Late Work: To Accept, or Not to Accept?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by ms.irene, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Another thread I started brought up this equally timeless question: do you accept late work, and if so, what is your policy? I have worked in several different settings and tried several different approaches, and none are perfect. Last year, I accepted late work (just late -- not for absent students) for up to one week after the due date, for 50% credit. Even if it was one day late, it was 50%. This resulted in a lot of work being turned in that was obviously rushed, low-quality, or just plain old copied. So this year, I am considering going to a "no late work" policy, same as my department head (English, not sure about French).

    I don't love the idea of being so harsh, but I also know that there will be enough assignments so that a few missed items won't kill a student's grade (daily homework, that is). I hope it will motivate more students to turn in more work. What I am afraid of is discouraging kids who would eventually make up the work from even trying. I'm also worried that this policy might be too harsh for my one Jr. High class. Thoughts? Suggestions?
     
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  3. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

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    I always accepted late work when I taught older students. It was downgraded significantly. I can't remember what the final grade would be but it was less than 50%.
     
  4. msleep

    msleep Rookie

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    You have to ask yourself what the purpose of a grade is. If it is to demonstrate what a student knows about a standard then does it matter if an assignment is a day late?
     
  5. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    70% credit if they attend homework intervention and have it done a week before interims/end of quarter.
     
  6. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I always accept late work, because a msleep says, the purpose of the homework is to practice or demonstrate understanding. I still want them to do it.

    I used to say I was going to dock 10% for each day late (or a letter grade). I never did it in practice because I didn't want to keep track of how long a student didn't turn in and do the ensuing math.

    This year, if it's late, the most you can get is 50%. (or a check in our case). Also for projects, because they are heavily weighted, I will accept it back for full credit as long as they get a parent signature on the project so that their parent knows they were being irresponsible with their time but it won't impact their grade as much.
     
  7. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    This. In my school, we are expected to accept late work because the goal is to prove mastery of the assignment. We are allowed to take away points, but I don't. If they turn it in, I grade it. However, I do have a limit. We are on a nine week schedule with a progress report grade give during week 4. I'll take anything late weeks 1-3 up to the progress report time. After that, I won't accept it. Then I'll take anything from weeks 5-9 up to the final grade for the nine weeks. It works for me.
     
  8. 2ndTimeAround

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    I think you have to look at two things: what is the purpose of the assignment and what is the purpose of public education. Then balance out your beliefs on those two.

    I think the purpose of elementary school is to give students a general-knowledge foundation for the rest of their school years. middle school continues with that but adds in the additional responsibility for teachers to prepare students for high school. The purpose for high school is to give students more specific knowledge which will hopefully prepare students for adulthood.

    I think having a late penalty in high school is very appropriate. My official policy is that each day late will result in a 15 point deduction. I worked at a school where there was a 10 deduction and kids openly admitted in class that they wouldn't bother turning it in on time since they'd only lose 10 points. I will tweak that number depending upon some factors though. I don't give students a lot of opportunities to turn in things late though. Meaning, most of the assignments either have long due dates or are designed to be finished during class time.
     
  9. teacherbatman

    teacherbatman Companion

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    Makes you wonder why to grade homework at all. ;)
     
  10. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    This is how I have done it the first semester:
    - accepted late work at any time before the quarters ended, without penalty. I teach alternative ed, so just the fact that the kids wanted to make up work and cared about their grade meant a lot

    Second semester:
    - accept late work up to the point of finishing up a unit (2-4 weeks) for full credit. After that not accepting at all, we have moved on to something else.

    Later on I added:
    - only accepting late work for absent students, those who choose not to do it in class (want to daydream, sleep or get kicked out of class and then choose not to do it in suspension) I will not take it at all. I got tired of having students not doing classwork knowing that they could do it later.

    We don't give home work, so all this applies to classwork. This has worked for me. On a case by case basis I will allow a student to make up extended amount of work, but it will be 'discounted' so much, that it will bring his grade up to passing, but not to A, B or even C. That wouldn't be fair to those who are always doing what they're supposed to, but at the same time I'm giving the opportunity to the student to succeed (pass).

    I think it's important for high schoolers to learn that in 'real' life, for example when we have a job, we have to follow directions, deadlines and do what is expected of us. A boss will not always give a second chance to make up work, they will just fire you.
     
  11. msleep

    msleep Rookie

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    Exactly. You shouldn't.
     
  12. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Re: grading homework-it depends on what you're looking for. Some of my homework isn't just practice. For example, my students outline before writing an essay. They must finish it for homework but I still take a grade on it. Same with reading assignments like choosing words to define.

    Things like grammar practice I simply check for completion.
     
  13. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Depends what you mean by "grade homework". I don't actually go through and grade their answers but I do provide marks for completion. If I didn't provide any incentive, homework wouldn't be done.
     
  14. 2ndTimeAround

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    exactly. Sometimes homework is actually a review from past chapters, assigned to keep the material fresh.

    I think the only homework that should be off limits for grading is that which is pre-learning and for practice.
     
  15. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Interesting discussions and food for thought here! Thank you for all the ideas. I'm thinking about going back to my 50% policy now to allow for those who do decide to turn it around and pass after all. I do think I would still get French workbook-type assignments that were just copied after the fact, meaning no real learning was being done, but in an English class in particular, I would still want the student to try and write an essay, for example, and not just give up and not do it at all.

    I also liked the idea that someone posted on here about only taking make-ups if they were done in tutorial/office hours -- that would work and prevent copying.

