Do you always give back grades?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Jerseygirlteach, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Mar 12, 2013

    Sounds like a silly question, but here's the thing. My students (special ed) lack maturity at times. If some of them receive a poor grade on something, they feel defeated and they cry, pout, and sometimes refuse to take an assessment in that subject the next time. But the assessments helps me gauge where they're at so I want to still give it. I could just not give it back, but is that fair to them or fair to their parents?

    Thoughts?
     
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  3. MissApple

    MissApple Companion

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    Mar 12, 2013

    I try to always give them back (I also teach special ed), but they most often just get tossed in the trash. If the class overall has done poorly, I may give them a chance to correct their answers, compare answers in groups or we go over it as a class so it becomes a learning opportunity.
     
  4. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Are you the teacher of record? I teach resource and am, therefore, not the teacher of record. All assessments I give are truly for me to see where they are and to report progress towards their IEP goals. They are not for grades in the grade book. I almost never give back assessments, as I keep them in the students' portfolios to share at conferences/meetings and to show growth over time. I will, at times, share the assessments results with students, but I usually do this when I want to show them their gains from one assessment to the next (i.e. pre vs. post scores). I also make sure to always tell them that the assessments are to help me know what I need to teach them rather than to trick them and make them feel bad about themselves. As for parents, they know they can ask me at any time to share how their student is progressing towards his/her IEP goals. Although, most parents I work with tend to be rather uninvolved.

    Now if you're the teacher who enters grades on their report cards, you might need to send more assessments home than I do. However, I would still recommend you teach your students to look for personal growth from one score to the next rather than looking to see if they failed another assessment. Let them know that you use those assessments to guide your instruction. When explained in student-friendly terms, many students are able to grasp and appreciate this concept.
     
  5. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    I would say that, instead of not passing back assessments, design a few social skills lessons on accepting undesirable outcomes maturely and responsibly. This is a skill they will need for many years and in many situations, so it would be worth it to dedicate some class time to role playing and practicing appropriate behavior.
     
  6. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    If you are not the teacher of record, then I see no reason to dwell on when a student does poorly. You can definitely track their progress and talk about how sometimes we have a bad day or the passage was a bit harder due to vocabulary or not having schema.

    However, if you are the teacher of record, and the assignment is for a grade, I would give the assignment back. If the assignment is only for informal assessment (not a grade), then I don't always give these back until the end of a unit. I like to see the growth and keep them to help me direct my teaching.
     
  7. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Mar 12, 2013

    As another thought, you could always given back grades once a week. Maybe send home all work on Fridays. You could even put it into a folder so that they don't look at the assignments until they get home.
     
  8. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Mar 12, 2013

    I send everything home every Friday in their Friday folders. I cannot hang on to all that work!
     
  9. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    As a general rule I would give them back to students. I would always show parents. There are pre-tests that I don't show students. I think you might be okay making an exception for a really poor test, but in general I think they have a right to know their scores and performance.
     
  10. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Mar 13, 2013

    Parents need to see it.

    You can use it as a teachable moment or send home the weeks grades on Fridays
     
  11. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Yes, I'm the teacher of record. I teach self-contained so I am their only teacher (except for specials). We discuss social skills all the time such as managing expectations, handling disappoints, looking at a low grade as an opportunity for improvement, etc. Most of my students handle it okay but I have a few of them who still do not handle it well. Two of my girls cry and stomp their feet, one of my girls gets enraged, and then refuses to take the assessment the next time, and one of my boys (who is EBD) has serious meltdowns. If it were just a question of a few sad faces, then I wouldn't think twice about it. But the drama that ensues can be so much that it actually gives me a bit of a tummy ache as I anticipate their reaction.

    ETA - I'm not trying to slight their previous teachers, but I know that my program is the most academic program they've had. In the past, they hardly ever had tests and a typical day was probably 50% academics (heavily modified) and 50% crafts/game time/read-alouds/etc. So, they're not really used to so many grades coming back to them. BTW, I heavily modify our work as well. But, I know that I hold them to a much, much higher standard then they've probably ever been held to before.
     
  12. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I had a parent actually request that all work came home on Fridays in a sealed envelope so that she could go over with her son and work through any bad grade feelings. This helped mom feel better. The student didn't really understand what a bad grade was (and I never put the letter grade on anything that I graded).
     
  13. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    Is the feedback specific/clear enough that students can see what went wrong? If I couldn't understand the reason for a low grade, I'd be upset as well. Do you point out what things they did correct, what they can do to improve, etc.?
     
  14. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Mar 13, 2013

    I only give back grades at the end of class, right before the bell rings. Even my non SpEd kids get all rowdy and pouty and yell-y when they get grades back.
     
  15. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Mar 13, 2013

    I give back assessments only. If it's something I was just using as an informal quick check, I look at it and recycle. I give a small amount of credit for turning in homework (wildly different levels of help at home, so I don't think it's fair to give a lot of points/give grades based on correctness) and recycle that as well. I don't have anyone in my class that gets too upset over grades, but if I did I would hand it to them on Friday afternoon as they were walking out the door like others suggested. You could do folders/envelopes for kids that you know will be overly upset. Then you don't have to worry about meltdowns affecting class.
     
  16. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Mar 14, 2013

    I use a point value, number correct over how many points possible as opposed to letter grades. My students rarely look at their corrected work and it usually ends up in the recycling.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Mar 14, 2013

    All graded tests go home on Fridays in my students' folders. I put tests in their Mail boxes, kids pack up their folders on Fridays...there's no time at that point for kids to get antsy about the grades and parents know to look fr the weekly checked work in those folders that go home each weekend.
     

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