Accepting Late Work...

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Brendan, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    For the past few years I have not accepted late work. My prinicpal has not mandated that we must accept it or must not, though. I keep asking my self though, in the real world isn't late work accepted, but with peanlties? For example, if you do not pay your credit card at time the companies do allow you to turn in late, but with a penalty. However, I know from being a lawyer that not completing work on time may result in your being fired, however you could always ask for a continuaince from the judge, but then again you are penalized as the judge will be annoyed. What are your thoughts on late work? Do you accepted/not. What is the penalty?
     
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  3. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    I will accept late homework and minor assignments, however, major assignments with firm due dates must be turned in on time. They get plenty of reminders, and there will be situations in life where missing a deadline will have non-negotiable consequences.
     
  4. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I accept late work. I deduct 10% each day it is late. We are encouraged (but not mandated) to accept late work for the reason you stated ... late work in the real world is still excepted usually with penalties applied.

    Late work is turned in to me, not the tray. Students write LATE and the number of days on the top.
     
  5. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I don't accept homework late since any individual homework assignment isn't worth that much anyway. I will accept projects past the due date, but with a 10 point per day deduction.
     
  6. fuzed_fizzion

    fuzed_fizzion Comrade

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    I accept late work, but a student can only get 1/2 credit maximum on it. I also only take it for 1 month after it was assigned. After a month I will not take late assigments.
     
  7. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I like that idea, I have also been thinking about allowing 2-3 late assignments per term without penalty and then the rest of them are a zero. In college though, most professors that I had would never accept late assignments. In my syllabus I do not accept late work, but drop the lowest homework and classwork grade each term.
     
  8. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    When I was in secondary, I alway accepted late work with a penalty for two reasons.

    First, in the real world, late work is accepted more often than not. Deadlines are extended, late payments are accepted, extensions are granted etc. Why, just today, a contractor has informed me that some work on my house is going to happen 6-8 weeks later than originally planned.

    The other reason is that the non-acceptance of late work can be twisted by many kids into an excuse to not do it. When a teacher says "I don't accept late work" he or she runs the risk of putting kids in a situation where they have completely tanked their grade very early in the term.

    If a kid has goofed off the first two months of the semester, it's a lot easier to motivate them to work their butt off to get a B- than it is to get a barely passing D.

    Moreover, students can sometimes convince their parents that the teacher is at fault for their failure - "Ms. ______ doesn't take late assignments. I would have done it, but she doesn't accept late work so it's her fault I didn't do it."

    One more thing. I found that kids either turned in late work or they didn't. If a kid didn't have the assignment on the due date, chances were that they were never going to do it regardless of my late work policy. If a student did show up with late work, most likely there was some kind of underlying reason that the work was late. Maybe not a good reason, but a reason nonetheless.
     
  9. Doug_HSTeach_07

    Doug_HSTeach_07 Comrade

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    Yes, that's how I feel. Students need to show accountability. I hate accepting late work; I feel like any time a kid turns in an assignment 1 week late it must have been copied. And going by the 10% rule, he only gets 1/2 off...what?? I don't think so! I do accept late work, but I dock 1/2 credit off for a couple days, and then I don't accept the papers anymore.

    On big projects, there are no exceptions, and there shouldn't be barring some disaster.
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I do not accept late work. In the academic world, due dates are important and should be treated as such.

    I don't believe in penalties which affect student grades because I believe that grades should be pure and reflect only a student's demonstrated mastery of a subject.

    Consider this scenario: A student can demonstrate mastery of a topic but is habitually late turning in assignments. At the end of the year, the student earns a D on account of late work, even though the student's demonstrated mastery showed that the student fully understood the concept--which should have earned the student an A. Is that fair? I don't think it is, so I won't do it.

    Assignments which aren't turned in are given a score of zero. I don't like giving the zero, but I can't give points when a student can't demonstrate mastery.
     
  11. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    See I disagree here. If a student can demostrate mastery after the due date of an assignment doesn't that still show that they have demonstrated mastery.
     
  12. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Here's my take as a parent....

