Spinoff - 0%?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by 2ndTimeAround, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Spinoff of the 100% thread - What about zeros? I read and read about how horrible it is to 'give' a student a zero. Well, I've never 'given' a student a zero. Nor have I given any student a 100. They earn what they earn. I decide on a grading scale for each assessment before I start grading and the students get what they get.

    I had two students on Friday turn in blank answer sheets for a test. I've worked and worked with these students. They are used to having M/C tests and when they received one from me that was free response, they balked. One did not even read the questions before he told me that he did not know the material. They knew ahead of time what the format would be. They were told specifically which thinking maps to study. But they did nothing.

    I have several students that are absent frequently. They do not make up work. According to some people I should either exempt them from the work or give them a 60%. I think that is nuts.

    What is exactly the reasoning behind the "they don't do the work but we should give them points anyhow" idea?
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    THe rationale is that, at some point, the kid is going to do the math and realize there's no incentive in even trying, since mathematically he's beyond passing.

    Then you have a huge discipline problem on your hands.

    As to kids who try but simply don't get it: Last year I had a kid who seriously knew nothing. (As in "Come on, Susie: what's 3 + 5??" "I don't know.... six????")

    There were tests on which she got absolutely nothing right.

    I recorded the zeros, but chose not to put a grade on her paper. She saw all the red, and knew how she had done; there was no reason to add insult to injury by putting a zero onher paper.
     
  4. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Our freshmen and sophomores get bumped up to a 55% (70% is passing) for their marking period grade no matter how low their grade actually is. That way they know that if they work hard they can still pass the class.

    As far as giving zeros, yes, if a student doesn't hand in an assignment then they get a 0 in my gradebook. I don't think I've ever had to give a 0 on something that was actually turned in though. Very low grades, absolutely, but not a 0.
     
  5. 2ndTimeAround

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    I get the reasoning behind bumping up their grades to a 50 or 60 mid-semester. I do think it is now biting us in the butt because I've heard quite a few students say they are just going to slack off the first nine weeks because they know they will get a "free" 60 come report card time. I think if school systems weren't so scared of drop-out rates we could do a better job at educating these students. Take a hit for a few years on the drop out rate. Let the kids who do not want to work actually deal with their consequences. Then we'll see the next few classes realize they actually have to do someting in order to earn their grades. I'm not convinced that a student who has been socially promoted through 13 years of school is actually a more productive member of society or earns more money as a result of his fake diploma.
     
  6. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I tell my students that if they TRY I will give them some grace. I've never given a zero on turned in work either. But these two gentlemen did not even try. They did not even have their names down on their papers when I went by to pick them up. I asked them to put their names on the sheets so I would have a record of the test for them.

    It just dawned on me that I might need to look further into their reading abilities. It would be a shame if they got this far and no one realized they could not read well enough to respond to a test like mine.
     
  7. Momma C

    Momma C Comrade

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    Our district has the No Zero policy. Rather than I give a zero, I give them a 10 for putting their name on the paper. On "make-up" day they are allowed to re-do (or rather, do the assignment) for a 70 max.
     
  8. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    I teach special ed. Typically the only zeros I give are if the child blatently refuses to do the work. If they try and do horrible, they still fail, but I don't give them a zero, maybe a 50.

    Regular ed. may be different.
     
  9. TeacherApr

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    I have 2 students that are receiving 0%'s this quarter. One is because she knows NO English therefore she is unable to complete the work. It is illegal in AZ to instruct in Spanish. The 2nd student has a disability that I cannot pinpoint but we are working on getting him tested. He sits and colors the whole time no matter where I seat him and how much attention I give to him. He puts forth no effort therefore he gets a 0%. A 0% is also very powerful when his paperwork does go through for a meeting to get him tested. No offense to any psychologists on here but our psych. doesn't "get" things sometimes. Hopefully he will "get" that a 0% is pretty d***ned serious!
     
  10. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    There is not a valid reason, in my opinion, to give students points when they do nothing.

    I put in the gradebook what the student actually earned. I'm not chiseling it in stone, but that number is to represent how much content they did or did not master based on assessments. I do plenty of other things to encourage the students...plugging some random number in the gradebook to give them hope isn't one of them.

