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cardinallady cardinallady is offline
 
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cardinallady
 
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Tests & Apathy
Old 02-01-2010, 05:53 PM
 
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I am so frustrated right now yet a little apathetic. I'm grading test that my 7th graders took today. They didn't do just horrible, but they didn't do well either. I would say the average has been a C, which is lower than normal. This is a very bright group I have this year.

Thoughts/Questions running through my head as I grade.

**I will let the students correct these tomorrow and average the two grades. If I do this they will write everything in complete sentences including multiple choice and matching sections.

**I will give students a brand new assignment tomorrow over this material with the same stipulations as above.

**They had their study guide for a week. Their test got bumped from Friday to today because of bad weather giving them extra time to study. If they did bad it's because they are lazy and don't care.

**They don't care so why should I?

**I'm going to turn into a horrible mean, strict teacher who gives A LOT of work until they act like they care a little.

I'm just so frustrated with them. I don't know how to react or if I should even react all all.

Any thoughts? If not, it is okay. Thanks for letting me vent.


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Make 'em work for their grades
Old 02-01-2010, 06:08 PM
 
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Make them pay the consequences for their actions. If their grades take a dive for it ,hold meetings with the parents make sure you have copies of their lackluster work. Then there will be no surprises at report card time (at least for you). Also don't cave and give them extra credit to "rescue" the quarterly grades.
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Corrective Action
Old 02-01-2010, 06:49 PM
 
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I kind of like the idea of making them write everything in complete sentences! However, I wouldn't average the correction and the original test--that's too lenient in my view. If you are up to it, after they have written the sentences, immediately afterward (or next day if not enough time in one period) give them the same test but revised (change a multiple choice answer from A to C, mix up the matching, for example). Require that the sentences be handed in (if they whine) or they will lose points on the retest. Then average those two test grades. I think this will send a strong message that they need to study for the next test to avoid a repeat of this procedure! Or tell them that next time, there won't be a retest opportunity.

But then again, I've become a lot meaner through the years
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How did I know it had to be 7th?!
Old 02-01-2010, 07:00 PM
 
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I truly feel your pain. I teach 6, 7, and 8. By far, 7th is the least concerned with their grades. If the average is not failing, I would just count this test as is and not give make-up opportunities. If you are concerned about them not internalizing the material, give a different assignment and count that as a separate grade. It accomplishes two things: they get a repeat of the material (since the ultimate goal is for them to actually learn something), and they get an extra grade to pull up their overall. I always make myself actually enter grades before I make any decisions about extra or repeat work. Sometimes I find that a test that I think is awful, doesn't have as huge an impact on their grades as I expect. Then I can just focus on making sure they have the knowledge before I move on.

Hang in there!
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Old 02-02-2010, 05:27 PM
 
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If a class which typically does well does poorly, I typically consider options other than the students being lazy.

Was the test given on a Monday or after a break of some sort? If so, this is notorious for causing poor results on tests. Typically we give tests a short time after reviewing the material (the previous day or two days). Having a long break shows how long kids are really keeping this material in their heads even if they have reviewed at home. You can't assume they didn't study because many kids "study" with little result because they don't really know what methods work best for them.

Was something going on during the instruction of the material? Was there a large scatter on the type of information missed?

I try to analyze the test and rethink the instruction before deciding what to do. I recover what I need to, give them work to show they understand the content, and pull up the grade based on mastery the second time around.


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