Late work = full credit

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, Aug 22, 2018.

  1. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    We got an email from our principal that the school is trying a new program that all 6th grade teachers must follow. Apparently, students will receive two grades: a habits of work grade and an academic grade. If a student turns assignments in late, that will affect his habits of work grade but not his academic grade. I agree with the general idea but it seems like a lot of work for the teachers -- two different grades for each child. I would also like some consequences for late work for older kids, as the program will be used with my students all throughout middle school. I can also imagine it being difficult at the end of the quarter when the kids want to turn in ALL of their work to bump up their grade and we cannot assign any penalty.

    My principal is also very strict about homework not counting for much of our grade because a lot of our kids don't have the support at home. I am definitely on board with this so I am breaking down my grades as follow: Assessments: 50%, Classwork: 40%, and HW: 10%. There is a 10% cap on how much homework can count. I emailed my syllabus to my mentor and she said it was good and just said to be careful about classwork. Our admin is strict about classwork being done in class. So, if a kid completes most of it in class and takes it home to finish, the kids will probably lose it and shouldn't get a 0. This isn't a problem for completion checks because I can record how much a child completed. However, if I want to collect an assignment to grade and a kid doesn't finish it, should I collect it anyways or send it home and hope he brings it back?
     
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  3. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    That's a big portion of the grade (50%) for formative assessments! We are only allowed 20% for homework and classwork combined, and the other 80% must be for tests and quizzes. I know you are in middle school, but this policy is employed at our middle school as well.

    The no penalty for late work system is not my favorite, though I know some teachers who employ it. I allow students 1 missed HW per marking period without penalty. Another system I have is that any student who gets a 90 or higher on the unit test automatically gets 100% for the homework grade for that unit, even if they did none of the homework. This is because if they can get an A on the test without doing the homework, then obviously they didn't really need the practice. If I had to accept late HW, there is no chance I would look at it for accuracy. Just a quick check: did you do it or not? Save yourself the hassle.

    As far as the classwork thing, if the admin wants it done in class, then I wouldn't let them take it home at the beginning. I've never had this issue because I give a graded classwork maybe once per marking period at the most. Can you maybe collect and grade what they've done in class, and then return it graded with the option to finish it at home to improve the grade? My guess is most students wouldn't bother to do this unless the grade is horrendous, and that way if they lose it before they finish, you at least have the grade in.
     
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  4. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I like the idea of not allowing them to take it home. I am giving extra help on Wednesdays from 2:30-3 so I can allow let them finish it in that time.

    I also feel like I shouldn't do an absent work policy either and just excuse work when kids are absent, since they would have to do it at home.

    I'm going to number homeworks clearly so I know exactly which homework is missing in case a kid turns something in weeks late.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    No matter how late it is, the grade doesn’t reflect lateness. If I’m grading to a standard, then I can’t take off the the lateness. I like the separation of habits and academics.
     
  6. Joyful!

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    Here's something to think about. We always talk about making our math have real world applications. Give students real world experiences to enrich their learning. Yet, when it comes to school work and homework, we don't. If a student watches competitions on food network, they can clearly see the count down and the hands up, time's up. If someone does not get the food on their plate before the buzzer, it doesn't count. That's real life.
    If a student speeds on the way to school, the officer who stops him doesn't say, "I can see that you have no support at home to help you choose to drive the speed limit, and that's not fair, so no ticket."

    For me, it is terrible that students don't get support at home for the homework. In my classes, I make every effort to assign the type of work that everyone can do with or without support. Unfortunately, life is not fair. We need to teach students to overcome any hindrance that comes their way. We need to support them at school (and after or before) to help show them the way. I think that the idea of work habits being a grade separated from the actual content is fraught with problems. This is like an argument that grading a science paper should only be based on content and not grammar or punctuation (mechanics in general). All of those things contribute to the total paper. Science papers should be weighted toward the content, but not exclusive of the expression. Grades for effort/habits apart from the content do not reflect learning. Part of what we teach is a work ethic, life skills, finishing within a time frame, learning to overcome obstacles.

    To answer, I think that your assessments being so heavily weighted may become a problem. For me, it emphasizes the importance of the test grade and not the learning that occurs every day. However, if it is mandated you can only do what they say. :)
     
  7. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    ^
    The weight of the assessments are not mandated by my district. I honestly don't know what else to put instead though. 50% classwork seems a bit much.
     
  8. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    No. That isn't "real life". That is one small aspect of life. That was a choice to join a time limited competition. Sure there are times when that is the case, but there are many times it is not. Think about the number of teachers who wouldn't be teachers if they had to pass their credentialing exams the first time! If they don't prepare right the first time, why should they get a second chance?
     
  9. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Deadlines are very much a part of real life though. Maybe not something as extreme as a timed competition, but most jobs have some form of deadline and work is expected to be done before or by that date or time.