    I also don't see to it that all of my special education students are passing each term. They are provided modifications which are to level the playing field...that's the idea, anyhow. It doesn't always happen, of course, but I again want parents and others interested to know how much about Topic A and Topic B the student understands. That said, a special education student rarely fails my class. I do have a heart and I do care about my kids.

    If I were told tomorrow that at the end of each term we were raise every failing grade to a 50% or 60% or some other chosen score, that just might be the straw that broke the camel's back...

    This said, I'm not against considering alternative methods for determining a student's success in the classsroom...no letter grades, things of that nature. But my school operates in the traditional manner so that's how I assign grades as well.
     
  11. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Are you not able to provide allowances for a student who knows no English? Our ELL students often work on an alternate program within the classroom. Their report card indicates that they are not working on typical grade level expectations and that their grade reflects their level of mastery of the concepts they are working on.
     
  12. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    How sad. Just...sad.

    Why do they even bother coming to school?
     
  13. DallasTeacher

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    So many school districts in Texas were forcing teachers to give 50s even when the student had done nothing that a law was passed saying that teachers could give the grade tge student earned. I have a new low grade - 7 - the student came two days then decided she didn't like the uniform and wasn't coming back. Mom said she wasn't going to force her because after all, she was a woman now. Yea! Mom has a court date next week. Can't wait for her to tell the judge her thoughts.
     
  14. hac711

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    the main reason is that school districts can't report all the kids failing becuase of NCLB and fail school policies. I am not suppose to give D's or F's and I have kids who do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING all class (and I am a total harda$$). I am suppose to give them C's. I don't. I get talked to. I then have to give the counselor all the make up work and during class they are sitting in her office with her basically giving them the answers...yup this is def. preparing them for life. Wow. I should tell my principal that I do not want to fill out I.Ps or attend meetings or turn in grades. And I still want a job, and oh, pay me.
     
  15. TeacherApr

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    Because it's a law......?

    wow...isn't that considered fraud with what they are making you do?
     
  16. 2ndTimeAround

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    That would burn my butt. I'd start making special make-up assignments just for those kids. Project-based. So the counselors would have to get REALLY involved if they wanted to give the kids answers.
     
  17. walterharris

    walterharris Rookie

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    Spinoff 0

    Yes, another "spinoff" game. This one is the horus Heresy board game thingy. I dont really know how ot describe it better than that.

    Page 3
     
  18. Momma C

    Momma C Comrade

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    I may be having a pre-senior moment but, ???:confused:
     
  19. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Let's get this right. The schools CAN choose to fail the students. The schools CAN choose to do things differently for these students instead of sit in classrooms where they are not working. But instead the principal or district decides to defraud the system. There is no HAVE to here. It is all a choice.
     
  20. TeachinHicks

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    I'm all for giving students the opportunity to earn a good grade...where we seem to run into problems with this are...last year there were 15 3rd graders that were on the retention list. How many of them were held back in 3rd grade? 0!!! Why you ask, because their report card grades didn't show them failing. So it's again a double edged sword. modify and help them to succeed in your class as much as you can, but then they get to go on to the next grade even thought they aren't ready because they have a passing grade!!!

    We do have a school wide policy though that on the first 2 report cards we cannot put a grade lower than 55 for report cards. There is a comment code that denotes though that a grade of 55 may reflect a grade lower than that. My team teacher had a student who just flat out refused to turn in work this nine weeks...he finished with a 7%...yes 7!!! She had to put a 55 on his report card.

    I wish we could return to the time of getting the grade you earned and less politics in our classrooms. Maybe then it wouldn't be a numbers game...the kids in our room would be there to learn, and we'd be able to TEACH!
     
  21. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    We're having a bit of a problem with the interpretation of Case Against Zero in some of our classes. At least two teachers are simply putting a 50% into their gradebooks at the end of each week. This creates a false appearance of engagement (remember that we're distance learning and rely on each other's gradebooks to gauge participation in school in general). Also, once a grade is entered, the student is robbed of the opportunity of going back and earning a better grade. I have students who go back to skipped assignments and do A work on them.

    I'm all for finding ways to assess students in alternative ways that will allow me to excuse a formal assignment or two, but entering a 50% for students who are not engaging or flat-out truant is shady.
     
