How to Grade for Learning that has a very logical approach in what we should value in grading.
     
  15. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I don't give grades on homework, but I do give zeros if assignments are not turned in. I can't grade what I don't have.
     
  16. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I do give zeros, and I don't accept late work. Homework is 10% mandated at my school.

    My students get a homework packet, and they have about 8 days to complete it (we're on block). By the end of those 8 days, we're moving on. I can't grade what I don't have; and I'm not grading work that was cobbled together post haste hoping to bring up a grade at the end of the quarter.

    Interestingly, a couple schools in my district are piloting a 50% for work not turned in. I don't understand it at all - they didn't do it; how can you give it 50%?
     
  17. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I still don't get it. If you think that you will bomb a test, why not just skip it? You'll make a 50% anyway.
     
  18. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    I think that the philosophy is that a 0% brings a grade down a whole lot more than a 100% brings a grade up. These schools are essentially redefining 0% as 50% to stop the missing work from destroying the grade.
     
  19. Mrs.DLC

    Mrs.DLC Comrade

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    I agree, Kate, but it seems unfair to me to someone who EARNED a 55 or 60!! Oh, well,school policies are always interesting!
     
  20. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I get that, but 50% is only 10 points from passing in some districts. So, you automatically start with a 50. Our final exams are worth 25% of a semester grade. So you get a 50% doing no work all semester, study for the exam, and make an A on the final and pass the course with a D. It just doesn't make sense why students would try to do anything besides the bare minimum. It just seems like yet another way to lower the standards in the name of increasing graduation rates.
     
  21. CindyBlue

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    Then...shouldn't the student do the work, so their missing work doesn't destroy their own grade?
     
  22. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    This is the rational behind it. That it is a disservice for the students to be in a hole that big it is hard to get out of. The idea behind it is intended that students are required to complete everything, if they don't do it the first time, teachers are to take the time to get the student to do the work somehow. If the student does the work, but gets a grade lower, they are suppose to retake it until they have a high enough grade. Though that retake number is different than the 50%.
     
  23. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    That is my feeling today.

    As for comments as to why would students try to do any of the work at all. Well, some students actually want to do more than get a 50% on some thing. At the same time, we do not tell the students they are getting a 50 on it. I attempt to word it differently so I am not lying, but so they know they are losing points.
     
  24. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    I don't give a grade for homework. I do however check that it's done and to see if maybe I need to help that student with understanding. If you don't do your homework on a consistent basis you come in at lunch to do it. I give all the homework all the homework for the week on Monday. I give them an assignment sheet that tells them what to do and when. As for missing work I don't give zeros because for the most part we don't move on until everyone has turned it in. If there is a child that is having trouble and needs a few more minutes or extra help our tutors help them. Now this year I have some students that choose not to do work. At the beginning of the year I spoke with parents and asked them to talk to their child about doing their work. I did let them make it up at another time. Now that we are half way done with first grade I am no longer just letting them sit there and not have a consequence. So they are getting zeros. Both my principal and the parents are very understanding of the reasons behind this policy. This goes for daily work and tests. One of them went from an A in reading to a C in reading very quickly. I am hoping that this is finally going to work so that he will do his work.
     
  25. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    What happens when these kids get into high school, college or a job that DOES have deadlines that have to be met?
     
  26. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    That was the same approach used by my CT. She told me she used to drive herself crazy trying to keep up with missed assignments and finally decided it was just too much effort that could be used more productively on other things. So her policy now is 2 days. If a student is absent or misses an assignment, they have 2 days after they return to make it up. If a student is present in class, but just doesn't DO the assignment, they get a "0".

    Last year, I also just graded homework for completion rather than accuracy because homework is just practice, etc etc. Looking back, I'm not sure that was such a good policy. I allowed students to check their own work and covered every problem in class, asking and checking for understanding as I went, but some kids just would not speak up. Since I graded on completion rather than accuracy, I didn't look at every HW problem on every paper as closely as I would have otherwise, so it was hard to tell when some students were struggling with the content.

    In elementary school, such policies might be alright. By middle school and high school, though, students need to accept more responsibility for doing the assignments AND getting them right.

    Also, since the students knew their homework was NOT graded on accuracy and that HW only counted as 10% of their overall grade, some of them chose to NOT do any work at all. Even though it was only 10%, a few zeroes could still bring their overall grade down a lot faster than several 100's could bring it up. So I told the students that NOT doing the work was not an option in the class. Those that did not complete work when it was assigned ended up staying in from recess and completing it then. Once I made that change, the amount of homework being completed improved quickly.
     