    My child's school district allows late work as a district policy. Here's how it works. They can turn in anything until right before the 9 week period report cards. They have like 5 days before the date that the report cards are finalized. I have big issues with this. This means that if something is due on day 2 of the 9 week period, it really isn't due until week 8. My child's teacher came up to me 2 days before that cut off period and told me he had 14 assignments that were late in that one class and he had 2 days to get them caught up or he failed.

    My child is barely able to keep himself organized. This doesn't help. I DO agree with a late assignment policy but not more than a day or two. I also think there needs to be a cap of some sort. It is easy to forget it at home, etc. We, as adults, forget things but have a car to turn back around to go get it if we truly need it, for example. Should there be a penalty? Yes.
     
  13. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    My late homework policy is this:
    They lose 10% per day late. After 5 days, they cannot turn it in. (they'd be getting no more than 50% anyway.)
    I also give out 1 homework pass per marking period (plus a birthday pass - June & summer birthdays are given out at the beginning of the year.) Now, typically my hw is worth 5 points. Hand-in assignments can be worth 10 pts. IF they do not use their hw pass, then they turn it in at the end of the marking period for 10 pts extra credit. However, if they turn it in at the end of the marking period and they are missing a hw, the pass is applied to the hw - so they only get 5 pts. I figure that this will encourage some students to do their hw. I'm also dealing with a class that rarely had hw last year. 1 student already didn't do his first assignment - or turn it in late.
     
  14. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    My reason for not accepting homework is because any individual assignment isn't worth that much in the overall grading scale. A student who misses even 3-4 homeworks in a given grading period won't see a huge decline in their grade. I give homework every single class period (block schedules, so 5 classes every two weeks). We only give "interim" reports every nine weeks, and the "real" grades come out every 18. That's 45 homeworks in a grading period. I divide the number they turned in by the number I assigned and that grade is only worth 10 percent of their final grade. Homework, to me, shows practice, not mastery. A student who has a bad week or a bad couple of days isn't going to see their grade suffer, but a student who is an habitual offender can really see an effect in the grade (and a student who regularly doesn't do homework isn't going to do well on exams either).

    Projects, on the other hand, are worth a LOT more, so I give them the chance to turn them in late, but with penalties. I never thought of the "real world" reason, but I like it. 10 points off the grade they would have recieved per day (class meeting) is a pretty big hit.

    I also, in the first week, go through the grading process, and show them how the math works out. Even the 6th graders have seen percentages before, so I like to use it as a "review". One of their first small projects is to take a fake grading book and compute the grades of three fake students. There's an "A" student, a student who occasionally turns stuff in late and misses homework from time to time, and a student who rarely turns in homework and projects. The test and quiz grades for these fake students reflect the average student with the respective study skills. The students really like the project, and I feel like it helps them take ownership of their grades if they fully understand how it's being computed (I came up with this idea last year in the second 18 weeks when I had a lot of whining about how the grades they got were a "suprise").
     
  15. wunderwhy

    wunderwhy Comrade

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    I don't think we can be expected to duplicate the natural consequences of turning work in late in the outside world. That said, I do think it's important to allow our students to experience some consequences for not meeting due dates.

    My consequences are: homework is NOT accepted late. No exceptions. It was assigned to prepare the student for class, and the "pre" in prepare means "before." Once that class is over, the preparation is irrelevant.

    For papers, I'll take off ten points a day, which is a grade and a half each day.

    I do give students one late pass per semester. This is because I do believe that sometimes we just have a bad day, and we hope for a little grace when that happens. This also saves me a lot of headaches because at the beginning of the year I always get a lot of whining from parents and students.

    This is because the 9th grade honors teacher is very lax. I can't tell you how many kids have congregated around me each day since school began, whining and begging for more time on their summer reading assignments. Sigh. At least I can say, well, you can use your card, but that means you must keep your requests to leave the room at no more than 4 a semester and you won't have the card later if this happens again and will receive a zero in that case.

