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Extra Credit Help
Old 10-11-2009, 06:04 PM
 
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Many of my kids are making a C or lower in math right now. We are almost at the end of our 9 weeks grading period, and I have tried EVERYTHING I can think of to get these grades up. There really is no reason why they should be so low in the first place because most of this grading period has been 4th grade review like place value and adding/subtracting. Some of the straight A and AIG students are making C's and many parents are upset. A majority of the low grades have came from students not following directions and making careless mistakes. One parent asked me about giving extra credit work. I am new to 5th grade, so I have no idea what to do. Any suggestions for what kind of work to give and how to count it? Our grading period ends Oct. 28 so I would like it all to be turned in by next Friday (Oct. 23) so I can have plenty of time to grade it. Or do you think I should even give it at all?


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Old 10-11-2009, 06:41 PM
 
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Personally I don't believe in extra credit to make up for a poor performance. They still have time to bring their grade up - two weeks.
I would tell them to work extra hard to be prepared for the next test.
Do you have a test scheduled from now until the end of the nine weeks?

I just did my report cards and out of 27, only 7 are on the honor roll.
I think it's good that they know they have to work hard all nine weeks, not just a spurt at the end.

Good luck...parents can be a big pain!
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:51 PM
 
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No, I don't believe in extra credit. They're making the choice to not follow directions or take their time and these are the consequences. Better they learn the lesson now and see it in black and white in the first quarter when they can fix it in time for state testing and the rest of the year.

Like PP said, they have two weeks to bring up their grades. Show them their grades now and explain what they need to do to fix it if they want. That way you can explain to the parents that they had the chance to fix it but chose not to do so.

I do offer my students the opportunity to re-do assignmentss for a better grade and average the two grades together but it must be done the NEXT day. You can try that next quarter if you want.

Good luck,
GG
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Extra Credit does not replace regular credit
Old 10-12-2009, 02:35 AM
 
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No extra credit for my students either. This is the perfect age to learn to read, re-read and follow directions. If you give them extra credit, you will find they don't read and follow the directions for that either. How can they do extra, when they are weak on basics?
I will let them redo for a better grade or make test corrections for additional points. That's it.
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Extra Credit
Old 10-12-2009, 07:50 AM
 
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I don't believe in giving extra credit. What they want to do with the extra credit they should have done DURING the regular grading period. When I see a student failing I will call him/her and let him know and the parents. I will show and explain why is that happening and what they need to start working on to raise their grades. Remember that once you give extra credit you will have to keep doing it for everyone in your class.


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Your Call
Old 10-12-2009, 12:53 PM
 
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It is your call, because you know best what you have taught, how much time you have given them for practice, and yes, what they should come into fifth grade knowing.

One thing that is easy to do in math, because so much is skills-based, is to give a pretest and then a post-test. That way, you can measure progress. You can show parents, skill by skill, what their child is missing.

If it is a matter of effort, there should be no extra credit. You should talk to your principal about it, though, and tell them parents are asking for extra credit. There might be a school policy to back you up. Are you on a team with other teachers? Ask them what they do. Show them your tests and see if they see anything that might be a problem for the kids, either in the concepts or the directions. So many "kids these days" get math wrong because they are poor readers. Make sure you teach them how to read a math question. Just cover all your bases, and then sit back and realize there is only so much effort YOU can put into THEIR work.
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No to extra credit
Old 10-12-2009, 08:54 PM
 
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While I don't give extra credit, I do sometimes struggle with other issues. One dates back to my high school geometry class. The teacher was a stickler for "following directions". It didn't matter if you got the correct answer if you didn't do just as she said--I don't remember how many problems I missed by combining things on one line instead of using two. I guess my question is what are you assessing, math ability or following directions? --that sounds harsher than I mean for it to. If they can get the answer, using whatever strategy or algorithm works for them, I am going to to give credit. I do try to give cues for following directions--I draw a circle around the word "circle" if it is part of my directions. I do spend a lot of time at the beginning of the year, setting up procedures, so direction following is not as big of an issue as the year goes on. Do you differentiate within your class?

A quick solution might be to offer a couple of grading period reviews for the entire class, making sure the students know that these can help or hurt them.
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:05 PM
 
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I let them use any alogorithm they want. One child made a 60 because instead of rounding like the directions said, she wrote the place value...those are the mistakes they are making with directions. I do not expect them to follow a certain method or anything like that since they are all in different places, so they are not losing credit for that. I don't think I'm being too harsh by expecting them to read a sentence of very simple directions and follow them (like adding when they are supposed to add, round they are asked, etc.)...am I? Thank you all for the suggestions. I really like the pretest/posttest suggestion. I'll try that next chapter.
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low scores
Old 10-18-2009, 10:30 AM
 
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I agree with no extra credit, but you could pair up students to do a couple of assignments being sure you paired them properly and take one grade on the papers. I find that students teach students sometimes better than I do. I don't do this regularly, but it does help those struggling with a better grade and hopefully peer tutoring to get them on the right track. I do monitor this closely to be sure one student is not doing all the work and the other just recording answers. Both must show work on papers and you could pick which one is on top to grade. We are working on multiplying decimals and it seems two heads are better than one and catch each others errors.
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