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"Can you give me extra credit?"
Old 03-12-2018, 04:28 PM
 
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How do you answer kids when they ask you this?? I am teaching 7th and 8th grade math this year (after 20 years in elementary) and I always seem to get this question the last two weeks of the quarter. (I know - shocking!) When you get this question from students, what do you say to them? A lot of my students do it through email and I'm not sure how to *ahem* NICELY respond other than "Well, if you'd turned in all of your assignments or come to my extra help sessions that are offered once a week, you wouldn't NEED extra credit 5 days before grades are due!!!" I really don't want to be mean, but seriously?!? How do you handle this?


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How did you do on your last test?
Old 03-12-2018, 04:55 PM
 
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Is my go-to response. That usually stops the silliness. I look in the grade book with them and point out test scores. “Did you study?” They almost always say no. If they do then I ask them to explain how they studied. That solves the rest. It takes just moments and I end it by saying “my tests are never secrets. If you studied you wouldn’t need extra credit.

And my syllabus says I don’t offer it.
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Old 03-12-2018, 05:06 PM
 
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Yep, have gotten this question twice already. I am usually honest and state that I don't offer extra credit. Sometimes I build it into certain assignments, but as a general rule, I don't. It makes more work for me when they haven't done the original work to begin with.
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Old 03-12-2018, 05:11 PM
 
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I teach upper elementary and get the same question. I just tell them I don't give individual extra credit. I have given an extra credit opportunity to everyone if I feel that there was a reason to warrant it.
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Old 03-12-2018, 05:21 PM
 
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I have early finisher activities that kids can do for extra credit. However, it only benefits them if they have all of their worked turned in and they are borderline to the next letter grade.


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Old 03-12-2018, 06:37 PM
 
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I get that too. Middle school. Lazy the entire quarter, and then in a panic the last week.

I define ‘extra’ as above and beyond expectation. You can’t do extra until you’ve fulfilled the normal expectations. It is not a replacement for what is expected, and I don’t provide it. You can earn ‘extra’ on regular work and tests by showing more than what was expected.

I explain that at the beginning of the quarter and remind them frequently. Never fails, I still get the extra credit question. I think parents push kids to ask.
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Old 03-12-2018, 09:52 PM
 
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I Offered it for fifth grade, and I made it so difficult it would be much more preferable to just do the regular work.

It was for language arts, and you had to read 2 lengthy chapter books From a list that I had selected (all were very long and difficult reads that I knew well so you couldn't fudge it), that are at grade level or above, one was fiction and one was nonfiction, and you needed to write a 5 paragraph comparative essay with 3 textual references from each book comparing the value of each book on student learning about the topic. Something like that would take so long that it couldn't be done at the last minutes and if they managed to get it done in a short period of time it likely wouldn't be very good, so they would get minimal extra credit for it.

For math they had the option to do a long project where they planned out a 4 lesson mini unit with visual aides and hands on learning opportunities and written assessments with an answer key for a math topic. I provided my rede illusory long and detailed lesson plans from my credential program

I said that for extra credit I expected higher order thinking skills and above and beyond learning outcomes. I put the extra credit opportunities on my website and in my back to school night PowerPoint at the begining of the year. No one ever did it.
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Extra Credit
Old 03-12-2018, 10:27 PM
 
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I taught junior high for several years. My policy was no extra credit, and it was listed in the syllabus that way. I asked parents to sign the syllabus so I had back up if it came to it.

I would often add 2-4 extra credit questions on tests, or provide whole class opportunities (like a challenge assignment).
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Old 03-13-2018, 03:43 AM
 
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My entire team did not give extra credit work and it was in my team’s parent-student handbook. But that didn’t mean someone wouldn’t ask.

I did give the opportunity to earn bonus points on tests and on occasion I would offer one extra optional assignment to all students with a strict deadline for submission. Students took advantage of it or not within the deadline period to earn an extra grade. When I did this, I did so early in the quarter and told students this was the only opportunity to earn an extra grade.

When kids asked for extra credit beyond the opportunities above, I would tell them that extra credit meant extra work for the teacher who had to design and grade the extra work and if the teacher offered the assignment to one student then it was only fair that the teacher offer it to every student in every class. I asked them if it was fair to expect the teacher to then grade many more assignments at the end of the term because students chose not to do their best all quarter. The student always said it wasn’t fair and they understood the situation. I always added that they could work harder in the next quarter to bring up their grade.
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I do offer extra credit
Old 03-13-2018, 10:41 AM
 
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I teach science in middle school and it is posted on my website on day 1 for each quarter. So it is offered to everyone, and everyone has the same time frame to complete it. Years ago I had similar feelings to those expressed in the previous posts about needing to offer it to everyone, so that is what I do.
Maybe 10 out of 150 students ever do it, so it is not really extra work for me. Generally it is those students interested in making an A, or are really interested in the topic of that particular project for the quarter. (And almost forgot to add...the other science teachers on my team offer these projects as well.)


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No more jelly beans...
Old 03-14-2018, 03:10 AM
 
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This isn't exactly an answer, it's really an opinion.

This "extra credit" issue is, in my opinion, something we created with our emphasis on extrinsic rewards. "Do a good job and I'll give you a jelly bean." (Think about how most behavior management systems work.)

And there's this subtle philosophy behind it that every child should get a jelly bean--even if they haven't earned it.

A lot of the kids figure this out. For many, they negotiate their grade--they don't actually earn it.

Yes, some kids want "extra credit" because they want to excel--not because they are in trouble. But they want the credit because they haven't figured out how to measure excelling and they want recognition from the system.

More commonly, kids want "extra credit" to make up for the work they didn't do... if we give it freely we are teaching them there aren't consequences to their choices.

For starters, we might consider noting that we don't "give" extra credit, but it might be possible to earn it. Then have the student propose what they'd like to do to earn it.
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