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  #21  
Old 11-13-2012, 05:14 PM
bondo bondo is offline
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Good arguments by both sides. Does anyone think that maybe we schools use the system they have because that is what is at the next level? Colleges are more strict than high school, but the same idea prevails. I don't know if I would argue for a change in college grading. Students need to have a certain level of mastery when entering a profession. If high school work if prep for college work, then shouldn't the grading scale be similar? (I am on the fence of whether or not high school's goal should be college prep. I think I lean more towards "world" prep, with options for classes that are geared toward college level work.)
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  #22  
Old 11-13-2012, 05:31 PM
mamadeb mamadeb is offline
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If we have to meet state benchmarks at 80% or higher then students have to obtain 80% or better or it's an "I" for Incomplete. There are no other grades or percentages needed.
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  #23  
Old 11-13-2012, 05:58 PM
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catnfiddle catnfiddle is offline
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Wow, that's rough! Is this for all grades or are only certain grades tested?
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  #24  
Old 11-14-2012, 04:31 AM
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Cerek Cerek is offline
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When it comes to the question of "Why do I have to do homework?" in math, I often use a sports analogy. Every student in the class knows how to shoot a free throw, but some are much better than others because they have spent more time practicing and improving the skill. In any content class, the students have to practice with the material to become proficient with it.

The same sports analogy holds true in the argument of grades measuring "mastery of content" vs "work done to practice content". I don't think anyone would dispute that Lebron James, Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan were masters of their craft - but all three STILL had to practice their skills constantly to continue improving their skill. Michael Jordan was explosive going to the basket, but he also got hammered by opposing players every time he drove to the basket, so he learned that he had to add weight training to his regimen to increase his body mass and strength to endure the punishment he was going to receive. Lebron and Kobe were both explosive players as well, but neither went to college where they would have been forced to work on other skills like outside jump shots. As a result, they were still somewhat one-dimensional when they first entered the NBA and - as good as they both were - they both eventually realized they had to improve those other skills to become a true master of the game.

The point is that everyone can benefit from practice. For some, it is just honing skills they already have. For most, though, the practice is essential to reach an acceptable level of proficiency so they can advance to the next level.
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  #25  
Old 11-14-2012, 11:29 PM
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Mamacita Mamacita is offline
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Continuing with a sports analogy, would we support the mother who came tearing down the bleachers demanding that her darling get a point for TRYING to make a basket but failing to do so? It's so not fair (whine whine) that her child not get a point for trying when he worked so hard. . . it's not fair that his results be calculated like the results of the kids who have better skills. Sure, the better kids practiced a lot while Billy here blew it off and played all day, but even so. Doesn't EVERY kid deserve points for trying really hard during the actual game? And what if no amount of hard work will make Billy hit that basket? A pity point? For sports?

Absolutely not. It would be ridiculous.

And yet, we hand pity points out for academics all the time, for pretty much the same things.

The best actors get the leads. The best musicians get the spotlight. The best athletes get to start. Sure, we cheer and support the kids who are led around by the hand (literally and figuratively) and rightly so, but the real points/leads/spotlights are for those who practiced when the others played video games, and actually EARNED them.

Self esteem is earned, too, or it's just a joke. Every kid in the world knows this; why is it so hard for some adults? A trophy for showing up and trying hard is a boost for Mom and Dad, not the kid. The kids know who earned the trophies; the parents just want their kid to have one.

After all those athletic awards programs at the MS, I used to hear the kids laughing in the restrooms and halls. They knew who really earned the awards, even if their parents were ecstatic at Billy's getting one for sitting.

I can always tell when my college freshmen graduated via effort and genuine learning, and when they got a diploma, a pat on the back for trying, and a sigh of relief that they're finally gone. We have open enrollment. Sometimes it's a good thing; sometimes it isn't. At this level, each individual student has to prove knowledge and understanding. Showing up and talking big doesn't cut it here. Blowing off class for vacations and sleeping in and better-things-that-came-up don't cut it, either. Great tickets to Cancun the week before or after Spring Break? Life is full of choices. You would not BELIEVE the whining - often from their parents.

In the lounge, we sigh and say these students are here via the "Parental Fantasy Plan."

It starts when they're little.
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  #26  
Old 11-14-2012, 11:31 PM
JustMe JustMe is offline
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I agree, Mamacita!
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  #27  
Old 11-15-2012, 04:23 AM
Shanoo Shanoo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamacita View Post
Self esteem is earned, too, or it's just a joke. Every kid in the world knows this; why is it so hard for some adults? A trophy for showing up and trying hard is a boost for Mom and Dad, not the kid. The kids know who earned the trophies; the parents just want their kid to have one.

After all those athletic awards programs at the MS, I used to hear the kids laughing in the restrooms and halls. They knew who really earned the awards, even if their parents were ecstatic at Billy's getting one for sitting.
You're absolutely right. I hear kids joke about it all the time. I had a student last week come to me with a math problem he had tried. He had made a few mistakes and we worked it out together. I told him that he had had the right idea, but made a few missteps along the way. He kinda laughed, with a sheepish smirk on his face and said "well, I'll still get my trophy" and went back to his seat. The kids know it's a joke.
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  #28  
Old 11-15-2012, 09:52 AM
MsAdministrator MsAdministrator is offline
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It's complex in that the grade should really indicate the degree of mastery, in my opinion. It is also hard to tell what constitutes a "reasonable attempt". I think we have all had students who would do something exceptionally rushed, demonstrating no effort, and turn it in. In this case, I definitely don't think the student should receive a grade higher than a zero or at few points above. I personally always think about it as preparing the kids for the real world. In the real world, an employer won't care that the worker made an attempt. She/he will be looking for something appropriately successful. If we teach students that attempts are as good as successes, it seems that we may run the risk of establishing this false impression.
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  #29  
Old 11-15-2012, 10:18 AM
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Sarge Sarge is offline
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I think that a student who makes zero attempt to do an in-class assignment is a classroom management and behavior issue.

If I have a student who has assigned work they are required to use their class time to do it. They are not allowed to sit and do nothing without recieving some sort of consequence.
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  #30  
Old 11-15-2012, 11:28 AM
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catnfiddle catnfiddle is offline
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Since ALL my assignments are de facto homework, I try to see the smaller ones as the formative, short-cycle assessments. It's how I know the students are gaining enough understanding of the material before they leap straight into the summative assessment. In other words, if they don't turn in the homework, I have no idea how to fix what might go wrong when they take the test / attempt the project.
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