Repair Kit study guide: behavior in grades and late work

Well I finished up with my Appendix B pre-assessment and thoughts on it so it’s time to move on to Appendix C.  This one is 21 questions.  Yikes!  That’s a lot to think about, and ended up being 17 pages of notes.  Yes I will be breaking this into multiple parts, and I’m not even sure how many but I will try to keep any one post from being too long.  Just for a little more info, this assessment is broken down into 3 sections, the first thirteen questions are about the frequency of doing certain things, the next six questions are and agree to disagree scale, and the final three questions are all about the confidence level.

So for today I’ll start with the frequency questions and honestly I’m not sure how many I’m going to cover of the thirteen, going to have to see how long it looks after I type up the first one or two and then make a decision, though I have a distinct feeling it will be multiple posts and I hope they won’t bore you, though I know I have more personal stories in my responses to Appendix C than I did to Appendix B.

Ok time to get started:

1) I include one or more of the following in grades: effort, participation, tardiness, attendance, and/or adherence to class rules.

I have never included these things in grades.  Wait, correction I did include participation one year but having been a student who lost points because I was hesitant to raise my hand in class if I had students who were shy or uncomfortable reading aloud in class I would pull the student asid and let them know what we would be reading the next day so that they could go home and read it that night to prepare.  After that one year however I stopped including participation in grades.  I’m really honestly not sure why I ever did except maybe I thought it was what I was supposed to do.

In every school I’ve ever taught in attendance, tardies, and behavior in class were NOT part of the academic grade.  At least one of the districts I taught in had a separate effort and conduct score.


2) I reduce points/marks on work submitted late. 

Yes I have done this so I selected almost always as my frequency.  I had a policy in my first year that most of the teachers I worked with had as well, made it easy for me to adopt it as the students were already familiar with it.  I deducted ten percent for every day the assignment was late, after that it was a zero.  The following year I changed the policy to ten percent off each day for five days and then it was a zero.  It was just too hard to grade papers that late from multiple students and to try to figure out when they had 

turned it in and how many days it was late.  The policy still bothered me so I hemmed and hawed, wavered all over the place.  In the real world I argued with myself if you turn your work in late or pay bills late there are consequences, to the point of possibly losing your job, car, or even house, so I felt it was necessary that t

In my last year as a classroom teacher, remember I’m a classroom assistant currently this is what happens when you move :). the 

middle school I worked at had instituted Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). For us part of that was implementing Intervention time meaning each core and special teacher had a group of 6th, 7th, or 8th grade students.  We met weekly to discuss how things were going.  We also set a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound for those 

unfamiliar with the term) for our students.  Our goal was to decrease the number of Ds and Fs our students earned.  Somewhere I have the exact wording of that goal, somewhere in storage I’m sure.  Anyway at our weekly PLC meetings we discussed anything on the agenda for the day and also handed out missing work to each teacher to take back to the kids in their Intervention group.  I did still deduct at least 10% from the late work, maybe more by that point I had dropped to 10% off the first day late, 20% the second day late, and 30% after that still allowing it to be turned in up to the day grades were due.  We met our goal, as I recall we surpassed it, the number of Ds and Fs on the next quarter’s report cards dropped significantly not only because of work being turned in late 

but also because some students realized it was better to just do the work when it was due rather than have to do it later.  My intervention group participated in enrichment activities if they had their missing work done, this was a motivator for a few of the students.  Grades also went up because in a small group students were more likely to ask questions, get help on things they didn’t understand, and still others were able to get work done that they couldn’t get done at home for any number of reasons.

here be a consequence.

I still believe that there should be some consequence for late work but I also feel work should be required to be done.  There are things in life you have to do and homework is one of them!  You don’t learn to drive without practice (I list this because it is the goal of every teenager I’ve ever known, and a lot of pre-teens too) and you won’t learn most anything you need to for school or work without practice either.

Ok I think it’s time to stop, this is enough for one post, maybe more than enough.  What do you think?  What would your answers be to questions 1 & 2?



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