Is this too old to do for jr. high students?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by ms_chandler, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. ms_chandler

    ms_chandler Comrade

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    Apr 16, 2007

    Hi, I teach 7th grade English for 95 minutes a day. We just came back last week from Spring Break. I gave a grammar test the week before Spring Break, and the grades were not as good as I had hoped. I can tell some students are slacking off, so I decided to reteach it. I still counted the grades, no matter how bad they were, but I told them I'd retest them on the same material after I retaught it.

    Well, today was that day. Unfortunately, my 2nd period class always scores lower than my 3rd and 4th. I just graded them, and some grades didn't improve at all. Some kids are simply not paying attention to directions, and it is killing them!

    I don't send tests home because I still have makeups for absent students. I'd like to send something home for their parents to sign because I think this is ridiculous. Are they too old for this type of thing:

    Dear Parents,

    Your child received a _____ on his/her grammar test. This is due to not paying attention in class and not following directions. Your child was tested twice and still did not perform by 7th grade standards. This material will be on the exam next month. Please sign this showing you have discussed this matter with your child. Contact me if you'd like at school or by email.
     
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  3. curious

    curious Companion

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    Apr 16, 2007

    I don't know Jr. High protocol, but as a parent, I'd appreciate getting a note like that.
     
  4. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Apr 16, 2007

    Who cares if they are too old. I think the point will be understood. Try it out.
     
  5. SenoritaL

    SenoritaL Rookie

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    Apr 16, 2007

    I use that with my students in middle school/jr. high. I do have a few students that "lost it" and couldn't get it signed. So from that point on, with those students, I made a copy of the front of the test, and when I didn't get it back, I mailed a copy home. It really helped with parent communication, and the kids knew I was serious!
     
  6. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Apr 16, 2007

    Sounds like a great idea!
     
  7. jen7-19

    jen7-19 Rookie

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    Apr 17, 2007

    I have sent letters home on students that were failing my class. I didn't have many so I mailed them home in unmarked envelops. It cost me some but the students knew I was serious. I know of several 9th grader teachers that do it as well.
     
  8. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Apr 17, 2007

    I email my 7th and 8th grade parents every day. I let them know the homework and how their child did on a test, quiz or homework that was given or due that day.
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Apr 17, 2007

    I had a meeting with the mother of one of my grade 7 students today--she wants to be sure that we check his homework agenda every day and that we send home a weekly note regarding homework completion and behaviour.
     
  10. lupin43

    lupin43 Companion

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    Apr 17, 2007

    I have sent letter home regarding the exact same situation for 8th graders. Failed a test twice. Parents were angry (it was an honors class). I was able to console them by telling them what I would change and what their child needed to change.

    MrsC - for that parent I would say that I will sign an agenda provided that the student comes to me. I have too much to remember to go to that child or to contact you weekly, but I will respond to your e-mails. If you want a weekly report, make sure to send me a reminder each week. (I've done it twice and only have one parent who contacts me monthly.)
     
  11. ms_chandler

    ms_chandler Comrade

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    Apr 17, 2007

    Thanks for all of your responses! I sent them out today. In addition, I said they must write a paragraph explaining why they did poorly and what I can do to help them. For most of them, it's a reality check because we have 5 1/2 weeks left of school and their grades are low. I will be collecting their parent signature slips, along with their paragraphs tomorrow.

    I also do the email thing. I leave my email up at school in a minimized window. It's so easy to type something (I type so much faster than I write now!) and hit send. I have all parents (who have emails) in my address book... lol... So, let's see how this all works.
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Apr 17, 2007

    I said that I will sign a completed agenda brought to me at the end of the day, but, since I am the Special Ed teacher, I don't necessarily know their homework for all classes. As far as a weekly report, we'll keep a running report throughout the week that my EA will complete on Friday afternoon during our planning time.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 17, 2007

    I think I would omit this line: "This is due to not paying attention in class and not following directions."

    That's a tough blanket statement to make for a lot of kids, even if it is true for many of them. And I think it would get parents up at arms at you instead of the kids... "why are so many kids not paying attention and what are you planning to do about it?" kind of stuff.

    The rest of the letter implies it; I would just avoid saying it.
     
  14. ms_chandler

    ms_chandler Comrade

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    Apr 18, 2007

    Well, I've looked through most of what the students wrote, and they have admitted THEY DIDN'T STUDY.

    I did have a parent complain and call the principal who backed me up 100%. LOL... I mean, come on. I always have all of my documentation and ducks in a row. We arranged for him to come tutoring for the next week. I also got some emails which are great. Parents should be alarmed that their kids failed a test. The kids blame themselves, not me. They know they need to get their butts in gear.

    I know I did my job. With 5 weeks left, kids don't have time to slack.
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 18, 2007

    Good, I'm glad it worked out.
     
  16. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Apr 18, 2007

    We're required to contact parents of students who are failing and/or not performing as the teachers think they should.
     
  17. msb

    msb Rookie

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    Apr 21, 2007

    Hi, I have the same problem. At the beginning of the second quarter I sent out a letter with the failing students' grades. I had offered tutoring at school for two days to my students who were failing my class--almost all of them was for missing assignments. One of the teachers gave me a copy of this letter, and basically said that I was offering tutoring because I wanted to help these students. I gave two options; accept the tutoring, or "Yes, I acknowledge that my child will fail this class if they do not show up for tutoring." Of the letters that did come back (I sent out 15), they all requested tutoring. Unfortunately, there were only 5 students who showed up. The students were released from tutoring once they had completed their assignments. (By the way, I did enjoy tutoring them for the 45 minutes. I got to know them a lot better.):)

    You don't have to offer tutoring, but I understand that parents appreciate the communication that you send them, especially if it's to help out their kids. Our school has form letters for these types of situations, and you can add your comments on them.

    Now our school is providing tutoring after school, but I still let the parents know that their child needs extra help and tutoring is available and recommended for him/her.
     
  18. Sarkfollower

    Sarkfollower Rookie

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    Apr 25, 2007

    I think the best tool for motivation is INCENTIVES.... it can be something small but kids work a lot harder if they know they will get something more than just an "A." For example, giving half a class on Friday back to the students to complete weekend homework or to catch up and get things done for good behavior. If they behave well and do not have any strikes against them through the week, they get some free time on Friday so they can have a work-free weekend. The key is to make sure there is complete silence during the free time on Friday and as soon as they start chatting, you can take that free time away and go straight into a lesson. They soon learn they really like having some extra time on Friday and a lot more gets accomplished through the week. It is really all about quality time with your students and it is worth a half day on Friday to have full attention through the week. Incentives will get your students studying and motivate them to achieve. The more positive you are and the more you offer them as incentive, the more apt they will be to participate and engage. It takes a lot of energy to be creative but sometimes you need to switch it up and try something new... threats can work obviously, but there are other ways to get them engaged and focused and interested in mastering the material. Stay positive and don't let them drive you nuts! Just keep changing it up and offering new incentives!
     
  19. childcare teach

    childcare teach Comrade

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    Apr 26, 2007

    as a parent i would like to know that my son failed a test. my middle school sons teachers send home test if a child get below a 70 for the parents to sign and the child to bring back to the teacher . i think a test should be signed if it is a failing grade not a 70 which is passing.
     

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