What's your late work policy?

Discussion in 'High School' started by jennyscout, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. jennyscout

    jennyscout Rookie

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    Apr 13, 2008

    What's your late work policy? I have so many students who are unmotivated, but then right at the end of the marking period want to bring in work to boost their grades. I feel sorry for them and feel some work is better than no work, but I hate the extra work this gives me. What to do? I have been reducing their grades, but this doesn't seem to stem their urge to do this again. At first, I said I would not accept late work, and then many of my lowest students felt they were so far behind, so then what's the point of even trying.

    If a student has an excused absence, I said I would give them a week to make up work, but when you have 180 kids, it's hard to keep track of when that week is up or not. Anyone have any tips on how to manage this? I wish I could have all my student messages written to me on email.
     
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  3. DocHistory11

    DocHistory11 Rookie

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    Apr 13, 2008

    Excused Absence:
    Absent Mon/Tues - Due Friday
    Absent Wed/Thurs - Due Following Monday
    Absent Friday - Due Following Monday

    Unexcused Absense:
    Work is not accepted at all for credit
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 13, 2008

    In the case of an excused absence or approved school absence, I technically allow three days for make-up work to be turned in--the district policy. Generally, if a student talks to me about the make-up, I'll accept it within 2 weeks. I feel like if they're willing to put forth the effort, I'll give them a break on the amount of time they have to turn stuff in.

    It's not hard to keep track of this sort of thing because of the way I set up my gradebook and make-up procedures. First, my gradebook is set up in such a way that whenever a student is absent, I type "ab" for the score. "ab" defaults to zero, so the student's score is and remains a zero unless and until they turn in work. Second, students are responsible for obtaining, completing, and turning in their make-up work entirely on their own using our class web page. I expect them to be self-directed on this. If they don't get and do their make-up work, it's on them. Their score remains a zero. It's no extra work for me until I receive their assignment...then it's easy to check the date they were absent and the date of the make-up to see that they're within a reasonable period of time.

    For unexcused absences and truancies, I don't accept missing work. They can come to class if they want a better grade.

    In the event of a student being present on the day an assignment was due but just chose not to do it or turn it in, I don't accept missing work. Period. This covers the vast majority of my students who have missing work. If they're too lazy, unmotivated, disorganized, whatever to get their work done and turned in, I don't have much patience for that. They're in high school, and they need to be more responsible than that.

    Occasionally I'll offer a Homework Amnesty Day. This day usually happens once during the school year on some random half-day or testing day when I can't teach a lesson. I allow students to work on and turn in missing work from the quarter at no penalty. Students who have no missing work can be excused to the library to work on projects for other classes.
     
  5. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Apr 13, 2008

    At the college level, this decision is not ours to make; it is all-campus policy. Late work is not accepted. Period.

    It wasn't hard for me to get used to it, because I had almost the same policy in the middle school.

    As for students of any age who, a few days before the grading period ends, come to a teacher crying about bonus points, etc., I have only this to say: LOSER. Oh, and "No."

    I used to say "Sorry, no," but I wasn't really sorry so I stopped saying so. The sooner a student learns and understands that you only get what you deserve, and that if you don't earn it, you don't deserve it, the better.
     
  6. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Apr 13, 2008

    I know my first few years of teaching I felt this way but a very wise teacher set me straight. She asked me "what are you teaching your students if you set due dates but allow them to turn the assignment in when THEY get ready to?" That was the end of me feeling sorry for them because I know as a teacher I teach more than my content area. I also teach them responsbility, accountablity and deadlines mean something. Honestly, it is might be too late this year to start this policy but if you start out next year accepting NO late work it will only take once for students to understand you mean what you say.
     
  7. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Apr 13, 2008

    I give them a week (and if they come and see me I will give them longer) for excused absences.

    Any work that they chose not to turn in on the due date is an automatic zero, I accept no late work. I do give them 4 late work passes for a day extension for any assignment without penalty and drop their lowest homework, lowest classwork, and lowest quiz grade each term. I use to accept late work, but then like INteacher I realized what am I teaching them for accepting late work.
     
