lots of my kids got an F on a science assignment...

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by Peachyness, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Sep 18, 2007

    I had my kids do a chapter reivew at the end of our first sicence chapter. They got to work with their group to answer the multiple choice questions and the fill in the blank questions. I was just now grading them and realized how horrible they did on this assignment!! I'm upset. I spent so much time teaching the material.

    First of all- should I have them redo this assignment or should I just give them the grade? I mean, they had the book, they had their buddies to work with, if they didn't do a good job the first time, do they deserve to do the assignment over again.

    Second- what can I do to help them memorize the information. I honestly tried everything- group work, projects, teach a lesson to the class, labs, homework... what more can I do?????
     
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  3. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Sep 18, 2007

    I practiced very hard with them to take notes. They read the information, the filled out a graphic organizer in pairs, then we went over it, and hopefully did a lab on the information.

    Also, I would just give them credit for doing it if they were all working. Since it is not a test you can give them homework credit. I usually give them 100% if they tried on homework.

    Sometimes the book reviews are horrible. They are hard and my students don't get it. I try and make one review before a test that I made so it shows how the tests will go.
     
  4. noreenk

    noreenk Cohort

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    My students typically do very badly with book reviews if they haven't practiced that format at least a couple of times. I've had similar struggles with math, and if they don't get the material you have to find a way to reteach. Try breaking the info into smaller parts and evaluating each small step of the way.

    If everyone -or at least the majority- failed, I would definitely allow the opportunity to either correct the assignment or I would replace that grade with something more guided.
     
  5. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Yeah, I think I will have them redo the assignment for a better score. Also, I think I will make my own review sheet for them. This week, we are just doing reviews for each lesson. Their science program comes with these little books. There is a page that goes along each lesson in their textbook. So, I'm having them read each lesson page and answer the questions that accompanies it.

    I guess I shouldn't have them do those text review pages anymore than. I remember doing fine on those when I was in school... so I'm not certain what the problem is now. I do know this for one thing- these poor kiddos have no clue how to investigate, research, find the answers on their own. It's very sad.
     
  6. uclalum

    uclalum Groupie

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    Sep 19, 2007

    What science textbook do you use?
     
  7. dumbdiety

    dumbdiety Comrade

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    Sep 19, 2007

    Peachyness, don't get me started on how helpless some of my students are...
    Anyway, as for something like failing an assignment, it depends on the group. If I see a group working hard to answer the questions and actually discussing it, they get credit for it. However, if a group is talking about High School Musical (I CAN'T GET THE **** SONG OUT OF MY HEAD! HELP ME!) then I will obviously fail them.
    But, if I see the whole class working hard on it and they still fail it, then I've obviously not taught it correctly and will re-do the lessons in a different way.
     
  8. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I don't think 5th graders benefit at all from writing notes. I make cloze-type worksheets that they fill in from the reading materials. This helps a bit. Then, to really help them remember, you have to go over it several times - like take 5 minutes at the beginning of the day to do a quick vocab review, or label an illustration, or whatever you are studying. Repetition, repetition, repetition.
     
  9. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    My students have been note-taking a little, and it's helped. I also make PowerPoint Jeopardy presentations, type up the words/concepts in our weekly newsletter, and expose them to neat videos that can get them interested in the content. I also have a word wall with the words. It's been beneficial, mostly, yet I also haven't tested my science content yet.
     
  10. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I had the same problem Peachyness. The review sheets were pretty bad to begin with, but the real problem was/is that the kids don't know where to look in the book for the information. The book pulls from information in graphs, captions, main text, diagrams, anything printed on the page. The kids only ever look at the main text which is pretty short. It took a few tests on year to teach them how to study. They took the test. I graded it. The next day I passed out the tests and we searched for the answers to each and every question on the test. Low and behold all the answers were in the book, but the kids never knew to look. Now when before I give a test, I make up the review sheet and the test. I also allow them to correct their answers (siting page # in text where they found the information) for a small boost in the grade, 1 % point for each correction.
     
  11. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    If they all do bad, I usually give them credit for doing it (like 5 points) and assign an alternate assignment. My kids hid AWFUL with both simple subjects and simple predicates. We did pages out of the text. After they did so bad, I copied worksheets for them. Still did awful. I ended up creating my own ws for them, in which they still did bad, but instead of falling into the 0-20% range, it was 50-70%. I took that because we couldn't spend more time on it! We were by then 3 days behind the other classes.
     
