Math accommodation - less homework: How to grade

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by CindyBlue, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    Aug 21, 2015

    Thank you everyone. I still don't agree with a lot of what is being told to me re accommodations, but I'm beginning to understand that if that's the way is it, then I have to do it or get out of the profession.
    I grade HW on completion and direction following (mostly format) only. The questions don't have to be right, only all attempted showing reasonable effort. It's a full points or no points grade.
    I found out more information yesterday - this young man is in 11th grade, and has specifically requested to be in my freshman accelerated class for the on-the-surface reason of wanting to be in a more disciplined class, but according to another counselor, he is trying to avoid being placed in the regular class because he wants to avoid having that particular teacher. This kid has already taken the pre-rec class for this class twice, and not done well, and is a lower level student overall.
    Already the first HW has been due, and he did not turn it in. He earned a 30% on the test, when the average grade in the class was A-.
    So if there is a more appropriate placement for this kid, then should he still be placed in my class with me having to make the modifications?
    I'm even more frustrated now.
     
  2. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    If there is a more appropriate class for him to be placed in, then, yes, he should be placed there. However, if there isn't, for one reason or another, then you just have to do your best to remember that you are there to educate all of your students, regardless of their past achievements, their accommodations, their specific circumstances, or your personal opinions on the situation. He may perform lower than the other students in your class, and he may receive accommodations that the others don't receive. As long as he is making progress and learning something, you are doing all that is within your power to do. Don't let his needs take away from others in your class, but also don't hold his needs against him.
     
  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I would definitely revisit his placement with the counselors, parents and administration.

    He's in your class because he likes that you run a tight ship but he isn't willing to have a disciplined work load?

    I would teach the class as I normally teach it. It is an accelerated course. I would not slow down for him but I'd definitely offer him the same tutoring times that any of my students get. He can do reduced homework, but 0/10 questions is a zero in the gradebook just like 0/20 questions is. And obviously not doing homework doesn't help him on tests.

    There's no way I'd be modifying his tests in an accelerated class so I hope you don't get asked that next. I've seen stranger things happen, sadly.
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    2ndTimeAround, I think what CindyBlue said was that the "official" reason is wanting a more disciplined class but the real reason is wanting to avoid a placement with a particular teacher. I have some sympathy: I stopped taking math in high school rather than spend another year with the creep I'd had for geometry. (Given the other things I was doing, there was no way to jigger the schedule to get me in the other teacher's class. If I had it all to do again, I think I'd have been a bit louder in demanding that my dad let me take math at the local junior college.)
     
  5. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    Bella84, I find that insulting!
    I know I am here to educate all students. That's why I teach. I am trying hard to educate this one. I don't hold his "needs" against him - I am trying hard to make sure that what he "needs," he gets, and the school policies are not supportive of the education this student needs. And I don't believe that " As long as he is making progress and learning something..." that that is enough. To me that's a patronizing, defeatist attitude toward this kid. If this kid is capable (and from what I can tell already, he is - he just doesn't want to do the homework (the politically incorrect word "lazy" might apply here, but I'm not sure yet)) and he is so occupied with outside activities that he doesn't make it a priority to find extra time to study) and he signs up for a math class especially designed and created to go fast and cover a lot of material, then he needs to know the concepts - all of them - if he is to be able to succeed in subsequent advanced math classes. He needs to be able to practice handling this math class level of homework, because the homework load will only increase in future math classes,and if he hasn't practiced doing more, and spending more time because we keep excusing him, then he will be in even more trouble in the next math class. He needs to be able to find a way to do the work that is being asked, whether a counselor thinks it's reasonable or not. If he is not capable, then he needs to find a class that will be more at his speed and level of ability until he is capable - and there is one available.
    What in the world is happening to education? We are denying our kids the opportunity to learn that they can learn SOME things, and we will help them, but there are some things that maybe they are simply not capable of learning, and that THAT's OK. We give them lots of trophies for anything at all, to make them feel better but that they haven't done anything to earn (and they know it!) We give them lots of reasons and excuses to not complete work, and to not have to learn the material, and then we put so many of them in the next upper level class, in which they don't have the capability or prior knowledge to succeed, to their own detriment and that of the other students and the teacher, that it borders on ludicrous. We patronize them and excuse them, and then turn them out into the world expecting that everyone else will do the same - and when they don't, the kids are baffled and stuck and defeated, with fewer tools to help themselves figure out how to succeed, and it's our fault. Our fault! I just don't get it, and I don't think I ever will.
    I stay for hours and hours to help kids after school, lunch, and before school, and invariably, those kids who want to learn, do, because they put in the time and they do every practice problem I give them and more, no matter how long it takes them. They make it a priority to succeed. If this kid wanted to learn, he could. He doesn't need excuses, or patronizing counselors and parents and teachers - he needs to make studying a priority. And if he chooses not to, then that's his decision, and I support his decision (with a little cajoling to help him see the consequences of his choices.) Then he can find another class that fits his interests and needs, and if he decided to try this class again, I will welcome him. To excuse him from the work that he needs to do to learn all the math he needs to learn in this class - that's a disservice to him and to the rest of the class.
     
  6. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    Aug 21, 2015

    Thank you...I appreciate your suggestions!
     
  7. SchoolTeach

    SchoolTeach Rookie

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    I have a similar issue with accommodations. I have a student that the counselor is saying has to be allowed to take notes into tests. That is truly an unfair advantage. Is this really something that is allowed?
     
  8. The Fonz

    The Fonz Math teacher (for now...)

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    It is not your decision to decide what is right. You do as the IEP/504 says....unless you want to lose your job.
     
  9. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    Read the IEP. Don't go on someone's word. If it is written in the IEP, then yes, it is allowed. It isn't an advantage, it's an accommodation.
     
  10. SchoolTeach

    SchoolTeach Rookie

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    Whatever name is put on it, being able to take notes in to a test IS an advantage. The grade that student gets on the test doesn't represent the same level of knowledge that the grade that the student who isn't using notes has!
     
  11. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    absolutely. All that is testing is the student's ability to read.
     
  12. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    Actually, it's testing their ability to take comprehensible notes.
     
  13. heatherberm

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    If the student's IEP/504 allows him or her to use notes then there are probably skills or "advantages" that typically-developing peers have that this student does not have. Making sure that your tests require deeper thought and application rather than just memorization and regurgitation can help make this a little less "unfair." Clear notes don't necessarily indicate understanding. My entire math experience in school is proof of that. :lol: (And that "your tests" is not directed at anyone in particular. Just generally speaking.)

    For this specific issue, I'd agree with everyone else. Make sure you read the IEP/504. If the HW accommodation is on there, go with it, no matter how much you disagree. As others have said, at some point you can meet with the counselor and/or parents and express that you believe his grade is suffering because of the lack of HW completion. If they're going to stick with him not doing HW, you've done everything you can. It might also be helpful to express to the parents that you address HW very thoughtfully and only send home work that you think is going to be beneficial. Lots of teachers, unfortunately, don't do that so they might be accustomed to being bombarded with what is more or less busy work from various classes.
     
  14. msleep

    msleep Rookie

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    The students shouldn't be compared to each other but rather the standard. The whole point of a grade is to reflect what the student knows, not whether they worked harder than the other students in the class.
     
  15. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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