Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Drastic Measures

Yet another frustrating and overwhelming end to a trimester. It was much easier when I didn't make them pass every concept. Passing every concept is just getting a score of 7 or better (out of 10). Last year, my students played the average game and decided not to learn some concepts because they didn't really need to.

I was reminding, hounding, threatening and working much harder than my students in the last few weeks. I think I did about 100 reassessments last week. Not as many as the first trimester (since I used Study Hall as punishment) but still way too many. The frustrating thing is that some just aren't working very hard to learn things, they procrastinate knowing that they can continue taking assessments, they come in knowing nothing and wanting me to re-teach. Even though I've tried to do things to avoid this, I end up giving in a bit when I have 21 (out of 100) students who are not passing (due to 1 or 2 low scores). I did not want to give that many incompletes, so I worked harder.

Finally I came up with a new plan for the last trimester. Concepts grades will be shown individually and I will include all concepts since the beginning of the year in the electronic gradebook, but, if a concept is no longer on in-class quizzes it will be included in a "composite" score. If there are any concepts with scores of 6 or below in the composite score, I will temporarily change the score to zero (making their grade drop to an F for sure) and when the student comes to retest, I will add those few points to the score they had and restore their grade. I think this will work. One of the students said that it was "all or nothing." It is and I'm tired of them just giving me "something." After announcing the new plan, they seemed a bit more serious in class, we'll see.

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