  8. manatee23

    manatee23 Rookie

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    Apr 14, 2008

    I was like you, but over the years my policy gets stricter and stricter. Now it's -10 if it is handed in one day late and a zero after that. I also do a “free homework day” once every quarter near the end where I allow them all to hand in one missing assignment with no penalty. The only exceptions I make are when the student comes to me during their own time, before/after school or during lunch to talk to me about it, at that point I feel they are making an effort and I work to accommodate them.

    Here is my tip for keeping track of it all… right before I make any copies for class I put the day the assignment is going to be handed out on the paper so if a student ever tries to hand it in later, I can see how long ago it was done with out guess work. For absent work, before I give it to the student I put the present date on it in red. I just started doing that this year and can’t believe I never thought of it before, talk about a “duh” moment! It really has helped me keep track of all the work without having to dig through my lesson plan book.
     
  9. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Apr 14, 2008

    That is a FANTASTIC tip!! Thanks for passing it on.
     
  10. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Apr 14, 2008

    My late policy (for whole dept actually) is 20% off for a week and 50% off after that. 50% off for unexcused absences. I think we are a little too kind, honestly.
     
  11. scienceteach82

    scienceteach82 Cohort

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    Apr 14, 2008

    10 points off each day. If I have returned assignments, then it is a 0.
     
  12. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Apr 14, 2008

    They have as many days as they were absent to turn in work. If they were absent for 3 days, then they have 3 days to turn in missed work and make arrangements to take any missed test. I do not allow them to make up the 1st missed quiz in a 9 weeks because I drop a quiz and so the first one they miss is the one they drop. On assignments, if they are 1 day late then I take off 10%, 2 days late it is 20%, and 3 days late it is 30%. I do not accept anything that is more than 3 days late.
     
  13. ptlanguage

    ptlanguage Rookie

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    Apr 14, 2008

    My late policy is 20% off if 1 day late; 50% off if 2 days late, and a zero after 2 days. I also use a system like INteacher's idea of writing the date on the assignment and a red letter date for absentee students. I also have a login sheet that the absentee student signs when he/she gets the makeup work. The login sheet has the date, the name of the assignment, the date the absentee student accepted the work, the date the assignment is due, and a place for the student to sign. When students accuse me of not giving them the make up work, I show them their signature and there isn't much they can say. Of course, I am not perfect and every once in awhile I forget to give a student their make up work and the evidence is that there is no login for that absentee student and the assignment. This procedure has worked real well for me the past two years.
     
  14. Calliope

    Calliope Companion

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    Apr 16, 2008

    I don't take late work. Period. When I take up an assignment, everyone has to turn in a piece of paper. If a student doesn't have the assignment he has to write me a "love note" telling me he doesn't have it, why not - if he wants to, signed & dated. I put it in the file with the other papers I take up. I put those love notes in my binder I keep with each student's contact info, behavior docs, etc. When mom wants to know why little Johnny has an F, I pull out that stack of love notes. No, "you lost my homework" arguments or anything else. I feel like it also makes the students admit that they didn't do it & take responsibility for their actions.

    Make-up work is another issue. It is the bane of my existence, & I still haven't found a consistently good way to deal with it.
     
  15. MrU82

    MrU82 Rookie

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    May 1, 2008

    letter grade down every day its late.
     
  16. kilgore_trout

    kilgore_trout Rookie

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    May 5, 2008

    I require my student to see me at least two days before the due date of an assignment with a written request for an extension (either hard copy or email -- many of my students do not have regular access to the internet) and a 200 word typed explanation of why they need more time to complete the assignment and a schedule detailing by when they will have it completed.

    Other than that, I don't take late work. This has worked really well, especially since I'm an English teacher and we keep learning logs in the class.

    For excused absenses, I give students the exact same amount of time from when the assignment is given to them as the other students have.
     
  17. smarkham01

    smarkham01 Companion

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    May 5, 2008

    As a group, all of you rflect the diversity found in my son's teacher's policies. The ones I appreciate most are the two who permit three days after it was due, then refuse it. It certainly does give me leverage to keep homework flowing every night and provides a safety net for those times when Microsoft ate it.
     
  18. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Wow - you guys have it easy if you can get away with policies like these.

    I take 5% per day to a maximum of 50%, regardless of the deadline. Even so, I have one parent who claims she never "saw" the policy (on both my course outlines) and now I have to give her daughter full credit for all of her late work.

