Would you make her take it?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Mathemagician, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    I had a girl who was out of class on 12/20 and 12/21. She was back in class after break on 01/02 (the first day back). On 01/02 (The day after break), I reviewed the material taught on 12/18-12/21 (although 12/21 was more or less a "fun" day before break). On 01/03, we learned some new stuff. Yesterday, 01/04, I gave a quiz on the stuff from 12/18-12/21 and 01/02-01/03.

    The girl came up to me at the beginning of class immediately before the quiz, and said "Do I need to take this today? I'm not ready." I told her that, yes, she needed to take it. She only missed 2 days before break, and was there for the review and all of the other lessons.

    I may have given her an extra day or may have had some sympathy for her if she approached the day before, or if she came in for extra help (I am in early every morning and after school--and all the students know this. I also volunteer my prep period by appointment if absolutely necessary to help students on study halls). In addition, she didn't complete the review sheet or the HW sheet. She just assumed because I'm nice that I would not make her take it that day, but she assumed wrong.

    The girl took the quiz and got around 30%. I am trying to teach them to be responsible. Would you have made her take it? Should I feel bad?
     
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  3. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

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    I would have made her take it. Were her absences before break excused or unexcused (as in was she sick or started winter break early for a trip)? She was there for most of the content, but it seems like she didn't want to be held accountable and was hoping you'd give her a break. I wouldn't feel bad at all. She wasn't prepared and that, unfortunately, is her responsibility and the poor grade is a consequence.
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    The fact that she didn't do the review sheets bothers me. I would have made her take it all things considered.
     
  5. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    I would have. In my mind, she had plenty of opportunity to come and see you for extra help on the material that she missed. Had she done that, and I thought she still wasn't ready, I may have postponed it.

    I have a student who is consistently absent. I believe she's missed 60% of my classes. We had a test yesterday and she was there. I made her take it. This student has yet to be to one of my extra help sessions, nor has she come to see me at other times to catch up, so I don't feel bad.

    On another note, one of my favourite teaching stories has to do with a test and a student who wasn't ready.

    A few years back, I had a student who got really sick. She was hospitalized because they were pretty certain she had swine flu. The day she came back to school was the day I was giving a test. During break, she, and a friend, came to see me and I told her that while the others were writing the test, she would be catching up on the work she missed.

    I stepped into the hall to speak to another teacher and when I came back in, this girl's friend (who had not missed any time) came up to me and said "I'm not ready for the test, so I think I'm going to write it on Wednesday." I blinked a time or two because I was a little shocked, and replied "I'm sorry you feel you're unprepared, but *I* think you're going to write it today". At that point the student sucked in her breath and said "Yeah, I think I'm gonna go ahead and write it on Wednesday." At this point I laughed and said "Well, you can think whatever you please, you're still writing it today."

    At that point, she turned and said to her friend "God, Ms. Shanoo is such a b!#$h". So, on top of having to write the test that day, she also got an office referral.
     
  6. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Was the quiz announced ahead of time? If so, how much notice did she have?

    I've learned that I need to get with them and make sure they're aware of what they missed, what they're responsible for, etc... My seniors are pretty good about it but my sophomores need more guidance.

    I had a kid come up to me one time and say that he totally bombed a quiz that he'd just taken and could he have a retake. This was at the end of dec and he'd never done it before so I said yes. It turned out he'd stopped to help a woman the night before whose car had broken down and hadn't gone to bed until about 2am. I was totally fine with it.

    Anyways I would sit down and chat with her and offer her a retake. You can average the scores or just replace it.
     
  7. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    I announced the quiz to everyone on Wednesday (the day we returned from break). I believe she was "sick" on the Thursday, but just skipped on Friday since it was a silly half day anyway. I never offer retakes, but it was only a 25 pt quiz whereas we still have 3 100 pt tests this marking period so it didn't destroy her grade--just took her a few pts down.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Yes, I would have made her take it. I do give all students the opportunity to retake tests and quizzes, though, so she could have retaken it if she was dissatisfied with her score. In my class, she would need to show me some evidence that she had prepared for the retake--some review activities or something that we had decided on ahead of time.
     