  27. joe22k

    joe22k Rookie

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    At my school I can't put anything in the gradebook below a 60%. If students do nothing they still get a 60%. It is frustrating because students know this and will tell you that they wont do an assignment because the teacher still has to give them a 60
     
  28. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    While I do not agree with the policy my school currently has in place, I understand their reasoning for it. Not allowing anything below a 60 does not make any sense. That makes impossible for a student to fail. If you take away anything below 60, its like giving them an automatic pass.
     
  29. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Well in some districts like mine we have an 8 point grading scale instead of 10. So a 60% would not be passing

    I give zeros. If you don't turn in the work then you get the zero. It's what you earned. Students can turn it in next class for partial credit. After that I won't take it for a grade but I will go over it with them so they can understand the material.
     
  30. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Never understood the purpose behind the different grading scales.
     
  31. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    TBH, neither do I. I hate it. I'm forever having to double check the scale. I usually look at a paper and read it and go this is definitely C level work but then that's really an 82 or whatever instead of the 75 I was thinking. I'm guessing I'll eventually get used to it? The kids hate it.
     
  32. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    We have two different grading scales in our district: one for general phase courses, and one for honors and AP courses. I have some classes that are mixed phase, so half the class is on a 10-point scale, and the other half is on a 7-point scale. It so frustrating to differentiate the work that much, and the students are always confused about their grades.
     
  33. kimberlyalice

    kimberlyalice Rookie

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    I have a classwork/homework participation category worth 10%-20% of the students' grade (depending on the class.) Most homework the students had time to start in class, what is not finished is homework. Before we discuss or check the assignment the next day, I check that they have it and it's complete. If so, they get 1 pt (out of 1), if not then they get a M (missing) or INC (incomplete) which calculate as a 0.
     
  34. GoldenPoppy

    GoldenPoppy Habitué

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    We don't have a problem with late or missing work at our school. Homework and classwork is only accepted on the day it is due. If a student does not have the work to hand in they get detention that afternoon to complete the work. Finish it in detention and it gets graded as if it were on time. Don't do it in detention and the grade is recorded as a zero. The only exception to this is for larger projects. They will be accepted up to 2 days late with a reduction of 1 letter grade for each day it is late.

    A child's time in my class is a combination of learning content and responsibility. I grade accordingly.
     
  35. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I am VERY OPPOSED to the idea of plugging in a score other than a zero when a student doesn't complete the assignment. I have learned of several school requiring teachers give credit when no work has been submitted and it just 1) baffles me, and 2) frustrates me.
     
  36. Nathan6329

    Nathan6329 Rookie

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    I think for one night homework assignments it should have to be turned it when it is due to receive any credit but for projects and papers and other long term assignments it wouldn't be fair to give a 0 for it just being late. I think more like a 10 percent reduction per day sounds more reasonable. However, I am only a college student. What do I know?
     
  37. Mrs.DLC

    Mrs.DLC Comrade

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    Nathan, I'm sure you know a lot!:) I don't take off for late work, but will give a zero for no work!!
     
  38. Love to Teach

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    :yeahthat:
    :agreed: Well said. :)
     
  39. each1teach1

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    If I do not have a students paper when I grade papers and input them in the system, I give them a zero and mark it as missing. Then in the comment box, I'll put the reason. The only two options are: "Absent" and "Did not submit work on due date" When I get it, if they were absent, when they submit, they're still eligible for full credit (unless they took longer than the allotted time- two days for every day they missed). If it was just late, the highest they can get is a 70.
     
  40. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    We do zeros for no work also, unless the principal steps in....then everything changes.

    I had a principal one year who, after being contacted by the parents of a girl in the senior class who just sat and stared out the window most of the year, told us to give her all of her "make-up work" from September to June so that we could revise each quarter's grade and make her eligible for graduation.

    That happened a few years ago, but is becoming a frequent trend, especially with regard to things like the senior English paper, which they have 20 weeks to research and complete. The number of students that get caught plagiarizing their work gets larger every year and that's supposed to be an instant "F" for the final senior English grade. However, the principal routinely intervenes alows them to graduate.


    :banghead:
     
  41. tchr4evr

    tchr4evr Companion

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    We not supposed to give zeros either, but some do, some don't. We also are required to allow students to make up work whenever they want. We are required to take late work, which I have a huge problem with, and now, we are having a weekly amnesty day. One day a week we have to set aside class time for students to makeup work that they missed. Many of us are livid!
     

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