  22. jojo808

    jojo808 Comrade

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    At our school we don't (or most of us don't) use percentages anymore. It just doesn't make sense. We use: 0 (F) for no evidence, 1 (D) for well below, 2 (C) for partially proficient. 3 (B) for proficient. 4 (A) for advanced. The idea is that you use the mode to determine the student's grade instead of average. It is a little hard to get used to but I do believe it is more accurate in showing progress.

    We are in a transition between traditional and standards-based so in the future a student will not get credit for a D. A student must have a C (partially proficient) to get credit.
     
  23. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    We're talking about moving to a 4 point system for all assignments, but there will be complaints that a 10 question quiz will have the same weight as a research paper. How is that handled?
     
  24. jojo808

    jojo808 Comrade

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    Different assignments have different weights. A Research paper may cover 5-10 benchmarks like conventions, ideas, organization, style, citations, use of quotes--that type of thing. I have given a grade for each piece of evidence (which is a pita) and I have given a grade for each benchmark, but averaged them for one grade that is weighted.
     
  25. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Most gradebook programs allow you to set weight for categories. This is what i do. So I could give a kid a 3 for homework and a 4 for a test but the test category would be worth 80% of their grade and the homework would be worth 20%. I don't do total points because their end grade ends up being all over the place depending on what I have assigned.

    I like this idea a lot but do you have a system for assigning those grades or is there some kind of percentage? I feel like it could get kind of arbitrary otherwise.
     
  26. jojo808

    jojo808 Comrade

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    We don't have a school-wide system but my team has some agreements like we don't do any percents. We all went to a Rick Wormeli workshop and he made a lot of sense. We also give the students a rubric with the criteria for each (or try to!) assignment.

    In terms of what is proficient etc. We are trying to come to an agreement but right now that is up to the teacher. So it is somewhat arbitrary. If I have a 4 question quiz, I will do 4 right Advanced, 3 right =Proficient, 2 right = Partially Prof, 1 right = Well Below, zero = 0. Another teacher may feel 4=Advanced, 2-3 =Proficient, 1=PP, zero=well below.
     
  27. TeacherApr

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    I like this idea.

    We have a standard grade we give: F= falling far below, A= approaching, M=meets standards, E= exceeding standards. BUT we also have to give percentage grades to show their production, what they produce in class. Therefore what I was saying before some of my students will be getting 0s because they are literally producing nothing.
     
  28. The Fonz

    The Fonz Math teacher (for now...)

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    that is the most f'd up thing i ever heard....getting a zero cause the kid doesn't know the language? how about the school running an esl program so the kid CAN learn.

    p.s. this is not an attack on you, just on how that system works.
     
  29. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I don't understand.

    You don't have to teach in Spanish to teach a student English. I have tons of ELL students and I don't teach in Spanish. ESL instruction is about using tools and strategies to help students learn content while developing English language skills. What strategies are you using to help this student? Are you just leaving her to fend for herself? Why aren't you modifying activities for her? Does your school receive ELL money?
     
  30. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    I never said that you have to teach in spanish to learn english. It's against the law to do that here as I've mentioned many times. Yes, I do use tools and strategies but i am still required to give them the same 2nd grade level materials and tests as everyone else and they are measured with the same standards.

    No we don't receive ELL money. We don't get crap. And, with a class of now 34 without an aid and MAYBE 2 preps of 40 min each, please tell me how I am supposed to individualize instruction for more than half my class (ELL, possible sped ed, very low students, high students, etc.) :rolleyes:
     
  31. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    We would be in big trouble if we weren't! Our ESL kids have plans (similar to an IEP or 504, but under a different program) with modifications checked on them. We must modify instruction and assessment! I have so many kids with IEPs, 504s, ESLs, and Tier 2-3 modifications, I had to make a spreadsheet to keep straight who gets what! It's work, but if you stay organized with it, it can be done, and with minimal work. Use any resources that came with your textbook! Use more small group instruction and brain-based learning strategies. Find some simple assistive technology! It is possible, and I know you'll find teachers here willing to guide and help you so that these students don't get further behind.

    I see what happens to these kids who slip through the cracks when they reach high school, and it breaks my heart!
     
  32. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Do you have large class sizes too with no aide and barely any prep?
    I'm all for the kids. I want to help the kids but I'm not going to cause myself stress cramps like they have happened in the past because I was stretching myself so thin. I don't get paid much either so it's hard to keep my daughter in daycare longer than 5pm (we get out at 3:25 but most students don't get picked up till 4 because parents "forgot" or are "running late") and be able to afford it.