    Teacher exams are something I think about a lot; it honestly makes me a little nervous how many teachers have to take those exams so many times. I get that test anxiety is a real thing, and I'm all about second chances, but sometimes I wonder...

    In any case, in most jobs you don't get to keep doing work late for very long before you have to find a new job. Kids need to be prepared for that with a level of grace because they're kids and they're NOT in the real world yet, but at some point they also need to learn (preferably before they get a job) that deadlines mean something, and there are real consequences for being consistently late with work.
     
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  10. Joyful!

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    True, it is a competition setting, but it is something with which most kids are familiar. (It's an example I have used with middle school kids to help them see the value of a deadline.) I'm not saying people should never have a second chance, I'm saying that divorcing deadlines from content may prove to be a disservice to the student going forward.
    It might surprise you that I offer grace and second chances when I feel they will benefit the student both in the immediate in the long run. However, as a policy, I think it can be a mistake to have unlimited time to meet class assignment deadlines. As a matter of fact, extensive time can give an unfair advantage to the student who is late. The student who did the assignment on time had a finite amount of instruction. The student who is late has had the benefit of the added reteaching and review before completing their assignment. (It's just another way to look at what is fair to all.)
    I do want students to have chances to finish things, absorb them and learn them, for that is the real goal--learning. I do want students to be mindful of their time and established deadlines. It is a matter of balance, grace and structure, and a policy that makes sense. I love discussing this because it is something we regularly discuss at school--trying to cultivate the balance.
     
  11. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I love your school’s new policy. Totally in line with my philosophy.

    I hate the idea of weighted grades, percentages, homework, and late work policies. Grades are too often treated like a prize to be earned rather than an indicator of knowledge and skill. Sure, kids need to learn responsibility, but there are better ways to teach it than by punishing them.

    Just my opinion, of course, but I think your school is on the right path.
     
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  12. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Your post is very contradictory. You don't win Chopped based on how much you've learned. You win Chopped based on your performance. You don't determine the winner of a football game at practice. You determine it on the field on game day. So, if we're talking real life then frankly results are all that matter.

    I'd also argue that Chopped is not, in fact, real life, but that's a different quibble.
     
  13. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    I've had an unlimited late work policy for years and this has never been an issue. I get, at most, a few kids each year who try to turn in a bunch at the end. The vast majority still turn it in on time and the rest were never going to turn it in anyway.
     
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  14. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Here in Ontario, report card grades in subject areas are only to reflect student mastery of concepts; we have a separate section on the report card to report on Learning Skills (Responsibility, Independent Work, Collaboration, Self-Regulation, Organization, Initiative). There are always those students for whom deadlines seem to be more a "suggestion" than a expectation. For those who struggle, I'm sure to check in with them a bit more frequently (having them do most of their assignments in Google Classroom makes this really easy). As due dates approach (and pass), I have students stay in with me at recess and lunch so that they are able to get things done. While I don't take off marks for late assignments, those that never get done do impact grades, because the student may not have demonstrated their understanding of concepts.
     
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  15. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    ............................
     
  16. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I take this to mean that grades you use aren't actual representations of what the student knows at the end of the quarter, semester, or year but who learns most quickly. The difference between a B and a C student may only be that the B student learned faster than the C student but at the end of the grading period both students know the content equally well.

    To further the discussion, when you put arbitrary deadlines on a work product produced to demonstrate learning or worse to practice applying what is known, you can inadvertently stifle learning by causing students to either not demonstrate all they know or not allow enough time for those who process and learn things in a slower manner to not have the time needed to solidify the information.
     
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  17. MissCeliaB

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    I feel like this conversation is in part because of grade and inflation. A C used to be average. They were normal, and meant that you mostly understood things. An A was truly exceptional or superior work. Now everyone expects an A. Work that is turned in late does not indicate a superior or exceptional student.
     
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  18. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    But that is making the assumption that the purpose of a grade is to indicate what type of student a person is. From my perspective, the purpose of academic grades are to indicate the level of knowledge and skill in a particular content area, not what type of student a person is. The reason for having separate work habit grades is precisely to indicate what type of person a student is. One area shouldn’t impact the reporting of the other, in my opinion. Allowing them to do so, muddies the water and makes it hard to decipher what a student’s strengths and weaknesses truly are.

    I will never be on board with a traditional grading system, and I am happy to see so many schools moving towards standards based grading, especially in secondary schools, as I think this has been around in elementary for awhile now.
     
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  19. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Yup. Standards based grading is great. It’s definitely an adjustment for parents (my district has been using standards based grading for at least 4 or 5 years now and we still get questions about it sometimes).

    We do have a “Behaviors” section for things like work ethic, getting things done on time, following directions, problem solving, etc. That just gets a 3 point scale - needs improvement, adequate, exceeds expectations.
     