    If I didn't take late work, some kids wouldn't had anything in, and my principal has a policy that we grade them on what they know, not on whether or not they are able to be punctual.
     
  19. Mr. V

    Mr. V Rookie

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    May 5, 2008

    3 Late passes per semester. Good for homework level assignments only (no projects)
     
  20. wunderwhy

    wunderwhy Comrade

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    May 6, 2008

    Our school policy is that students have the number of days absent plus one to makeup work.

    My approach is very different based on the level of my classes. With honors, I do not accept late work, and I frequently tell students that it is too late to make up tests or turn things in. In the case of assignments which I will accept late, I put a slot on the rubric for deducting late points. If you were absent Monday and do not have the assignment due Monday when you return on Tuesday, then it will not be accepted. The homework assigned Monday must be turned in the next class period. With long term assignments I give them a handout of due dates in addition to all dates being posted on my website. So then they know that with the research paper or the poetry unit, they must keep up even if absent.

    With the lowest classes, my policy is much more flexible. Officially, I do not accept late work, but the reality is that I have students who have failed English before and have never turned in a paper, at least not one that was correctly written. If I did not accept late papers with minimal penalty (usually 10 points for a few days, 20 beyond that), then a significant portion of each class would fail. I must spend a lot of time coaxing and encouraging to get papers and projects completed by some of these students. If I were strict like I am with my honors students, they wouldn't rise to meet my expectations; they'd just fail again. It is hard enough to teach these students to write well, to read on their own, to speak correctly. For the hardest cases, I must choose between teaching responsibility and failing the child.

    I learned at the troubled middle school where I taught my first year that the county requires middle school teachers (at least in challenged schools) to give 50s instead of 0s so that students won't fail in huge packs. My philosophy was, well, I am not going to give something for nothing, so I only gave 50s if students copied down the answers or made up the assignment. That's carried over into my leniency with my low classes as long as they do the assignment well in the end.

    As far as organization of late work, I too enter "ab" which counts as a zero in the grade book. I paperclip all papers turned in on time together so that late papers will stand out. I often ask students for parent notes if I am giving them unusual leniency, as in the case of the girl who whispered to me that she had laryngitis last week when it was her turn to give a presentation. I wasn't sure if that was stage-fright or not, but yesterday she had a note and a well done presentation, so I'll give her the benefit of the doubt.

    I also use the attendance program to refresh my memory when students are absent so that I can see how long the absence was and if it was excused.

    Some of my colleagues create makeup work packets for absent students. This can be one student's responsibility every day, or at the start of class you can ask, "Who is going to get a copy of everything for John? For Jill?" etc., and have a cover sheet for the helper to fill out. I don't personally do this because so few students take responsibility for their makeup work that the effort often goes to waste. I just keep copies in folders behind my desk (I have an honors vocabulary folder, an honors literature folder, an honors grammar folder, etc.) which I empty out at least every marking period. My homework is listed on the board and on my website, which is googable, linked to the school website, and linked to their grades login. But so often students, including honors students, return from being absent and ask me what they missed, as though I have a running tally of how many days they were absent and a list of every single assignment in my brain. So I say, check my website (they have school-issued laptops with wireless, so I am not asking them anything that requires extraordinary effort) and they say ok, and half the time I never hear from them again, at least not until a week later when I tell them it is too late.

    The students also seem to wait until the grades program is updated to request makeup work, figuring, I suppose, that if it doesn't appear as a grade, then they shouldn't bother to make it up. So I often tell these students that too much time has elapsed. Usually I have done one of two things--entered the grades immediately but held all makeup work until the end of the marking period to make grading more efficient for me, or waited to enter grades until all assignments were in (and any others would not be accepted)--so checking the grades program will not really tell students what they've got to do when.

    I feel that it's very important to break this cycle of coddling. Honestly, I think the issue is that, first of all, they're a year out of middle school when I get them, and knowing our county middle school policies, there has been serious coddling going on. Secondly, some teachers do not keep their websites updated, and since this is a county policy and they probably feel bad about it, they just tell students to check the grade program to see what they missed. So the students learn in these classes that the procedure is to wait until the teacher enters the zero, whenever that is, and then make up the work.
     
