my grades

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by scienceteach50, Oct 21, 2006.

  1. scienceteach50

    scienceteach50 Companion

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    Oct 21, 2006

    ok so i just did my data review...:eek:
    out of 118 students, 22 failed my class this grading period.
    7 made an A. the rest are somewhere in between.

    I knew my grades were low in advance. I told my administration but now i'm wondering what I can do to help my students achieve more in the next grading period.

    I've made multiple parent contacts, had talks with the students, i even spent one entire class period explaining how the grades work to them (percentages, what they need to pass, etc). Majority of my students just do not care. I've done everything that I can think of to get students to turn in work, and learn material.

    Should I make my class easier? if so, how? issue more "completion" grades?
     
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  3. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Oct 22, 2006

    The bottom line is that they need to learn the concepts and the grade needs to be based on whether they learned them or not. I know I am not telling you anything you did not know before. Only 7 with an A is a pretty low percentage. This is what I do in SS:

    Write your objectives first. Write a test question for each objective. Then determine how you are going to teach that objective. Always have your objectives on the board when the students come in and tell them that is what they are going to learn that day. By the end of the period they should be able to write each objective in their notebook and write a brief statement about what they learned. You might even surprise them by telling them they may use their notebooks for the test. I find that particularily effective when I notice that many are not writing in their notebooks. Or, give them a pop quiz telling them they may use their notebooks.

    I like this method because I know exactly what is going to be on the test because I already wrote the question based on the objective. The students have it in their notebooks and they demonstrate understanding iby what they wrote and on their tests.

    It sounds as if you have done all you can to motivate, including parental contact. Unfortunately, there will always be those who don't care.
     
  4. Alaskanteach

    Alaskanteach Cohort

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    Oct 22, 2006

    I have a lot of failures. I usually drop the lowest score (my grade program will do that automatically for selected assignments). I also offer extra credit for signed progress reports (parent contact).

    Beyond that, I will fail students.
     
  5. Charliebr73

    Charliebr73 Rookie

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    Oct 22, 2006

    Hi Guys,

    To be honest with you, this is something I like in the American system. You can fail students. I work in the Uk and here the students never fail. And not because they are good, but because the system is adapted to make them pass. They do not hand in any coursework on time, disrespect teachers, mess about in the classes, get detentions and don't show up, and nothing happens to them. I forgot to mention that, when they hand in the coursework, in their last year at school, the teachers are obliged to correct and grade everything so as the poor things can take their final tests. Imagine the amount of extra work the teachers have just because the little angels could not bother to hand in their work on time. In a nutshell, the students here are the way they are because they know they cannot be failed.

    The students here study three year (grades 7,8 and) and have a test, called SATs, and then two more years (10 and 11) to have a final test called GCSE. What amazes me is that, the GCSE can be taken as Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced levels. So, if you have a student who does not give a dime about anything, the teacher has to set him/her to take a foundation test, so as his/her chances to get a C are higher. No wonder the level of failure in the Uk is so low.

    People sometimes wonder why I do not want to become a teacher here. This is one of my reasons, and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
     
  6. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Oct 22, 2006

    Do more in class projects? Do buddy projects. Grow Wisconsin Fast Plants. Google search for details. They grow these plants (complete cycle) in seven weeks. Plant the seeds, watch them grow, bloom, pollunate the flowers, seed pods form, harvest the seeds for next year.

    Grow a potato in a gallon can. Vote on the tallest, smallest, bushiest, healthies, and etc. Give certificates.

    Make more lessons hands on, the students are learning and don't even know it and will pass the test. I wouldn't make the lessons easier, but I would make them different.

    I agree you need more A's. Students need to pass.

    Oop! I forgot you are in a tiny trailer classroom. Did you get the bathroom white tile boards?
     
  7. scienceteach50

    scienceteach50 Companion

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    Oct 22, 2006

    no in fact i convinced my principle to buy me a larger white board. :D it turned out that someone else somewhere in the building needed a small one to convert a storage room into a small sp.ed. classroom. so my old small one went to them and i got a new big one.
     
  8. ms_chandler

    ms_chandler Comrade

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    Oct 22, 2006

    First quarter ended 2 weeks ago. Here are my grades:

    10 A's
    20 B's
    a bunch of C's
    some D's
    14 F's (who REALLY deserved them... and I don't even feel bad)

    You do what you can. I know I am. They just need to get with the program.
     
