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southernfried southernfried is offline
 
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punishment: wwyd?
Old 01-11-2019, 12:17 PM
 
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A student turned in work today (about 5 lesson's worth) that was word-for-word the same as another student. I confronted both girls and their stories matched: one had "too much to do at home" and didn't have time, so she asked her friend (who was finished with the work) to do it for her, and the friend agreed. To be clear, the "too much to do" was dance and the fact that she procrastinated all quarter - not like taking care of siblings or something.

I've got the cheater's punishment figured out - the natural consequence of now having about 6 hours of work to do at home by next week (I literally cut the copied work out of her notebook and told her to start over), plus working lunch for as long as needed if she doesn't get it done at home.

But I can't figure out what, if anything, to do for the friend who did the work for her. On the one hand, she did all her own work and I know she knows the material. And she was genuinely just trying to be a good friend. Plus I think the embarrassment of getting caught may have been enough to cement it in her mind. But I don't want her to walk away thinking it's okay. I'd like to find some sort of small, logical consequence for her, but I'm having trouble thinking of anything. Help!


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A reflection?
Old 01-11-2019, 01:01 PM
 
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Have her write reflection piece on why what she did was wrong?
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:32 PM
 
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Wait...you are allowing the student who clearly cheated make up the work? Only consequence is more time to do what should have been done in the first place?

And the second girl who knowingly did work for someone else (cheated) you want to give a “small” consequence. Cheating is okay because she knows the material?

So you are teaching both girls it’s okay to cheat (and get caught) and you are allowing it by the extension.

Nope. No way. Parents aren’t the only enablers nowadays.
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Cheating
Old 01-11-2019, 03:48 PM
 
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IMHO, I think you are being too soft on both girls. The cheater didn’t do the work because “she didn’t have time.” Unless she is of Olympic caliber, school takes precedence over dance. I would let her fail because she could have come to you 6 weeks ago to make a plan to get the work done or ask for extra time.

The girl who did the work needs to know she just got manipulated big time. Couple of thoughts here...can you set up a few visits to school counselor and they can discuss friendship versus peer pressure and how to stand up for yourself.

A bit of school community service to learn what helping really means.

And this one, but it might not fly with admin, drop her a few percentage points in grading.
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Enabling?
Old 01-11-2019, 04:53 PM
 
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I’m not sure how OP is “enabling” in this situation? She’s requiring that the student re-do the assignment without plagiarism...still holding her accountable to get her work done.


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Old 01-11-2019, 05:47 PM
 
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My class is a flipped classroom and mastery-based environment - so essentially all students can earn full credit for their primary work as long as it's in by the end of the quarter. That's the deal for all students. A huge part of my class is learning time management and independent work skills. For a lot of my 7th graders, this is the first time they've been truly responsible for their own work. Some kids struggle a lot with that, and thus make dumb decisions when they feel their back's against the wall (no matter how much I try to scaffold for them).

She still has a week to get her work turned in, just like the rest of the kids. And if she doesn't get it turned in, she'll get zeroes for the work she didn't do. I have no problem giving kids zeros, but frankly, in this case having to do the work when she thought she was done is a way worse punishment. Plus I really need her to actually do the lessons and learn the material!

All that said, even if she gets all her assignments in, learning the material last minute means she'll still probably have pretty low quiz and test grades, which will drop her grade lower than a conscientious student who paced the work out and gave themselves time to learn it well.

And thankfully, I do have a supportive admin. If I told my principal I wanted these girls raked over the coals she'd do it in a heartbeat. Actually as I type that I think that may be the "punishment" I've been missing: both of these girls would be mortified to go see our principal, even if it's just a talking-to.
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Old 01-11-2019, 06:25 PM
 
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Did you have them call home? I never make bad calls, especially for kids who are typically “good” kids. They get to call home and explain what brain dead thing they did.
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Only speaking from my experience
Old 01-11-2019, 06:34 PM
 
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If you tried to give kids zeros for obvious cheating, it would play out like this:

1) reasonable consequence of a zero is imposed by teacher

2) kids complain and parents harass administrators

3) administrators tell teacher to back down

4) teacher is coerced into giving a decent grade for student's "work"

5) administration views teacher as troublemaker and pays them back at evaluation time

This is how it is at a lot of places around me. Cheating is rampant and not punished. I'm convinced most teachers just look the other way because they know it's completely futile to try to be an adult and do what's right for the kid in the long-run.
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Old 01-11-2019, 06:38 PM
 
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If it were just a single assignment, I d give them both a zero. But after your further explanation, I think I'd do exactly what you've said, except drop both of them one letter grade when all is said and done. And call the parents. I think it should be harsh, but not unrecovereable.

Word for word???? What were they thinking??
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They both cheated...
Old 01-11-2019, 07:13 PM
 
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Students need to learn the consequences of cheating before they get to college and lose $10,000 in tuition when they get expelled or made to repeat a semester. Give them both a zero on the assignment, it's a natural consequence for cheating.


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Old 01-11-2019, 07:44 PM
 
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Right?? And my class is DESIGNED to be one where you can't cheat/copy. It's ELA, and although each kid watches the same lesson video and does the same notes/assignment, they each use their own personal book (reader's workshop style). It's not like it was a worksheet with "right" answers.

