You can't pass the class if you don't do any work...

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Sshintaku, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    Apr 20, 2010

    As grades were due last week, I find myself repeating over and over...
    "You can't get good grades if you don't turn in any work." My freshman seem to be having a hard time with this concept, and think that turning in a couple missing assignments should make up for a whole quarter of incomplete work, slacking off in class, no homework, etc.

    I regularly print out grade reports for them, send home grade reports, call home for kids who regularly miss big assignments, etc. It's really just the freshman who don't seem to understand that failing a class WILL hurt them in the long run (a cycle that is extremely prevalent at my school).

    Any suggestions as to how to better motivate them? And get the concept across that good grades require consistantly doing the work?

    Obviously, internal motivation is the best, etc etc. Fact of the matter is, they have no motivation of any kind, much less internal.
     
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  3. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Apr 20, 2010

    I feel your pain. I have students who'll have done little to no work, and then have a day when they do a lot and somehow that one day of hard work is supposed to bring their grade from a 22% to passing? Really? Sigh.

    What has worked for me with a few students is showing them my pleasure on the days they do the work. In my head I'm doubting it'll happen again any time soon but to them I say "It was great seeing you on task today, let's make tomorrow another great day." Sure, it doesn't work for all of them, but I have a few that went from failing last marking period to passing this one, and I think encouragement from me is the main reason. One student in particular comes to mind, he had a 42% last marking period and now has a 78%. I encourage him regularly, spoke positively to mom when she came to our spring open house, and I sent a note home saying how proud I was of his hard work and effort. He still has days of low productivity, but the turnaround has been awesome to see.

    I've also chatted to the student's counselor and then they call them in for a follow up chat. Works for a few anyway. It seems most effective for the ones that are maybe 10% bellow passing vs. the miserably failing ones.

    Good luck to you.
     
  4. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    Apr 20, 2010

    I try to encourage them, praise them for the small things, etc. And they certainly do appreciate it, but then they think just because I praised them, like you said, that somehow they are magically passing now.

    Counselors might be a good idea, I'll have to try that.
     
  5. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Apr 26, 2010

    What subject do you teach?
     
  6. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Apr 26, 2010

    Sometimes, I think the kids just have to see they really WILL fail if they don't do the work - period. And it isn't the fault of anyone else...it's all on them.

    During my student teaching, I had a few kids that simply would NOT do any work. I tried every approach I could think of and none of it had any effect. When they have absolutely zero motivation of any kind, it is almost impossible to create any.

    Some students did start getting the message when the P informed them they were being kicked off the sports team because of their low grades. They motivated a few of them. But the best success I had came when I showed them my classroom rules were just that - rules - rather than "suggestions".

    My most famous rule was "If you do it in pen, you do it again". I taught middle school math and began strictly enforcing this rule after a weekend spent grading papers done in various neon colors of ink. I had made allowances because the CT didn't enforce the rule and students often complained they didn't have a pencil to write with since other teachers accepted work in pen. However, the Monday after grading several neon papers, I told the students there would be no more exceptions to this rule - period. Starting tomorrow, they better make sure they had a pencil when they came to my room. Several students didn't really believe me, until they got homework assignments back marked with a "0" for using pen and directions to do the homework over if they wanted to improve that grade.

    It only took re-doing the homework one time for them to get the message.
     
  7. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Apr 26, 2010

    I with you guys BIG TIME.


    My freshman have grown up in a world where they have to put forth a GREAT deal of effort to be held back. Failing in middle school typically means getting griped at more frequently and MAYBE having to attend summer school.

    High school is a huge transition for them and several just don't get the concept of "you will be repeating this class if you fail it." I have preached it since day one. I have also preached that zero's kill your grade and I post grades by student number on a weekly basis so they KNOW what they are making in my class.

    Most of my students do well and do care, but about 10% simply don't care until now that it is the end of the year. In their past experience, they can work the last few weeks and they won't be held back. Now they are upset because they're going to be doing Alg I again next year as a result of not doing crap for all but the last 4 weeks of the school year.

    This small handlful just don't understand the concept that not doing the work means repeating the class and they don't listen when you tell them that there are consequences for not doing the work. It is something they have never experienced and they have not been taught.
     
  8. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Apr 27, 2010

    I could have written this! A parent calls me and wants to know why their child failed my class last quarter. I respond that I've only received three assignments out of 32, but those three were A work. The tone of the discussion changes quickly after that.
     
  9. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    Apr 27, 2010

    YES! WAAAYYY too many of my kids failed middle school completely and were moved on to high school. Now they have 5th and 6th grade skill levels and are expected to perform at a 9th grade level, which just isn't happening.

    I overheard a student's conversation yesterday, "I got an F, F and an F and a D, and I got a D for the end of the year so you're totally going to pass. Don't worry."
     
  10. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    Apr 27, 2010

    We aren't allowed to retain an 8th grader if that student will become 16 years old during the next year. This is so we don't have 16 year old 8th graders, I guess. This causes problems towards the end of their 9th grade year when they haven't passed anything but PE and don't understand how they can be a freshman again.
    I had a kid ask me today "How can I have a 29% in here?" Well, you haven't turned in twelve assignments and here are some of your other grades - 12, 8, 29, 63, 42, etc. "But I got a 100 on that worksheet last week."

    My personal pet peeve is when I hear a student say "Well there is no way I can pass math because Mrs. L hates me and she is making me fail."
    Hello! She is grading the work and giving you the grade you deserve and it is her fault you are failing? It is a math class, the grade is figured using some of that math that you fail to learn because you aren't in school or just aren't paying attention. You don't fail a class because the teacher hates you. You fail because you don't do the work, don't do the homework, don't pay attention, don't come to class, and you fail the tests. Take some personal responsibility for once.
     
  11. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    Apr 27, 2010

    That's one of my FAVORITES. "Why did YOU give me an F/D?" Um.. I didn't GIVE it to you, you earned it yourself...
     
  12. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Apr 27, 2010

    Excellent response!!! :thumb:
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 27, 2010

    I always say that I didn't give it to them, I just wrote it down.
     
  14. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Apr 27, 2010

    :rofl:


    Oh. I love the parents that come in asking you why you gave their child a low grade (even B's or C's). All I have to do is simply print out their child's grade grid and show them the scores from all their work. It's not like it should be a surprise. I send home graded papers every Monday and Tuesday, as well as a hand written note on each child's progress every Monday.
     
  15. JackTrader

    JackTrader Comrade

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    Apr 27, 2010

    In our state, when a student turns 16 and is credit deficient, they are eligible for continuation school.

    For some reason, 10th grade seems to be that time when there is a lot of students who just "fall out" or even drop out....they are really vulnerable at that age...
     
  16. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Apr 27, 2010

    After multiple emails to my students making sure they all know exactly what they need to do to pass, I get THIS email:

    Dear Cat (yes, she used my first name),

    I was wanting to know if there was any way that you could send me a list of the assignmnets that i still need to do through the mail soi can jsut go through and check them off as i do them.

    --Student​
    :banghead:
     

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