    I am also interested in the homework grading policy question that has been brought up here. My policy has always been to check for completion only, but what do you do if you get an assignment that was technically "completed" -- but with so little effort, it was clear no real learning had taken place? I am thinking of one student in particular from last year who would turn in such sloppy, rushed, and meaningless responses (like a "word salad" in franglais...) -- what would you do in this case? I would ask this student to redo assignments and to come to office hours if he needed help, and he would only show up to our appointments/follow through some of the time. Very frustrating...

    I suppose the reality is that we can bend over backwards, be as helpful and available as possible, and some students will still not hold up their end of the rope.
     
  16. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Always. I teach babies (freshmen) and apparently middle school is a cakewalk where A are tossed about like candy and rainbows. High school is enough of a wake up call. Homework is 100% on due date, 80% by end of unit, 50% any time after that. Other assignments lose 10% per class day for a max of 50% lost. Research papers lose 30% if late (because due right before winter and spring breaks, so they get an extra 1-2 weeks to finish it). The only hard deadline I set is 1 week before end of first semester and 2 weeks before end of school year so I can get everything done without stressing.
     
  17. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Your late work policy is only as effective as the administrators support of that policy. Despite claims of rigor, many districts cave to parental pressures when push comes to shove in regards to grades. Just an observation.
     
  18. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    I grade on completion, but I hand back anything that's not fully completed or is done sloppily and tell them its unacceptable. They have to redo it for the late grade.
     
  19. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Another good reason to accept late work, so there is a reason to redo it. Going back to revise my policies yet again!
     
  20. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I think the late work issue is less about rigor and more about responsibility, but either way, turning work in on time is (rightly or wrongly) not listed on my state standards. I feel penalizing a student's grade for what is essentially a behavioral issue is unfair. That's what the conduct/citizenship grade is for.
     
  21. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Thank you. Do you mind if I borrow the thought? I like it.
     
  22. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    :yeahthat:
     
  23. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Not to derail but I'd argue that late policies have nothing to do with rigor.

    I do, however, agree with your general sentiment and would add staff support as well. If you're the only teacher with a given late work policy you can very easily get railroaded by admin if it is questioned.
     
  24. Mr.history

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    I didn't really have a policy last year. It was kind of a mess.
    I had students who would do nothing and then try to turn in all their work the week before grades were due. These same students would fail every test and then would be begging for extra credit.

    My school rule is 1 week if absent, and 3 days if not absent but teachers can penalize it up to 10 points per day. I believe I will be enforcing the school's rule this year.
     
  25. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    Also something that came to me after my initial post:
    How do you guys handle students who copy graded assignments from other students and hand them in late? I found that by not really having a late work policy I had many students who would simply wait until I had handed back assignments and then turn them in after they copied them. I had no way to prove it unless I caught them doing it(I did multiple times) but it was pretty obvious.
     
  26. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    I had a few students who were notorious for this. My solution was to not accept any assignment late if I had already returned it.
     
  27. 2ndTimeAround

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    hmmm, my post disappeared.

    To prevent copying I will usually require the students work on the assignment during tutorial times or I will give an alternate assignment.
     
  28. abat_jour

    abat_jour Companion

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    depends on students; if you are working somewhere where kids work 2 jobs and have no stable home and already have children I am not going to be another person penalizing them for trying. As linguist said, the fact that are doing it is the point. Also, when you develop a policy, there will be exceptions and how to judge one exception against the other becomes tricky.
     
  29. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    We have a new policy at our school - up to 100% credit on the due date; up to 50% credit by the deadline. Teachers set their own deadlines. Everyone had wildly different late work policies, so I think this is a nice compromise for everyone.

    I worked at one school where we were required to accept all late work for full credit at any time during the quarter. I'd have kids handing in every assignment on the last day of the quarter - and generally dashed off with little thought or effort. I'm talking anywhere between 30-50 kids each handing in 20 or so assignments. At that point, of course, they'd already been assessed for mastery and the homework/class work assignments meant little to them other than trying to squeak out a D.

    Personally, my goal with class work and homework is to practice for mastery. I'm required to give a certain number of grades each quarter in those categories, and I want them to be meaningful for the children. But I'm also not in the business of giving kids/parents the grades they want but the grades they earned. If they didn't do the work before the assessment, didn't do well on the assessment, then they haven't mastered the material.

    (Generally, my homework is due a week after it was assigned and then reviewed in class before assessments so they can correct any errors.)
     
  30. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I'm honestly fine accepting late work for full credit, although I DO grumble when it's over a semester late. Not that I mind changing the grades in our system, but my brain is not focused on older material. That being said, if the student shows mastery of the learning standards, I will award points accordingly.
     
  31. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I make sure that I give assignments (homework and in class) that don't really lend themselves to being copied. It's very rare that a student will blatantly copy another students short answer response word for word, especially if I've worded the question in such a way that a personal response is needed.
     
  32. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    IMO, unless you teach math, giving and grading regular HW assignments (more than once a week) is a waste of time. Just, MHO.
     
  33. Mystic

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    Yes and no. Once an assignment was late, students missed points each day it was late. Past a certain amount of days, the assignment was locked in at a low score that was below passing but still better than a zero.

    If an assignment was not a major assignment and was too old and the meaning of the assignment had diminished because we had moved on (this happens a lot in English with chapter readings etc.) then I would not accept late work. If the purpose was for students to read and analyze a particular section on October 12th, it made no sense to have a student do the assignment on a book we are no longer reading on December 5th because grades are due soon.

    I gave multiple opportunities for students to earn a few credit points (turning hw in early, quiz bonus questions, reading independent book, coming after school for help), so if they couldn't make an assignment they could take responsibility to earn back some points.
     

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