  9. myangel52

    myangel52 Comrade

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    Oct 22, 2006

    I am kinda glad to hear about this...
    My classes are doing the same thing. I had to turn in grades for progress reports this last week, and I was shocked at the low grades. Not shocked because I didn't know about it, but seeing them altogether was depressing. I can't get students to turn things in, so they are failing. At least, that is the majority of the F's. I have several A's, several B's, loads of C's, and way too many D's and F's, again mostly due to the lack of turned in work.

    I don't want to make things too easy for them, such as forgiving late work, but I am afraid the grades will reflect poorly on me. I think I have decided that starting this next quarter (this one ends Nov. 9), I will require students to serve a detention-like time with me if they are missing more than 2 assignments, until the assignment is made up. However, the only problem I have with that is that I know the parents are going to freak out, and I know that so many kids are going to find ways of not attending. Any suggestions? I am constantly trying to find ways to help my students improve their grades, also.
     
  10. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Oct 23, 2006

    Our students attend a noon time study hall if they even miss one assignment. They bring their lunch to our room, eat a silent lunch and do the homework they didn't do before. We are a small school, so perhaps it is easier for us. Each one of takes a day, because in the end it is easier to give up our time than to deal with no assignments.

    How high is your percentage for homework? Our Science teacher breaks it down to

    Classwork/Homework/Notebook - 10%
    Quizzes - 25%
    Labs including the write up sheet - 25%
    Assessments (Tests/Projects) - 40%

    Those that do their homework will get a boost in their grade and those that don't will have a lower grade, but it is not possible to fail a class for not doing assignments, although it woukd be possible in combination with other aspects of the class.

    Since she will periodically give quizzes and even tests allowing them to use their notes, it is an incentive to do them.
     
  11. holliday

    holliday Comrade

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    Oct 23, 2006

    At my school, we are currenly debating the practice of giving zeros for missing work. Some teachers believe that if a student did no work, he shouldn't get any credit. Other teachers give the highest F they can (a 59% at my school) in place of a zero so that the missing work doesn't have such a large impact on the overall average.

    What do you guys do?
     
  12. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Oct 23, 2006

    I've never heard of giving a 59% for missing work. What happens if they do the work but make a lower grade? I might consider giving them a make up opportunity to where the max grade they can get is 85% OR give them 5 points for every late day. I don't know that I would do the 59%. That's new to me.
     
  13. scienceteach50

    scienceteach50 Companion

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    Oct 23, 2006

    we give kids a 50% for late homework and my hw only counts as 10% anyway. So all in all, it doesn't reek that much havoc on their grades.
    Its low tests and quiz scores that are bringing them all down. They just are not retaining information. They've been taught to rely on cramming from a textbook at the last minute and I do not have any textbooks. :(
     
  14. Mrs. Toby

    Mrs. Toby Rookie

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    Oct 23, 2006

    This is going to sound really bad but 30% of my kids are failing, I have 125 students. This is my second year and I thought that I was going a little easier on the kids this year. I'm really organized and have procedures set up for everything. The fact of the matter is that my students are lazy. They just won't do the work, not even projects worth 125 points. I don't take late work period unless it is a project in which case I knock of 20% each day its late.

    What are these kids going to do in the real world? Their parents seem to be doing their work for them. I had one mother tell me she typed her son's paper for him! He is college prep and a 10th grader! Are their parents going to call their boss when they get fired for doing an inadequate job at work?:confused:
     
  15. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    My MIL went to work with my SIL half the time at her work as a security guard. She works in the front LOBBY. Geez, and they can't figure out why she was fired.
     
  16. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Oct 23, 2006

    I am currently teaching a Western Civilization Honors Course to 9th Graders and my grades are as follows:

    10 A's
    10 B's
    5 C's
    2 D's
    1 F

    I am starting ot get the feelling that my grades are too high, but I need to keep in mind this is an honors course, most if not all kids study, do what they need to do in class every day, do their homework, and therefore do good on my tests,quizzes,essays, projects and graded assignments. Tell me guys what you guys think of my current grading system for my honors classes:

    50% Tests and Major Projects/Papers
    35% Quizzes
    15% Homework/Classwork
     
  17. Docere

    Docere Rookie

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    Oct 24, 2006

    Perhaps you should give out a few more extra credit assignments. I'm sure there are more than seven who wanted an A. Don't make the class easier -- don't dumb things down for them. Just try giving them some more chances to succeed. If you can, hand out grade reports every two weeks or so and maybe tell them to get it signed by their parents if it seems fitting to you.

    Also maybe you should think up some kind of reward system. If turning in homework is the problem, tell them that if everyone turns in homework for a week, you'll give them a pizza party the following Monday or something.

