Email I sent to a student

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by catnfiddle, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Oct 5, 2009

    Had to vent about this!

    Dear H,

    The essay you have submitted for this assignment does not follow the directions. You were given three topic choices:

    OPTION 1:
    Compare/Contrast the modern woman of today with the medieval woman as depicted in “The Canterbury Tales.” You must use 1 or 2 quotations from the “Tales” to support your statements.

    OPTION 2:
    Compare/Contrast modern day heroes, such as Super Man or Spider Man, to the classical hero Beowulf. You must use 1 or 2 quotations from “Beowulf” to support your statements.

    OPTION 3:
    Compare/Contrast your experience as an online student with your previous school experience. Show what is similar and what is different in both educational environments. Include the type of schoolwork you do, your relationships with teachers, social experiences, etc.

    None of these options were the one you chose nor was it a compare / contrast essay. Instead, it was a persuasive essay, which we will be covering next week. I cannot grade this assignment because it does not fufill the requirements for the unit we are studying. You are more than welcome to submit a paper covering one of the three topics listed earlier. As always, I invite you to call me with any questions or concerns, even if it is after school hours.

    --Mrs. CNF
     
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  3. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Oct 6, 2009

    I asked my kids to make layers of the earth posters, including the lithosphere and asthenosphere and including layer depth and composition.

    Half of them just copied the drawing out of the book that doesn't show the lithosphere. They also failed to include the details about each layer. Some also neglected to label their posters.

    All of this was clearly explained to them, in class, on an overhead. The half that included no details loudly whined that I never told them to do it and that my instructions were unclear. These kids are 15.

    Oh yeah. They also had class time to start these, during which I was walking around checking for problems/questions with any of the day's work. Oddly enough, nobody was confused on the poster assignment until it came time to hand it in.

    I'm not even going to rant about what they did to the pencils and markers that I spent $23 on since they won't bring supplies to class. Never again will I be THAT stupid.
     
  4. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Oct 6, 2009

    Fortunately, my department chair got a copy of this email as well as the assignment. She wants me to stand my ground and not accept my student's work until he does it correctly.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oct 6, 2009

    Sure hope this is typical of your principal, catnfiddle - and if it is, may her tribe increase.
     
  6. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Oct 6, 2009

    My principal is amazing and my department chair is a goddess. I am SO lucky!
     
  7. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    Oct 6, 2009

    Catnfiddle - I feel your pain. Perhaps a rubric next time may help this student to realize that he needs to follow the directions. You can include a statement that an off-topic essay will receive a 0 or not be graded.

    I know what you and Mollydoll experienced. Last year, I had a research project I gave students. We spent 2 days with the literacy coach reviewing in-text citations, and then the literacy coach even came to the library with us for our research days to help students develop their citations. Still, I received plagiarized papers and ones that lacked citations. Grr.

    My personal pet peeve is with tests and quizzes. I bold the directions. If a section is in a new format, I explain it and give them examples during our review. I also call attention to it during the test. Yet they still don't bother to read the directions! It makes you want to say, what do I need, a bullhorn?
     
  8. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Oct 7, 2009

    This year I have made it my personal crusade not to accept any work that did not follow directions. I told all my students that if they can't bother to do it right, I won't bother to grade it.

    I don't care if they get things wrong but dang it follow the directions.
     
  9. Allysundrop

    Allysundrop Rookie

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    Oct 7, 2009

    I teach 10th grade English and have the same problems with almost all of my students. I give a rubric, explain the project 10 times (at least it feels that way), and give them class time to complete it. I am in a high poverty school, and have basically been told not to give stuff for homework, so I ALWAYS give class time. I have 1 or 2 students that always finish in the first hour of the first day. Then I have others that spend three days doing basically nothing. I am constantly moving around the room, helping students, but I can only hover over each one so much. I even have some that do some of the work in class, but when it comes time to turn it in, they hand in nothing.

    It's very frusterating, but I just can't give unlimited chances. At progress report time, I asked students the whole week before hand if they would like to see their grades. Sure enough, not many takers. Then, when I gave out their reports, I had tons "shocked" about their missing assignments and wanting to make up all this work.
    We're a failing school, so I'm not sure how my grades are going to be taken by the administration. I am not going to just push these kids through though. That has been happening for years, which part of the reason these kids have no motivation.

    I'm trying to have high expectations for these students, so I don't think I should just give them unlimited time to turn in assignments. The rest of the world won't be so nice, and they will be in for a shock when they get out of high school!
     
  10. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Oct 7, 2009

    Ugh, there WAS a rubric attached. He even included it when he handed in the paper. It was ignored.
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Oct 7, 2009

    That's very frustrating. In addition to rubrics, I often give checklists. For my sixth graders, the first on the list may be:

    Check this very moment to make sure your first and last name is on this assignment. When you see that it is, check here: _______

    Wouldn't you know there is always a few who check that yet fail to have either their first or last name. :dizzy:
     
  12. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Oct 7, 2009

    Yeah, this happened today. They had word root tests. We have had three of these already, all the identical format. I announced this test over a week ago and yesterday provided examples of what would be expected. I got half the tests turned in without any examples. The directions clearly state "give the root (1 pt) AND an example (1 pt)" in bold underlined text. Le Sigh.

    That is great that your principal is backing you up. I'm halfway thinking that a totally incorrect assignment is even worse than no assignment at all.
     
  13. hse6m

    hse6m Rookie

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    Oct 8, 2009

    This could be my classroom. It is infuriating. The district wants to close the achievement gap. But there is no culture of homework or even much classwork. I take comfort in hearing others dealing with the same.
     

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