I know I handed it in...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.H, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. Ms.H

    Ms.H Companion

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    Jan 7, 2015

    I'm sure this has been covered here before, but I couldn't find it through a search. What do you do when a student is "sure" they turned something in but you just don't have it? I usually ask them to "double check" their folder or notebook, and often times that's where it turns out to be, but what's the fair solution when it's not there?

    I know it probably depends on the student and the importance of the work, and right now I have 2-3 students adamantly insisting that they turned in fairly significant assignments that I can find no trace of. I've watched them look through their folders and notebooks, and I've looked several times through every place they could possibly be. I'm doubtful that I lost them, but I can't be 100% sure. What would you do?
     
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  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    What is your system for turning in work?

    There is no way I could lose just one or two students' work. I clip each assignment together as a class so if I lose one, I lose all. That has happened to me once.

    If a student turns in something late, they have to put it in a special spot which is isolated from everything else and cannot be ignored/forgotten by me. Sometimes students do not listen to that instruction and place it on the black hole that is my desk. It is possible that I have lost something then. But in my opinion, it was not "turned in" because it didn't go where it was supposed to go. Usually this is because kids want to "sneak" a late assignment in without speaking to me either hoping to avoid a "shame, shame" or that I won't realize it was late and they'll get full credit.

    Never once have I found a student's missing work in a place where I could have lost it. I can say with complete confidence that it was not turned in.

    However, if you have even a smidgen of doubt, you should give your students the benefit of the doubt. And immediately develop a system where you won't be in that situation again.
     
  4. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jan 7, 2015

    Because of my system I rarely if ever lose anything. All paper is to be kept organized in their notebooks. They staple it into a packet and put it into my inbox. I then grade it and put it into a pass back folder. The only places to check for it are in the passback folder, the inbox, or their binders. Nothing stays on my desk.

    I will still get such claims however.

    If the student is someone who consistently does their work and makes that claim, I will probably give them the benefit of the doubt.

    If it's any other student, or their binder is obviously disorganized, I simply say, "I can't grade what I don't have," and give them extra copies of the work to complete.
     
  5. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    Jan 7, 2015

    I simply state to the student that I do not have it and walk away. Sometimes a student will persist and sometimes they will redo the assignment. Mostly, they do nothing. If a student puts me in this situation twice, I usually call the parent and explain their kid says they turned something in 2-3 times, but I never got it. No parent has ever accused me of losing something.
     
  6. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Jan 8, 2015

    2 things:

    First, when my students turned in an assignment, I gave them the "going once, going twice", then STAPLED the papers together in front of the whole class. That group then went into the TBG file (to be graded).

    Second, if anyone didn't turn in a paper, they had to complete a NFY (not finished yet) form, which was on canary yellow paper, and it must be stapled to their assignment. That then went into the TBG file, and ONLY in the TBG file. If it went on my desk, I would give it back. I only graded papers in the TBG file, and only papers that were either stapled together as a group, or with a NFY. Period.

    (by the way-all NFY's went into a file which was produced at PT conference time. More than one canary yellow sheet tended to make students get pretty antsy in front of their parents-there was some 'splainin to do)

    If I got the "but I turned it in", which occasionally would happen, I would ask them blankly why it wasn't stapled with everyone else's, or with a NFY. I do not recognize papers without a NFY. There wasn't much room for arguments.
     
  7. CatfaceMeowmers

    CatfaceMeowmers Companion

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    Jan 8, 2015

    I really really really REALLY like this idea! I love organization and making sure everything gets where it needs to be. I am not yet a teacher, but I was just thinking about all of the systems that I need and this is definitely one I will put into my notebook! When I student taught, there were many students who "turned it in" when we had no trace of the work. We usually gave them the benefit of the doubt, but that's not fair to the other students who did do the work. Thanks again for sharing!
     
  8. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    Jan 8, 2015

    I have had this happen a few times… very annoying. I have a very simple turning in system, it would be pretty hard for me to lose something. I pretty much just say, "I don't have it, so I cannot grade it."
     