    If test scores are the problem, tell them if everyone passes a test, they'll get a pizza party. Only offer a reward for one or the other: homework or test scores. Definitely give them review homework that will cover everything on the test. And go over it with them so they can see what they got wrong and what they didn't. Wrong answers on the review homework won't do any good at all.

    Also, at the first day of the new grading period, tell them that every one in the class has an A and it is up to them to maintain it. If it's possible, give them homework -- not a lot, just a regular worksheet. Have them turn in the homework the next day and don't assign homework that night. Enter the grades and print off a grade report. Give it to them first thing the next day. Everyone who did do the homework will see they still have a good grade. Everyone who didn't will now have an F. Then give them an assignment that will based off completion. Tell them it will be based off completion and be worth double what the last homework assignment was. This will really get them motivated to do the work. It might just show them how long a little effort can go.

    Other than that, there's not much more you can do. You can teach, but you can't make anyone learn. If they choose to not learn and fail, then that's their choice. Let them know that no matter how much you want them to do well, the final decision lies with them and not you.
     
  18. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Oct 24, 2006


    Personally, I think it is wonderful that your grades are so high. Is it our objective for them to learn the material or to work for grades. Because of the school I teach in - one with very supportive parents - grades like the above would be pretty typical. They also score high on state and achievement tests. I suspect that your class has the same type of students I have, therefore they do well. Your grading system looks appropriate to me.
     
  19. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Oct 24, 2006

    There are some good points in here but there are a couple I would be cautious about.

    Extra Credit: I have a problem with extra credit as it is generally used to make up for work not done in the first place and done because the parents want them to do it. In the end it only creates more work for the teacher. I will generally have a list of enrichment projects to do. I give it to them at the beginning of a unit. It may not be used to make up any assignments, they may choose only one, and it is due the day before the final test of the unit. It helps those students who are just shy of getting the next grade up. My motivated students will usually do one. My low students wouldn't go near it with a ten foot pole.

    Rewards I'm not big on rewarding for following through with expectations, but some find it helpful. I used to do that until I started hearing, "what do we get if...".

    I agree with reviewing before the test. We review for two days. The first day it is a paper review that they work together on in small grous and the second day we go over the written review and play a jeopardy type game.
     
  20. Mrs. Toby

    Mrs. Toby Rookie

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    Oct 24, 2006

    I don't like to give rewards for doing what is expected especially not food rewards. I don't need to contribute to the obesity of America's kids.

    We do a Jeopardy review game the day prior to the test and run through it again right before the test. They just seem to not care. I have several every class who sit and do nothing. I've contacted parents and they tell me that they don't know what to do about it. So how do I fix that problem? One of my big concerns is the amount of failures. They count against us on our end of the year evaluations! I've tried everything I know how to do!:eek:
     
  21. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Oct 24, 2006

    I started something new this year and it seems to be helping the grades without "giving" them the grades. The day after I have corrected the test, I take all those with a grade below 70 and give them the chance to correct it. I use a form I found either on this board or another teacher board. Basically they write down the number, the correct answer, and what page they found it on. for each one they get correct I give them one point up to a 70% (a C- in our school). So far this year I have only had a few that have had to do this (I know - I am blessed this year) but it is effective. I send them to the office to do it. I usually show a movie that introduces the next unit, so they aren't missing a whole lot. Again, our goal is to make certain they learn the material. this is another way to make sure they lkearn it. Of course there is nothing you can do if the blow this off too, except to hang on to them so you can refute that part of the evaluation.
     
  22. musicbean

    musicbean Rookie

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    Oct 24, 2006

    If a student fails, they fail. I am evaluating whether or not they learned/mastered concepts. If they do really badly, I evaluate my teaching first. If I'm satisfied that I did what I could and the fault lies with the student, so be it. Unfortunately, here in my Ontario school board, we are not allowed to fail a student without parental consent. Guess how often that happens. So what is a failing grade really worth?
     
  23. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Oct 24, 2006

    If a parent says they don't know what to do about it, they may be asking you to help them come up with a strategy to help (because they've given up trying in their limited resources). Other parents may really just not care. Dont' mistake "I don't know what to do about it" with "I don't care." Sometimes it is true and sometimes it is a resigned statement that is calling for help.
     
  24. Docere

    Docere Rookie

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    Oct 25, 2006

    As long as it's not something that happens all the time, I think it's okay. But yeah, you definitely can't be giving kids food every time they all pass a test. That would not be good. Just once or twice to get them motivated to doing some work. And the reward doesn't have to be food -- it could be no homework for the day or something simple like that. The idea is to get them motivated and do some work so they can see how it pays off so that you won't have to reward them anymore -- they will see the reward in their grade.
     

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