  20. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    That’s similar to our scale at my school, only we have four points - not making progress, making progress, meeting, exceeding. We use the same scale for work habits, citizenship, and academics.
     
  21. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Even with standard based grading there will always be a question about what it means because how one teacher evaluates mastery of a standard can be very different than how another teacher evaluates the same standard. Some teachers will give partial credit for math problems while another will not. When determining if a student has mastered the standard they could achieve the highest score without actually getting the problems right because they have not mastered sub-skills that the standard requires such as computation.
     
  22. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    That’s where rubrics come in handy. Also, if “credit” is given, then it’s not truly standards based grading. With standards based, they either get it or they don’t. There is no such thing as “partial credit” or points given.
     
  23. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    But who makes that rubric? Different teachers in different schools in the same state may have very different rubrics. Also, many rubrics are very subjective even though they are said to be objective. If you have a different idea of what "grade level" vocabulary is, you will grade writing very differently than the teacher who thinks that "grade level" vocabulary is much lower.

    I think the big problem is that what we think kids should know and understand is very variable. There is no consensus.
     
  24. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I generally like standards based grading but I do have a few questions about it:
    -It seems difficult to implement in middle/high school because we only see our kids for 40-70 minutes a day. For kids who want to retake an assessment, show their learning in a different way, it seems like they would have to do it on their own time or after school with the teacher. I'm sure it is still difficult in elementary school, but teachers might be able to pull kids during independent reading, morning work, etc. occasionally.
    -I'm not sure if I love the idea of kids either meeting standards or not meeting standards. It might be difficult for some kids to attain the "meeting standards" expectation. How do we demonstrate to a child that he has improved even if he hasn't met the standard? For example, I had a student last year who basically did no work. One day, he finished two problems on a worksheet. This is obviously not "meeting standards" but he showed significant improvement. I feel like number grades can show that to kids...for example, a kid can see that he went up to a 70 from a 30. On another note, I'm not sure how we can show kids that they are exceeding standards, which is also common.

    I will be using regular grading this year but I am allowing kids to work on test corrections and give them lots of chances to revise their work. I've also heard of a strategy where you circle the errors and give kids time to go back and revise their work. This is definitely more meaningful than just giving kids a grade and leaving it at that!
     
  25. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Improved =/= Meets Standard

    For example, you can improve your grade from a 20% to a 40%, but it is still not passing, nor is it acceptable or good enough to meet societal standards.

    There has to be a standard or a set of standards that constitute(s) what success and failure is. That’s life. Participation trophies don’t help anyone.
     
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  26. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    It is difficult for some students to really pass a course unless the grades are fake (not based on what true grade level standards are) or inflated.

    You talk to them or write on their paper that you saw progress.

    I think that is a great pre reassessment strategy. You can't re-take the test until you have made revisions to your work and found your errors. It may not be the best or only strategy to use, but to change the grade based on them revising already tested material isn't something I would do. I think to show mastery they need to do different work that assesses the same thing so they can do it from start to finish independently.
     
  27. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    ^
    I disagree. I teach 6th grade so things might be different in high school, but I see nothing wrong with giving the kids chances to reflect on their work and improve their grade. They don't need to earn all of their points back, but I am going to give them 50% back. My district is very big on growth mindset, giving the kids second chances, so I think they would agree as well. Kids will learn a lot more by looking back and finding their mistakes rather than shoving the test in their binder and never looking at it again. It's not possible to reassess every child until they show mastery (time constraints) but we can give every child the opportunity to think critically and reflect on their work. I've seen way too many kids focus on a grade rather than their work when reviewing assessments.
     
  28. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    It's not a participation trophy. I've had so many students who didn't complete any work in my student teaching placement. When they showed improvement by completing some work or taking notes or whatever, I recognized that and the kids appreciated it.

    It doesn't always have to be "oh, you went from a 20% to a 40%", but it can be "You did a great job showing your work when you were solving equations. We are going to keep working on computations with fractions and I know you can improve even more in our next unit" or something along those lines.
     
  29. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Funny, I didn't say ignore mistakes and shove tests in the binder and be done with it. I said have them do corrections that will allow them to re-take the test in order to get a better grade. If you elevate their grade with test corrections, their grade isn't reflecting true mastery. They see what they shouldn't do so that eliminates part of the thought process. It is great to have a growth mindset, but when we grade students by either number or standards based assessments, it should show what they can do independently and demonstrate that they can do it accurately multiple times.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
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  30. TrademarkTer

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    I have to agree with a2z here. As a high school teacher, I don't want to be the one teaching these kids who were essentially gifted grades in middle school, and have to fill in all those gaps. Corrections should be done, but NOT for any grade improvement. The grade will improve when they can show that they can independently complete the required problems.