  9. mariecurie

    mariecurie Companion

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    Jan 8, 2015

    The only time this has been an issue where I needed to adjust my routine is when work went missing from the turn-in box. One or more students had been stealing from it and turning it in as their own, or copying it down and then throwing the original. I moved the turn-in box closer to my desk and started removing papers after each hour.

    Sometimes a student forgets to put their name on a paper, and then it goes to my "No Name Papers" area. If it goes missing from there before they can claim it, it's out of my hands.
     
  10. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Jan 8, 2015

    I have much bigger concerns in my life than calling a student a liar or even punishing a kid for misplacing something.

    I will ask them to go through their folder, their period's file and the no-name pile. If they are still insistent then I'll excuse it.
     
  11. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Jan 8, 2015

    Unless it is a major assignment - like a test, project or paper - I just give them the grade. But, I let them know that I don't lose things and next time I won't be so generous. This has worked for me.

    Overall, this rarely happens, but as someone else said, I have too much to worry about to stresss over giving one grade.
     
  12. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jan 8, 2015

    I have a procudure in place for turning in papers.

    • Did you check your folder? (check again)
    • Did you put your name on it? (check no-name bin)
    • Did you put it in the turn-in tray? (not on my desk or on the table)
    • Did you put it in the correct turn-in tray? (There are five of them.)
    • Was it on time? (late stuff can get mixed with other work)
    • Were you here that day? (Many swear they did work they didn't even get.)

    We find most papers this way.

    I have never lost a paper in 22 years. I've thrown out whole stacks of papers, but never one lone paper. Not saying I couldnt, but saying that it's very, very unlikely.

    I've also noticed that I'm accused of "losing" papers for the same kids over and over.
     
  13. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Jan 8, 2015

    When the child says, I gave it to you - then what? Especially if their parents become involved.
     
  14. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 8, 2015

    I was going to say pretty much all of this.

    I go through a similar line of questioning. I've found that most students, at least the truthful ones, end up finding their papers this way.

    I also find that it tends to be the same students who repeatedly accuse me of losing their work.

    I admit that it's possible that I might occasionally make mistakes. When entering grades quickly, for example, I might inadvertently grab two sheets of paper instead of one while flipping through the stack. If I've got a student who hasn't had an issue with missing work in the past and demonstrates honesty and integrity and whatnot, I may just go ahead and excuse the assignment. I don't do this for students who regularly accuse me of losing their work or who normally fail to turn in work.

    When there's a conflict about a "lost" assignment and I'm unwilling to excuse the assignment, I simply tell the student to redo it. I tell them that I have to have proof of their ability to show mastery, even if that means that they need to redo it. And since they are certain that they've already done it (unlikely), it should be fairly easy to repeat.
     
  15. 2ndTimeAround

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    Thankfully my life is not so overwhelming or tragic that I cannot take the time to teach honesty and responsibility to my students.

    I have many students that would (and have) lied about submitting assignments in the hopes that they'd have it marked exempt. Because the alternative would be to not get credit or to receive a late deduction. Far better to blame the teacher and get another shot (or not worry about doing the work at all) than to fess up and lose points.
     
  16. 2ndTimeAround

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    Jan 8, 2015

    "you're mistaken. The due date was XYZ."

    To the parents: "Johnny is mistaken. He did not turn in his paper to me." Then I describe my procedures for turning in work and restate my late work policy. Which they read on the welcome letter they signed the first day of class.
     
  17. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    So this very thing happened today. A student, who has never given me any reason to doubt him all semester, asked where his lab was after I returned all of his classmates'. I said "I don't know, where is it?"

    He said he turned it in. His lawyers, I mean, his tablemates, quickly came to his defense, all swearing they saw him turn it in. I said "Uh huh. look in your backpack." Lawyers go to great length describing the whole process of how their friend turned in that one paper. They can't remember their weekly vocabulary but they know exactly where the boy stood, who was in front of him, what color ink he used, etc.

    "I don't lose assignments. Look again."

    Thirty minutes later, after I finish my lesson, the boy comes up to me and says he found it in his backpack after all. Thought so. His lawyers still insist that the young man turned it in. I asked "so, do you think that I took his lab, only his lab, out of the pile and somehow snuck it into backpack yesterday during class? For what purpose?"