  12. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Sep 21, 2007

    Peachyness, I thought about you today. We have been working on identifying parts of cells. The kids have had the pages with the diagrams and descriptions for a week and a half. I've been telling them for a week and a half to study every night. I showed them examples of how to study. Every day in class I put the diagrams on the overhead, we label them and describe the job of those parts. Today we tested on the diagram and the job. The diagram was the exact same one from their study guide. Their study guide for the jobs was the test, just in a different order. Of 22 kids, 10 made 100, 1 missed one (he listed chloroplast twice), 1 missed two (he confused nucleus and nucleolus), and 10 failed it. Flat out, not even close. Two only got one right on the whole thing. For each child that failed it, I called them to my desk and tried testing orally in case they had trouble seeing the diagram. None got any more right. For each I asked 2 questions. How often did you study and why. For each child that failed the test I was told that they didn't study and when I asked why each every one shrugged their shoulders. So, for each child I wrote on the test what they told me. I briefly considered letting them retest for half credit, and even went and talked to my asst. principal about it. (I was beyond frustrated and wanted an objective opinion.) In the end I agreed with her. I've already let them retest on something else. If I keep doing that they will lose the sense of responsiblity of studying the first time instead of waiting for the retest. Especially since they told me that they didn't study. In fact, 3 got their study guide stapled to the test. I filled out a transparency on the overhead while we filled it in. Three either hadn't completed it, or had the completely wrong words on it. I was so disappointed. I think they were expecting me to lose my temper, but I just kept telling them how disappointed I was. That I didn't know what else I could have done to help them learn their cells. Two of them wrote me notes apologizing.
     
  13. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Wow! How frustrating. I had them retake our first math test if they had gotten a c or below. This time, I did not let them have that option. I decided that, unless there was some sort of emergency, that the grade they get is the grade they earned. I had 6 fail the math test. I am holding on to the tests for parent confereces.

    Well, we spent ALL week just reviewing each lesson in chapter one. They were to read a short summary of the lesson than answer the questions. I even had some who asked if they could take the book home to study. I thought, WOW, what great initiative! Well, on Monday we are going to play jeopardy to review and Tuesday will be our first science test. I am very nervous as to how well they've understood the material. I even orally quizzed them. They got so excited when I started doing this. They even asked if we could use our PAT time to play a game to practice for the science test.

    I'm starting to like fifth grade! :wub:

     
  14. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Sep 21, 2007

    Yeah, 5th grade is a great age group! It's wonderful that they are taking the initiative!
     
  15. TXTCHR29

    TXTCHR29 Cohort

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    Sep 22, 2007

    Don't feel bad....I tried to give an easy, or so I thought, Social Studies grade..write your address, mind you, they had a week to study....SEVERAL failed!!! I just don't understand how a 10-11 year old doesn't know their address and phone number!!!!
     
  16. jaruby

    jaruby Companion

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    Sep 22, 2007

    Make your own review using the test you are going to give them. It takes a little more time but it will get them to study the correct material and you know you coveredl. (FYI... The books reviews are usually harder than their test)
     
  17. dumbdiety

    dumbdiety Comrade

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    And many times (in my case at least) the book reviews and tests are COMPLETELY WRONG. Almost every Math test that came with my text was something wrong with it! Either a misprint, a concept that wasn't covered in the chapter, etc! It's amazing! :rolleyes:

    I always make my own...
     
  18. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I have found greatly varying abilities to study among 5th graders. Some know what it means intuitively, or have older siblings who have been examples. Others just really don't know what you do when you study. Still others never understand, much less remember, the terminology, when it is used and when it is tested.
     
  19. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I honestly feel that most fifth graders I teach do not know how to study. Every September/early October feels like a training ground for study skills. It is so hard for some of them to figure out what to do even after we have gone over it multiple times. After a while I just tell them, "OK we have been over this material many times, you have taken notes I have put on the overhead. You have everything you need to pass this test. Now is the time (about a week before the test) to start taking things home and reviewing them. I promise you the test will be nearly impossible if you don't study. I expect everyone to get nothing less than a C. Good luck!" It sounds harsh, and maybe it is, but some of them need a good smack of reality before they wake up. It happens every year.
     
  20. Intervention

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    Like others have mentioned, many of my 5th graders do not have much in the way of study skills. They appear to act as if they expect the knowledge to be handed to them without effort on their part.
     
  21. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Even middle-schoolers seem to think that you will reteach and reteach so many times that they will automatically know it. It's ridiculous.
     
  22. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I had my kids redo the questions that they missed on their tests and quizzes and many said they couldn't believe how many easy ones they missed. I guess it's more about repitition and seeing and hearing it over and over and over and over again.