    I am not lax. The 11th grade teacher has not had a single student ask for more time. Yes, they're a year older when she gets them, but it's all about consistency. Otherwise, a deadline means nothing. It's not fun saying NO and TOO BAD to kids who are genuinely experiencing panic and stress at expectations they've never been held to before, but ultimately I believe I am helping them along the path to a successful adulthood.
     
  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Then you have to be willing to accept the assignment at any time for full points. It was due in September but the kid turns it in in May? Full credit. You can get into all that if you want, but I'm telling you it's going to be a nightmare in the week before grades are due.

    What I'm saying is even if you do accept late work, there must be some limit, right? You're not going to accept September assignments in May.

    I guess I see it like this: By me not accepting any late work at all, I'm not delaying the inevitable. I'm setting a deadline and sticking to it, rather than allowing students chance after chance after chance to do a thing they should have done on time in the first place. Yes, in the real world you are sometimes allowed leeway with deadlines...but not always. If I'm late on my mortgage habitually, I'm out. If I'm late to work and my students are without a teacher for an hour, I'm fired.

    In my experience, most students are late on assignments because they were a) not organized, b) lazy. I refuse to help facilitate or enable either trait by allowing them to continue to be that way.



    My grading rubric (the one I use generally for translation assignments--the bulk of the grades in my gradebook) looks like:

    0 - Not completed / not attempted / not translated into English (or Latin, depending on the assignment)
    1 - Significant errors in vocabulary and/or grammar make comprehension difficult or impossible
    2 - Errors are present, but comprehension is possible with significant effort
    3 - Product is understandable, but errors prevent easy comprehension
    4 - Product is easily understandable; errors do not detract from readability or comprehension

    I tell my students that a paper that earns a "2" will have the same kinds of errors (subject/verb agreement; adjective agreement, etc.) as a "3", but will have more of them. I also stress that a "4" does not have to be perfect, but instead that the errors that are present are minor in nature and few in number.


    If a student doesn't complete an assignment, I have no choice but to give a 0--0 is for no attempt. They did not demonstrate any kind of mastery on the time-table I allowed. There will likely be another chance during final exams for the student to demonstrate mastery in that area if the student wants to take his or her sweet time.
     
  17. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I think I am going to allow students three get out of jail free cards per term. They will alow them to extend a day on a quiz/test or turn in a homework assignment late one day. I am doing this becuase alot of my students are in all honors/AP classes and do deserve an occasional break. I would much rather the student use the pass then not come to my class that day becuase they have had 3 other tests that day.
     
  18. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Brendon, one of my professors had a similar philosophy. My minor was English Lit, and it was one of my 400 level lit courses. She told us staight out that deadlines were set in stone UNLESS we kept her informed of overwhelming schedules. If we approached her before a paper was due and explained why it would be extremely difficult or impossible to complete the paper on time due to other projects, tests, and reasonable personal issues, she would happily extend the deadline. The key was that we had to be proactive. If we were responsible enough to have the foresight and preparation to know that a due date was coming the day of three major exams and another paper, then she would let us off the hook for a couple days.
     
  19. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I probably hold the record for the successful completion of an assignment past the deadline.

    I took my senior writing project at the end of my junior year in college. That was the spring of quarter of 1990. It was customary for professors to give students an incomplete in that class if they needed more time.

    I needed more time. Specifically, the summer. Which was sort of how I planned it - to be able to work on the project over the summer.

    Then Iraq invaded Kuwait and about a month before school started, my reserve unit was activated. I spent what was supposed to be my senior year on active duty with the Air Force.

    While on active duty, my entire education was frozen in time. Including incompletes. I was de-activated in July of 1991. The clock started then.

    Work, school, and some other military commitments kept me from finishing the project right away. One quarter I did an internship.

    However another factor was that I needed to change the focus of my research and what was required to be about a 15 page paper turned into a 30 page paper.

    I finished the paper the night before I was to walk for graduation. I turned it in en route from graduation to a party at my parents house.

    I got an A.
     