  9. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    I don't allow retakes only because it would become too much. I know your environment is a lot different than mine, but the majority of my students would be retaking any assessment that they didn't get an A on so I would be creating assessments just so Johnny could go from 88% to 92%.
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Yeah, I hear you. Our retake policy is a school policy.

    Perhaps you could offer retakes only to students who earn 70% or less? Or even an F? That would eliminate the problem of grade-grubbing but would still allow students to fix a random bad test grade.
     
  11. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    I think I would have cut her a break and let her take it later, to be honest.
     
  12. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    You might just allow retakes on one or two days the week after the test. This would cut down on having to give them out often.

    I do retakes, but I don't create a whole new assessment for it because it's Middle School and it isn't really that important. I would probably do it differently if I were teaching High Schoolers.

    I do require that they complete a test review sheet before they retake the assessment. The review sheets are stock so they work for all tests. They just copy the question, put down their previous answer, and then write the correct answer with a rationale for why their new answer is correct or why they got it wrong the first time. Everyone has to complete this review sheet whether they want to or not, for a grade, so if someone studied correctly the first time, they don't have to spend a lot of time on it and can do a preferred activity, while those who didn't do so well have a lot more work to do.

    But in response to your original query, I think you were completely justified in giving her the test on that day. She does need to take responsibility.
     
  13. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    Jan 5, 2013

    I definitely would have made her take it, too, particularly since she really only missed one instructional day and you reviewed the material the following period.
     
  14. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I would have, especially since she just decided not to do the review or homework. If she had done them, I might have given her another day since she put forth some effort.
     
  15. Ilovesummer

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    She didn't do her part to be prepared. If she had put some effort into doing the review assignment, it would be a different story, but if she's not going to put any effort into it, then, yeah, I would have made her take it then. Maybe next time she'll put a little effort into preparing for quizzes.
     
  16. SCTeachInTX

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    Jan 6, 2013

    She should have taken the quiz. That is a life lesson she needs to learn now and not when she is in college paying for each credit hour. You were more than fair.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    How did the rest of the class do on the test?
     
  18. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Since she was there for most of the material and the review, why do you think she did so poorly on the quiz? It seems like she should have at least come close to passing.

    Even if you have the grade stand (which I think is okay if you said it doesn't have a huge impact on the overall grade), I would still sit down and talk with her about it. Maybe ask her why she felt like she didn't have to do the homework.
     
  19. Mathemagician

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    Average was around 87.
     
  20. 2ndTimeAround

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    Yes, I would have made her take it.

    I had a student this past week that tried to get out of taking a quiz. It was a simple vocab quiz. I assigned the vocabulary on Wednesday, told them which words (8) would be on a quiz the next day and that I would start the quiz immediately after bellwork (I have issues with tardies). Then I taught the lesson which dealt with those words.

    The next day, when I asked the student to get started on his bellwork, he said the office was going to call him down for checkout right away. I said to start anyhow. Three minutes pass and I get the quizzes. He said he didn't want to take his since he was getting checked out. It was a five question matching quiz. I gave him his and let him start right then. I passed out the others and they started about two minutes later. All but two of the other students finish and turn theirs over when the office calls for the student. He says, "see, I knew I wouldn't have enough time to take it!"

    He had two minutes MORE than everyone else. He just had not done his homework because he assumed he wouldn't be there for the quiz. His 40% stands.
     
  21. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Well, at least she was aware she was completely unprepared for the quiz and advocated for herself. Not saying that anytime a student tells you they aren't ready is a reason for not giving the student the quiz, sometimes it is just a waste of time for both of you.

    My question is: what are you assessing? Her skills to catch up when she missed class, what she knows on that day compared to others, or what she is capable of learning if she was given the extra time she asked for? My opinion is that sometimes things come up and the fact that it is a very disorganized time of year, she did address the issue with you, I might very well have made accommodations for her such as requiring her to come in and get some help and giving a deadline to do so. Then I would provide the quiz on the day of the deadline. But then again, I don't think education is an absolute most of the time. There are some absolutes, but even in my life, things come up and adjustments must be made.
     
