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mrteacherguy 02-05-2019 05:31 PM

Students not doing any work
I have been having an ongoing struggle with my 7th grade students not doing work.

I teach math at an inner city low income school, and while I am already well aware of the tendency of these students to not complete their work (this is my 6th year at the school), it seems like they are taking it to a whole new level.

I've tried doing teacher-led instruction and having the students follow along in their books as we break down the problems with me calling on volunteers or random students to help answer questions; the majority of them just tune me out and start side conversations.
After holding class councils I tried structuring my lessons with more team based work, with me going over an intro problem or two and then having them work in teams to complete their lesson; most of the students end up in off topic conversations and don't complete their work.

I have a lot of students that aren't even trying on their homework; I have more than a few that haven't even attempted homework since October.

It seems like anything other than giving them the answers isn't "helping" them. It doesn't matter if we've been going over a concept for a month and I've just completed two example problems on the board while reviewing the steps, they still "don't get it" and would rather blow off the assignment rather than put any real effort into it.

I hate to go off on a rant like this, but I'm trying to figure out what I can do to salvage/survive the remainder of this school year.

pg 02-09-2019 03:58 AM

I have...
no answers ~ but much sympathy! :o

My situation is very similar. I hope someone out there can volunteer a suggestion for you (and me).

Take care!

mauiwow 02-27-2019 07:55 PM

Know you are doing the best you can!
I don't have solutions since there is no easy fix but I can help brainstorm ideas.

It sounds like you have tried class councils--is this when you have a big discussion with your entire class or just students on the council to brainstorm ways to make class better?

1. Can you try having students do restorative circle where they discuss what is it that has been preventing them completing their homework and focusing in class? And come up with a class plan to earn an incentive?

2. I have tried this structure where I put numbers 1-100 on the board with empty spaces. If a student does something well, is kind to another, shows good groupwork, answers a problem and checks in with the teacher (whatever it is that I need them to do) I tell them to go up to the board and pick their "lucky number" and write their name next to it. By the end of the day or week I do a random number drawing. And their names can get chosen. So the more times they do what is expected and get a chance to write their name next to a number, the higher the chance they are at being selected if that makes any sense. I got this idea from

Good news is just 3-4 more months! Hang in there

Mshope 03-09-2019 08:10 AM

They Don't Care
At my school, we've been having more and more students seem to not care at all if they do anything. I teach 7th grade ELA and here is what I do:

-no homework (this is a school policy)

-When I do something with them like read a story and questions, I put everything on the smart board so they can see it. I collect it and grade it even if it is just a few points or most won't even bother. Some will STILL turn in a blank paper.

-On a test, I make them open book or open notes. We have to retest if they fail so you want to make sure that few fail because you just don't have time to constantly remediate everything.

-We have to "pad" our grades with easy assignments. I might have them write a paragraph on whatever and give them all ten points. Same with vocabulary and grammar. There are times they do a handout with a partner, then we ALL correct and then I grade it. Some kids are still too lazy to do anything and won't even turn it in.

-Make it fun-Review games sometimes help but the lowest won't participate unless there are candy or bonus points involved.

Basically, I have learned to lower the bar and make everything as easy as possible. It's sad for the kids who do complete their work and want to learn. However, we are really not allowed to hold students accountable or "let" them fail. It's disgusting but we are forced to baby them and socially promote them (even when they sleep through class or never show up.)

Sorry for the discouraging post but this is how we have to survive at my school.

GeeGra 06-13-2020 06:26 PM

Maybe you can try making math “fun”. Honestly most students do not like math in any form so getting and keeping their attention will be rather difficult. If you make lessons interactive and have students complete work in class instead of sending it home that would help.

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