  20. fuzed_fizzion

    fuzed_fizzion Comrade

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    In my school district middle school students earn effort grades and benchmark grades. Homework is part of the effort grade. Various assessments are for the benchmark grade. It is easier to take into account a student who has mastered the material but has done little work along the way towards that mastery.
     
  21. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    I allow lateness with 10% loss pr day late for projects. Homework is due the day it's due or it gets a zero.

    I am working harder this year on having my grades reflect what they know about the subject matter. No more points gained or lost based on preparedness for class or behavior. I allowed this last year as a 1st year teacher and I really saw how some very polite and prepared students earned way higher grades in my math class than they should have. But I do still feel fine about accepting work a few days late with a penalty.
     
  22. Lindsay.Lou

    Lindsay.Lou Companion

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    I accept late work at all time, but only for 1/2 credit.
     
  23. Historyteaching

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    For 9 week projects, I do not accept late work, they get the information at the beginning of the 9 weeks and are reminded via my mouth and on the board throughout the grading period. If it is below 50 points, I do not accept late work. If it is above 50 points, they have 2 days with a 10 point deduction each day. Our school mandates if its excused absence, they have as many days that they are absent to turn it in. Unexcused-discretion of teacher.
     
  24. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    I let them have three late HW per quarter. They have to fill out a form saying why they didn't complete their HW and turn it in with the rest of the class's HW, then turn in the completed HW by the next day to earn full credit. I keep the form they filled out for use with administration or parents, if needed. This has been pretty successful over the years - the kids appreciate the chance to get credit for their HW, and don't "check out" for the quarter!
     
  25. ELA 11 12

    ELA 11 12 Companion

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    I always take late work without penalties. My job is to teach so students master skills. If the students take zeros, they may never learn skill sets. If a teacher "covers material" that teacher may also be covering up student weakness by moving on before the students are ready.

    Open your door during preparation periods, invite students to do a working lunch with you. Once they have skills and find success they will begin turning in assignments on time.

    This does initially create more work for the teacher. It's much easier for me to offer my preparation periods as, after 10 years, I have my curriculum well planned. Because I spend less time planning I spend more time teaching and improving my instructional techniques.

    One way to get around deadlines, is to strongly encourage students to let you know in ADVANCE if they are struggling and need more time. Have a clause that says, "I am the teacher, I decide the rules, so if I decide to extend the deadline, I will extend the deadline." Again, once the students catch on, the late work will be of such higher quality, you will be happy to take it late. If you hear a student say, "I hate this..." chances are the student does not have the skills to complete the assignment successfully.

    Don't offer extra credit. Force students to make up the initial work at no penalty and consider that extra credit. Extra credit inflates grades and does not accurately represent student learning.

    Lastly, I read once that if students start their homework before they leave class they are more likely to finish it. That concept works well with my teaching style. As a matter of fact, all writing is done in class and only reading is assigned for homework.

    I hope this helps, Brendan!
     
  26. Hazel QT

    Hazel QT Rookie

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    I would not accept late homework assignments or any other minor assignments. However, I would be more understanding about major assignments such as research papers. I feel that there is no good reason for a homework assignment being late.
     
  27. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Believe it or not, my whole school operates under a policy very similar to ELA 11/12, and it really does work. We have a "No Zero" policy in our building. All work is expected to be turned in--no exceptions. We hound them if they don't turn something in, and each Friday, we are expected to send a list of any student who has a zero to the principal. She then hounds them some more until it's done. At first, we had a lot of zeros, but now in our 3rd year of doing this, most of the students turn in most of their work.
     
  28. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I have tried every type of late work policy in the past 20 years of teaching. Unfortunately my kids do not have free periods, some of the Special Ed kids do, but since I teach honors none of my kids are SPED. I do agree though when students are not completing assignments it often means that they don't understand the material or I hate to say this are lazy. I like the idea of accepting late assignments in the way which it promotes mastery of the concept.