    For instance, if they fail a quiz, correct it, and then do well on the unit test, perhaps you can throw out the quiz grade since they've demonstrated mastery?
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
  31. Ms.Holyoke

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    Correcting tests doesn't gift grades. Kids have to work hard to reflect on their mistakes and explain their thinking. It's not easy to find the time for kids to retake tests in a class period as well...that would mean that we would need to allot double time for testing. My administration wouldn't be ok with saying that kids have to come after school to take a test because not all kids will be able to.
     
  32. TrademarkTer

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    I don't advocate correcting tests to redo them. Correct the quizzes to prepare for the tests, and then toss the quiz grades if they improve. No need for re-tests, and less grade inflation.
     
  33. a2z

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    Sure it gifts grades. It allows the student to use resources to figure out the answers to the questions. That doesn't show they can independently do work that you expected them (and the standards expected them) to do without resources in front of them. By allowing them to use resources they shouldn't have for the assessment to bring up their grade, it is gifting them points.

    It is like giving students open book tests that don't require them to synthesize the information, extrapolate meaning, and apply that information to a novel problem but instead requires them to find the answer and write it down.
     
  34. Ms.Holyoke

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    ^
    Why shouldn't students be able to use resources to figure out the answers to questions? That's how it is in the "real world." I would argue that open book tests can be MORE rigorous because students do not just need to memorize -- they can use what they learned and apply it to something new. (That being said, many students have no idea how to use their notes/references. My mentor teacher gave the kids an open book test and 99% of the kids didn't use their notes once.) My college math classes had open book tests on the take home versions of our tests. They were extremely rigorous and the using the resources didn't give you the answers -- you really had to think about it.

    I personally wouldn't use open book tests a lot, as kids need to learn how to prepare for standardized tests where they don't have resources.

    I teach 6th grade and I would rather give a student a higher grade on something if they went back and improved upon the skill. The alternative is that the kids don't look at their mistakes. Maybe it's different in high school. My admin is big on students being able to correct their mistakes so they wouldn't approve of a policy where students have no chances on improving. The second assessment idea is good...but honestly too much work for me as a first year teacher & the kids would likely not come in on their own time to take another test.
     
  35. 2ndTimeAround

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    Unfortunately, this doesn't work well at the high school level. Students will purposefully put off preparing for a test because they know they can have a second shot at it. Even if they can only get a max of an 80, or whatever. I actually had a girl tell me one time that she chose not to study for my test the night before because Grey's Anatomy was on and she would just see what she earned without trying. Then get partial credit on what she missed.

    Another student told me that he didn't bother studying because he thought he knew enough to pass. Then he would memorize my test questions, go home and perfect them, and then get half credit back on a retest.

    For many test questions that are recall-based, test corrections only prove that a child can read his notes. They do not show mastery at all.
     
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  36. 2ndTimeAround

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    How do you know that they've improved their skill though? If they've used a resource for the corrections, they haven't improved any skill.
     
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  37. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I wouldn't want any doctor of mine looking up the basics in a book to figure out what to do. Sure, a complex case is something completely different, but we aren't talking about complex information. We are talking about standards that we expect all but about 2-5% of our students to be able to master, those students being the most disabled.

    Yeah. I said that already. I excluded those types of open book tests in my description.

    But correct answers on straight-forward tests doesn't show improvement of the skill. It shows they found a resource to use or help if they could do corrections outside of class. What tells you they improved is if they could take a different test on the same material and receive a higher grade.
     
  38. TrademarkTer

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    Open book tests can perhaps be more rigorous, but how rigorous are you really going to make a 6th grade math test? Also, it seemed like your plan was just giving the regular test and then letting them correct that. I don't think you mentioned that the tests were going to be harder than what they are used to originally.
     
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  39. Ms.Holyoke

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    ^
    A 6th grade math test would be rigorous for a 6th grader. I'm not sure I understand.

    Some questions on my tests will be the straightforward ones like you describe but all of them would not be.

    And yes, students will have the chance to correct all of the questions on the test for 50% of their points back. Like I said, I would rather give a higher grade and have the kids learn from their mistakes. My admin would not like any other policy so I have no reason to change it. I would rather send my kids the message that you can always improve rather than "you only have one chance."
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
  40. TrademarkTer

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    You still haven't told me the flaw of my proposal. Letting them correct the quizzes, and if they do better on the test than on the quiz, then you will throw out the quiz grade. Less grading for you (you don't have to go through and check the corrections for accuracy--if they do well on the test, we can assume the corrections were done accurately), and still a chance to learn from their mistakes and improve upon their grade without falsifying the records.I can't imagine admin objecting to this.
     
    a2z likes this.
  41. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Aug 24, 2018

    ^
    I'm not sure if I would quiz and test for every unit. I also want kids to be able to improve on their test grade if they choose to.
     

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