And what gets me most is the girl who cheated didn't even do the writing. The girl who'd already done the work took the cheater's notebook home with her and copied it all over by hand for her. Like... what?? You couldn't even be bothered to copy it yourself?

For a moment I thought there might be some kind of bullying situation going on (like, do my work for me or I'll post this thing on snapchat), but I think it was just the epitome of middle school stupidity. The whole situation was just so weird!
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Old 01-12-2019, 05:50 AM
 
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It's great you're trying to teach time management and independent work skills. For some kids, these are things don't come naturally. Growing up, it took me quite a while to master them, but things did start to get better as I got older. In college, I'd sometimes turn in important papers early.

You're exactly right when you said it was "the epitome of middle school stupidity." I'd keep that thought in the back of my mind when deciding on consequences. I know that many would like to throw the book at both girls, but Surely's comments describe the situation as it is.

Going along with the idea of "middle school stupidity" is the realization that so much classroom work nowadays is done with partners or in groups. This is a topic that has been discussed frequently, and I'm convinced that many kids aren't capable of doing much by themselves anymore. I agree completely with your decision to make them work on their own.

For the girl who did the work for her friend, I'd give her a consequence, but let her know that you're not really punishing her. You understand she was put in a tough position and was only trying to help her friend, but at the same time, you're trying to help her make better decisions in the future. I'd talk to her parents and perhaps get the counselor involved, but keep everything positive. Dee suggested writing a reflection piece, and that's a good idea. I wouldn't lower her grade.

The word "enabler" has come up a few times in this discussion, and I suspect that word describes the cheater's parents well. I'm guessing this is their thought process: Their daughter cheated and couldn't do the work because she's busy with dance? Instead of punishing her, could she have another chance? She's good at dance, it takes a lot of her time, but she loves it. Yes, cheating is wrong, but let her do the work again with no consequences. She's a good kid and made a very minor mistake. Other teachers let students work together, so why don't you?

I think your punishment for the cheater is perfect. It is so tempting and so correct to throw the book at her, but as Surely pointed out, it could all backfire on you.

Last edited by c6g; 01-12-2019 at 06:18 AM..
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:14 AM
 
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This happened to me recently with a couple of 8th graders. Seriously, she flat out wrote it for him and I don’t know how stupid they think we are...but his chicken scratch versus her handwriting (so perfect it could be a computer font)? Of course I knew he didn’t do his own work.

The person who turned in work that was not his own got a zero. While likable and pretty smart, he’s got no motlvation and honestly has bigger problems to worry about. He didn’t care and probably never will, but I did the disciplinary steps I said I would - a zero, a call home, and an office referral.

The person who did the work was warned and then told that next time it happened, she too, would get a zero. She’s a fantastic student with a big heart. She will never do it again, because she wouldn’t want to disappoint me and also, her mother would kick her butt.
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:11 AM
 
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I definitely think the students are both cheaters. 7th graders should know better. For the student who didn’t do her own work, she should get a zero. For the student who copied the work for her, she should get a reduction in grade. I’m kind of surprised nothing is mentioned about meeting with the parents and/or principal.
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I agree with Southernfried
Old 01-12-2019, 07:59 AM
 
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who knows her own kids, her own classroom, and her own school culture better than anyone else here. I've always been leery of "throwing the book" at students, as I think, like spanking, it makes the punisher feel better but doesn't do much else.

Making student A do the work over is definitely a great natural consequence. It could be taken further by having her do the work in class, after school, perhaps even having to miss a dance class or two. That would be a teacher/parent discussion and decision.

Having student B write a reflection piece is a good logical consequence, as it will help her think about what she did, what she's learned, and what she will do in the future.

Also, if grades are a reflection of what the student masters, reducing grades as a punishment is a bit of a lie, don't you think?
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It is good you are able to give
Old 01-12-2019, 12:00 PM
 
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some type of consequences. Our school is almost a replica of Surly's.
1 teacher jokingly calls cheating, "Using your resources wisely." Meaning looking on your neighbor's paper.
There have been 2 times I have been told to accept work that was done by the parent. ( In their own handwriting even.)
If you have a good P who will read them the riot act and it would horrify them, I'd use that resource.
The girl who was trying to be a good friend, might really need to learn how doing it for her, hurts her friend and doesn't really help her.
I think most elementary schools now use partners and teams so much in learning and work that kids get used to asking each other questions/ answers and just plain old copying off of each other.
I have to be watchful for the copying because some kids have learned that this is a part of working together as a team.
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:18 AM
 
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I think the OP is right to require the cheater to redo the work, but I would maybe add the requirement that part of it be done after school under my supervision because 1) The student has now broken my trust and I want to see her doing it herself 2) If she needed to cheat, she very possibly can’t do it on her own 3) It adds some extra hurt for the student and inconveniences the enabling parents who may need to learn a little something here as well

I’d like to add that many of you are very lucky to have such supportive principals and counselors. If I tried to go to either one with this problem, they’d look at me like I had two heads and ask me why I wasn’t dealing with this on my own
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