    However, aren't we also responsible for teaching the life skill of timeliness. If sometimes you do not have a major project for work done on time without being proactive with your boss and letting him/her know, you probably will be fired. I am thinking of implementing a policy that accepts no MAJOr assignments late without first speaking with the me. In regards to daily work becuase I have so many daily homework and classwork grades (I grade EVERYTHING, this ensures my kids give me their best work; always) I will accept three assignments late per term without penalty as well as dropping their lowest score. I have yet to decide if after the 3 late assignments if I will give a zero, half credit, 10 pts off per day, etc.
     
  29. ELA 11 12

    ELA 11 12 Companion

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    You teach at a very demanding school! Your concerns are valid and your disciplinary/behavioral approach has been an accepted practice for years. There must be some merit to it, no?

    If they, the students, are attending class 8-9 periods each day with only a lunch break, they are learning to prioritize work much like blue and white collar workers do. If they score your district's minimum passing grade in your class, or take summer classes to make the grade, it's no different than decisions made in the corporate world.

    We can't teach both responsibility and skills/subject matter. Something has to give. When I was an editor for a fortune 500 company, I learned to focus more on the big accounts and spent less time on the less lucrative. Would I have preferred to help the "little man"? Absolutely. That's why I teach in a rural public school.

    Ultimately work with what you have and if you feel guilty, change your policies. Your gut instinct is correct more often than not.
     
  30. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I actually totally disagree with this.

    I would be doing a huge disservice to my students if I taught them Latin but didn't teach the life skills they need to apply that knowledge successfully in real life.
     
  31. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    My biggest issue in accepting late work is the amount of copying done by those turning in late work. I have no proof because I have already returned the graded assignments - but I know in the previous years when I did accept late work, most of it was copied. This issue was one of the main reasons I no longer accept work more than 2 days late.

    Secondly, I think I have mentioned this before when this discussion has come, but deadlines and due dates mean something in school and the real world. Case in point - my DD is in her fourth week of her freshman year in college. She graduated with a 3.56 on an academic track and is a very smart girl. Guess what she is having trouble with now - when Profs say due next class meeting, they really mean due next class period and no late work is accepted.
     
  32. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    My kids have 7 classes a semester and you can only take study hall (we call it study skills) if you are recommened to. Its demanding school, but we score extremely well on the AP and SAT exams (My whole class year got 4s and 5s).

    I agree with Cassie though.I worked as a lawyer for a huge law firm, so I know what you are talking about, in school as in the work place you need to priortize, however this does not mean you neglect everything else. A little client can still fire you if you do not do things in a timely manner.
     
  33. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    I will never understand a teacher who tells a student "No, I won't take that late."

    Really? Then why did you assign it in the first place? If you are assigning work for any reason other than to instruct or assess you are wasting your students' time. Assuming that is your purpose why would you ever tell a kid you wouldn't take it?

    I promise my students day 1 that everything they do in my class will matter and as such I will always take late work.

    My job is to teach what the law tells me to teach which is social studies. If I want to teach something else, I'll get another job. I was hired by the state to do what the people of California (or at least their representatives) want me to do. They pay me to teach the standards, period. Anything that gets in the way of that just doesn't make sense. I would love it if my school went to a no zero policy.

    Now, all that aside, ask yourself what type of student actually takes time to do late work. Most kids who miss work aren't going to make it up regardless. Those kids who miss an assignment here or there because life happened shouldn't be hammered because of it if they are willing to handle it. Learning to address those situations is a far more usefull life skill than lying to kids and telling them you can't ever be late in life.
     
  34. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I agree with you to an extent, however I think it all depends on your school. If I accepted late work without penalty man of my kids (both Honors and CP) would never complete work on-time and would just be bogged down with work and never get ahead. The late work penalty is a way to encourage work being turned in on time. Most students in my school would think they have an unlimited amount of time for work, and would do it eventually, but not on time. If we allow this what are we teaching them that it is okay to come to work in the real world and have your part of an important project done when you feel like, not your client or boss. Do I sympathize with the occasional mishap leading to makeup work? Yes, this is why I allow three late assignments per quarter for daily work and small projects. Large projects though they have had enough notice and unless their is a huge problem the assignment is not accepted kate.
     

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