  21. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    May 6, 2008

    My personal policy is minus 10% for each day it is late and no late work accepted after 3 days - by then it will be a failing grade anyway.

    For absences, our school policy is one day to make it up for every day the student is absent. If a student is absent on the day of an announced test, they must make it up the day they come back.
     
  22. CKaras

    CKaras Rookie

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    Late work is one thing that I never feel 100% "right" about. On the one hand, I feel that we should be testing students' knowledge rather than their ability to turn work in on time. On the other hand, I think I have a responsibility to teach students more than just academic material. Being prompt is important in "the real world" and I almost feel as though it would be a disservice to my students later if I allowed them to turn in late work now.

    I currently allow students to turn in late work once per semester, and it's worth 50% credit. I teach freshmen, and I felt it was necessary to be strict with them so that they could quickly realize the importance of being responsible and mature. However, I actually found my way to this message board because I am researching other methods...

    Last year, I tried to make students fill out a "responsibility form" if they didn't have anything to turn in. It basically made the student tell me WHY I didn't have their assignment, and I kept it in a folder in preparation for parent/teacher conferences. Of course, the parents of the students with the most responsibility forms on file never showed up for conferences...imagine that? It was my first year teaching, and I just dropped the ball on the responsibility forms. I tended to have more on my mind than getting a signature and explanation from students about missing work, and, of course, the students never remembered.

    I'd like to try the responsibility form again next year, though. I think I'm going to have to come up with a way to quickly see who has turned in which papers....like a sign-in sheet or something. I'm OK when I get to collect all the papers at one time, but once I start having students that were absent, I start losing track of when they're supposed to turn in work. A co-worker of mine has students sign a sheet every time they turn in work, so there's a signature to document if they actually turned something in or not. I don't do this because I feel like my freshmen would cheat me -- that is, they would sign the form without turning anything in, and it would make me crazy because I'd feel like I lost their paper! But maybe I don't give them enough credit. It works for my colleague.

    This is my 2nd year of teaching, and I have so many ideas, but I can't figure out how to make them work 100% for my classroom... but thanks for all the great ideas so far, everyone!
     
  23. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Feb 6, 2011

    All teachers must accept late work. I hate grade day. Students sometimes come in on grade day with their parents to turn in missing assignments. It's a terrible practice. It's been this way for the three years I've been here. Tests are 70% of the grade. Homework/assignments are considered practice. I cope with the policy by saying "It is what it is."
     
  24. math1abee

    math1abee Companion

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    Feb 8, 2011

    So I haven't had the chance to implement my late work policy because I haven't gotten a job yet, but I have it written out. Also, I plan on giving the students a copy and having them and their parents sign and return it to me. That way when mom and dad come in with Billy Joe on the last day of the grading period and try to turn in work that is way to late I can say here is a copy of my late work policy that I handed out at the beginning of the year and had you sign so you and Billy Joe would know what would happen if you didn't get your late work in on time. So I am very sorry but I can't accept it.

    However, I know that I may have to change it up, depending on my district's/school's policy but I like having an overall plan.

    Late Work Policy:

    If a student has an excused absence (i.e. doctor's note...parental notes will not suffice) they have 3 days from the day they return to school to make up missed assignments. If they do not complete the assignments within those three days they receive a “zero” for the graded work.

    When absent all missing work will be placed in the “Here’s What You Missed” folder for the student’s class period. The student is responsible for getting their work from that folder and for obtaining and copying all notes they missed that day from another student.

    If a student knows they will be absent from class and it will not be excused (i.e. family trips) they can get copies of the work they will miss on that day. However, they must let the teacher know at least one day ahead of time so she can have copies prepared for the student. This work will be due the day the student returns to class.

    Work missed because of unexcused absences or tardiness can not be made up and will result in a “zero.”
    Missed tests must be made up the day the student returns to class.
     
  25. CanukTeach

    CanukTeach Companion

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    Feb 11, 2011

    We do not remove grades for late assignments and we accept late assignments. However, there are consequences for late assignments. Students are assigned detentions at lunch/after school and/or in school suspensions to complete late assignments. I also find that with proper scaffolding, very few assignments are submitted late. O'Connor's "How to Grade for Learning" sums up my view on grading and late assignments quite well.
     

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