    My attitude usually isn't like this, believe me but here have been SO many negatives with my job down here that all I want to do is get through the next 6 mos. and then get out of here.
     
  33. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    In the past I have taught at places with large class sizes, no aide, and barely any prep. My first teaching job was not like that, it was in a small rural school with tons of money. I moved to a school closer to home, and when I asked about things like paras and preps, the principal literally laughed at me. I had 30 2nd graders, all labelled "at risk," and 30 minutes of planning twice a week. We did not even get duty-free lunch! But, I made it work, and was able to differentiate for my students. We did reading groups, we did centers, we did Kagan cooperative structures. It took a little bit of time after school, but not much. It's all in being organized! Those kids who are at school until 4:00 can help you get the room ready for the next day.

    Right now, I have three preps and a total of 197 students. I get 45 minutes a day of planning. I sponsor three after school organizations. I still find time to make accommodations for my ESL students (I have four this year,) 504 students (I have 15,) IEP students (I have 7 of them,) gifted students (I have 10,) and my four students on homebound who each basically get their own assignments. Then there's the behavior plans (I have 6 students on them.) It's a pain in the butt, but it's my job, so I do it!

    I understand being unhappy where you work, I've definitely been there before. Work has caused me stress-related illnesses before, but because of mandates from the administration and a "big brother" atmosphere at my school. You definitely have to do what you know is best for your family!
     
  34. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    But that's not her fault. :( She should still be making some progress. Does she have any buddies? Can you put her with another kid to do word sorts or something?
     
  35. Simba

    Simba Comrade

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    50% is passing in our district. We are instituting a no zero policy.

    I definitely see both sides of the argument. We have battled our administration over the new policy, but just like everything else in life, we have to compromise.

    We are also formally using Formative Instruction as much as possible. As an English teacher, it's been an utter nightmare.

    I don't have an answer to the problem. I will admit, our students are well aware of what very little they need to do in order to receive a "passing" grade.
     
  36. TeacherApr

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    We are required to have them wait in the office while we stand around for 20 min :mad: I do most of those things. It's not like I'm doing nothing....

    I'm not NOT doing anything for the MANY kids that need individual attention....yea I'm doing all that.
     
  37. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    If a student does not attempt the work, they get an "incomplete". Until the work is finished, there is no grade.

    I have given a student a zero when ALL of the work was completed, but it was wrong. In those cases the student gets reteaching and a make-up assignment.
     
  38. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Any time a zero, failing, or late grade gets put into our gradebook, an automatic email and phone call goes to the parent/guardian.

    Any student that is failing MUST attend before or after school until the grade is no longer failing. If they miss before/after school they attend Saturday school.
     
  39. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    When we did take percentage grades, I would put down the actual score (ex. 45%) and draw a slash mark above it. Then highlight it in my gradebook. That's because we were suppose to change all those to 50. But I wanted parents and admins to see what they were really making.

    Now we are all on a different grading system for K-6. Students make a "1", "2", or "3" on their report card.

    1... below standard. Not understanding it yet.
    2....understanding the concept, not at 100% independent and correct.
    3....understands concept at 100% and independent of teacher help. Doesn't have to be 100% grade, but 90-100%


    And grades are not averaged. You can start off the grading period with a 1 and move to a 3 by the end of it, showing that you get it at a 3 level to get a 3 on your report card. So in my grade book, I teach a standard, put checkmarks down for all those who get it, and reteach those who don't until they get a 3. Some just won't be able to. Most will.

    It's working. I thought when we started this new way that they wouldn't push hard to get a "3" when they were used to "A's". But I've added a percentage to the papers now (even though we've been told not to), and that helps. Kids and parents like seeing the 90-100's.
     
  40. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    The 1-2-3 is what Kentucky schools are transitioning to...
     
  41. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I like the system described by the teacher in Hawaii (and apparently what Kentucky is going to as well), and I think it has the potential to be more fair, but no matter what, grading is always arbitrary to some degree.

    We have a no zero policy in our school. This doesn't mean that we can't give zeros, it just means that we don't allow the students to have zeros. How does that work? Well, we harass them until they turn something in. LOL. Of course, there are always a few kids who have a few zeros, but for the most part, everyone at least makes an attempt to do something.
     

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