  22. 2ndTimeAround

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    I have one student that has approached me a few times, probably four, saying that she didn't want to take a test since she didn't study enough the night before. "I had to babysit so I didn't get to study." "I had a concert so I didn't get to study." "If I take it, I'm going to fail it." And she did fail them. All.

    I admit, I was shocked that she thought that her lack of responsibility would change my policies. Apparently this method had worked for her almost every time with her former teachers. And she has the least responsibility and is the most entitled student I have seen in a very long time.
     
  23. Mathemagician

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    I'm assessing her ability to take responsibility to learn the material. Even if she sent me an email the night before asking if she could take it on Monday and come in for help, I probably would have allowed it. Immediately before the quiz is not something I am willing to accommodate. The kicker is she wants to be in honors next year. Our honors teachers would never go for that. In my opinion, responsibility is far more important than the actual content of the quiz.
     
  24. Math

    Math Cohort

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    I am in honors math this year. I remember I was absent on a Friday and my teacher emailed me stating there was a test Monday. I made sure I studied over the weekend. The lesson I missed on Friday was explained to me once I got to class. I got a 100 on the test.
     
  25. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I actually see the fact that she did talk to you to let you know she wasn't prepared as a level of responsibility. It isn't as if she asked if you could have her just not take the quiz at all, but to give her a bit more time to learn the material adequately since ultimately that is the main purpose of a high school class. If the main purpose was to teach responsibility we wouldn't have set standards to teach.

    I guess we will differ as to what the grade on the report card is supposed to represent. We have a comments section that could indicate a less than adequate level of responsibility.

    I am thankful that most teachers in our HS do give some wiggle room when kids are out sick because they know that the kids now have to juggle making up material for multiple classes and keep up with what is new material and homework. This happens in most honors classes as well as AP classes for students that aren't abusers of the system.
     
  26. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Am I actually agreeing with a2z for once? I'm shocked :lol:.
     
  27. Mathemagician

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    No comments section on report cards here. A college professor wouldn't accept a student coming up immediately before the exam as an excuse. Obviously we have standards to teach and that is important, but what she remembers about centroids of triangles is less important to me than what she learns about being proactive and accountable.
     
  28. Ms.H

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    My usual stance is that I would rather see students' best work, so I typically do give them the extra day if it's an absence-related grey area (it's their job to set up a make-up time and let me know, so they often just take it because they don't want to deal with the extra trouble), but it does bother me when they assume the most lenient outcome and don't bother to check. Like many people said, if at least some foresight or effort is evidenced, it would be a lot easier to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    Even with written policies in place, there always seem to be tough calls, such as being gone a day sometime between a paper being assigned and a paper being due. Some kids are so diligent about absences that they bring completed work the day then come back, and some will try to stretch an absence way too far (I was gone four days ago when we were working on the paper, so I don't have it done today). I think part of it would depend on the habits and typical nature of the student-- if they have a pattern of taking advantage of absences and I had warned them, I'd probably make them take it, but if it was atypical, I might assume that the student was genuinely having trbuble catching up from an absence.
     
  29. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I like and appreciate the idea of letting students delay assessments given certain circumstances and retake them to prove they eventually learned the standards. I did this in my classroom. That said, in order for it to work on a bigger scale, the school needs to have some sort of time built into the day for this sort of activity.
     
  30. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I'm going to have to change my point of view then! :lol: Just kidding.
     
  31. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    What is your school policy on absences? We had a one day for each absence. So if a student was out two days before break, they would get two days after break to catch up. By the third day, they would be expected to be caught up with the class and ready for any quiz or test given.
     
  32. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Same here too, but it isn't realistic usually. In order to catch up in 7 classes, keep up, and take missed tests or quizzes is often impossible. Our students are also required to turn in assignments that were due on the first day they were out which should be expected, except for when the student goes home at the end of the day sick as a dog and is too sick to do the homework for the next day. That then becomes a point of contention depending on the teacher and how fast they hold onto the rules. Realistically, if a student goes home on Wed with an assignment due Thursday and spends the entire evening sick in bed, they can't do the assignment. There are times were teachers will give that student a zero for not having the assignment when they return.

    I think sometimes flexibility is the key. I also think we get different reactions from forced flexibility because students can read the teacher well enough to know when they truly are flexible and when they resent having to be flexible.
     

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