    Well, at least we're done with that chapter. That one was, I believe, the hardest one. It was on matter, elements, etc. We started our new chapter on astronomy. They seem a much more interested in the material. I review everday now on material we have learned (repitition) and I'm going MUCH slower. One lesson a week versus one lesson a day. OY What was I thinking? Anyways, I'm learning, right?

    Although, here's the kicker. I'll probably be moved back down to lower elem or to 4th grade. Sigh... just when I start to get the hang of things.
     
  23. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    We had parent/teacher conferences Tuesay of this week, and on just about every conference I had written notes to talk about study skills. I had one mother argue that becuase I gave them a few minutes to study before the test I was hurting them. They assumed that would be enough. I calmly told her that I told them daily to study for specific tests, they were on the test schedule and on the homework board daily. We've also had a few lessons on how to study. Grades are getting better, but it's a very different group than what I had last year! :rolleyes:
     
  24. Intervention

    Intervention Rookie

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    I have two major concerns, well three: a) state and district testing, b) I am probationary, and c) the students will need this information in the future. They seem to do better early in the day during the language arts block while working on material that requires minimal thinking. They can identify subject and predicate and create complex subjects. However, their comprehension skills are very weak. No doubt this contributes to their difficulty later in the day. :tired:
     
  25. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Minimal thinking ...... yep, that's what they really want. And about all we usually get.
     
  26. Hogwarts Alum

    Hogwarts Alum Rookie

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    I have felt the same way many times. I realized that kids need to much hands-on experience and practice with what they are learning. Remember we are competing with the super-fast internet and video games, as well as sometimes the "i want it now mommy" kids.

    i also realized that kids do not know how to research on their own. i remembered from my school-age days i was never explicitly taught, i had to pretty much teach myself - in college no less- so i can see how kids these days have a difficult time with doing research. my principal says if they can't do it, TEACH them! i have done this last year during the inquiry process and they loved it. they felt super "grown up" and they really were learning to do research and taking notes. it takes a lot of time and patience but once they get the hang of it they can do it :)
     
  27. Intervention

    Intervention Rookie

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    Right now I am teaching them how to take notes during Social Studies. One of the things I have to do is teach them how to summarize.
     
  28. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Ah yes, wonderful summary skills. Mine just want to regurgitate everything they read. They struggle with the concept of rephrasing in one's own words.
     
  29. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    I am also teaching how to take notes. I noticed that when they did take notes they would take so many unnecessary ones. I am working with a lot of graphic organizers and putting things into their own words. I think that many of the kids just don't know how to study so they don't.
     
  30. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    UGH!!! Notes, graphic organizers, teaching them how to research!!!..... this is sooooooo far from kindergarten.
     
  31. kidatheart

    kidatheart Habitué

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    Same boat here - I'm an inclusion teacher facing the same problems.
    I need to take a course on how to teach study skills, note taking, using graphic organizers.... any advice is greatly appreciated!
     
  32. MaryBethG

    MaryBethG New Member

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    I am so glad I am not alone with these problems with 5th graders! Sometimes I don't know whether to cry or just laugh hysterically....
    Along with the same kind of problems that have been mentioned here about poor study skills and whether or not to redo test and assignment, I have the 4 to 5 top kids who get it all the first time and are getting bored with having to redo or wait for the rest of the class. And half of the remaining class still doesn't get it or care either after the redos.
    What do you do to keep those students engaged? I've tried to pair them up with the lower students, but they end up as frustrated as I am sometimes. Also, we are doing student portfolios and student led conferences (which I have never done before) for the 1st report card and there is hardly anything for grades or portfolios. I am starting to freak out a little.
     
  33. Deeena

    Deeena Cohort

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    Oct 12, 2007

    I would give those students a project to enrich the lesson. Perhaps they can create a board game about the concept you are teaching, a poster display, a research report, etc. Anything to extend the learning for them should keep those students engaged.
     
  34. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    What science adoption do you have? Was it the test itself? All but one of my students failed their first science test, too. It was an open book test, so I looked at the questions/answers and said, "what?" The test questions did not match up with the vocabulary used in the text to describe the terms. The test was designed to match the CA state standards science test, but it did not match what they had learned in the way they had learned it. (First order of testing: Does the test test what it was supposed to test?)
     
  35. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    That's exactly what I did.
     
  36. kidatheart

    kidatheart Habitué

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    Oct 12, 2007

    After my two failed science tests, I created my own test with the facts I WANTED them to know. It only had 12 questions, and I may have made it too easy, but they did so much better on it than on the test from the publisher.
    Live and learn!
     

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