    The student wasn't lying, he was merely mistaken.
     
  18. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    I can see this not always working. I have SEEN this method not work. Some kids will refuse to make up the assignment, REFUSE to take a "0%" and their parent will back them until the end of time. The parent will claim it was the teacher's fault the assignment was lost and they won't want to hear about the teacher's "no-fail" system.

    I saw this last year when a parent "bullied" a teacher after her son swore the teacher lost his Final Exam that he claimed he handed in. I am 100% sure that the kid did not hand in the test and probably took it with him when he left - the teacher taught this class in my room - which I even told Admin and the parent. The teacher wanted the student to retake it or take a "zero." The kid refused and said he shouldn't have to retake it because the teacher lost it and that he was going to "bring his mother up here to handle the teacher." His mother came to school, said her son was not retaking anything and things quickly escalated to the teacher being verbally attacked.

    But, I'm glad your system works for you and that you never encounter these types of parents.
     
  19. 2ndTimeAround

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    Oh, I've encountered such parents. But I don't take their crap. If I had a wussy administration and THEY took their crap, I'd do as I was instructed. But not until that time.

    Then again, I've heard of parents insisting that their children get A's in classes before. I've had parents tell me not to count homework as a grade for their kids. To drop the lowest test score. To call them any time their kids get less than a C on an assignment. Parents don't run my class. I do, with supervision from my boss. If my boss lets parents run all over him, that's his business.
     
  20. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Ya know, this is so dismissive and self absorbed, I can't even.

    If you don't have anything to add, why even bother responding? Jeez. No one has said anything about calling anyone a liar or punishment; on the contrary, most people have given solid alternatives and methods that may work.

    Others are just snarky and superior.
     
  21. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    I find it self-absorbed to think that a student losing a paper is worth fussing over. My class and my sense of "I never lose things!" are just not that important in the scale of life.

    I think that is very worth adding.

    2ndTime's recent example is perfect. What was gained from that whole experience other than the teacher being proven right? The student had done the work in either case.

    As far as teaching lessons of honesty, that's nonsense. 90% of the time this happens it isn't about lying, it is about a misplaced paper. I'd much rather teacher forgiveness for mistakes.
     
  22. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I guess your definition of "fussing" and my definition of "fussing" are two different things. The op asked what people do when in this situation. Most responders said something along the lines of it depends on the situation, but there are various methods of dealing with it.

    Are there more "important" things in life to worry about? Well, yes of course...but in this moment, the op is finding a way to deal with this, and for you to imply that your life is so consumed with more "important" issues is unnecessary. You probably do have more important things to deal with, but this person doesn't right now, so how about either offer help or...ya know...don't.
     
  23. mariecurie

    mariecurie Companion

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    If I were to dismiss a situation like this one time, it would become a more and more frequent issue in the classroom. Is it a huge deal? No. But teaching things like integrity, honesty, organization, personal accountability...that's our job, too. If I simply let it go, other students would pick up on it and take advantage. So yes, it's a case-by-case basis, but I don't just dismiss it.
     
  24. Ms.H

    Ms.H Companion

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    Jan 9, 2015

    Thanks for your responses, everyone-- you have some great organizational ideas. I especially like the NFY sheet. I know it may seem like a minor question, but it does bring up a lot of questions about fairness, responsibility, etc., as some of you have pointed out.

    Some of you said you give the student the benefit of the doubt. What does that mean to you? That you exempt them, give them credit as if it were done, or allow them to re-do it?

    (I'm asking now more out of curiosity-- I think I solved the issue this time by having them partially "re-"do it [I selected some of the most important questions.] They were agreeable to that.)
     
  25. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I think you handled it very well. And if you'd like, I might just have a copy of that NFY hanging around on my old computer. I can dig it up for you to modify as needed if you want.

    I guess by benefit of the doubt, I would take into consideration the actions of the student (worried, panic, concerned vs. blasé, noncommittal, uncaring), previous interactions, and the importance of the assignment. Every assignment is important, but if I could sit down with the student and have him demonstrate to me that he understands the concept I'd be ok with that. Actually that would probably be my first step-stay with me for 10 minutes at recess and show what you know, and I'll give you credit.
     

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