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Suppose we award points for what is accomplished. Instead we give 50% for being present to draw a breath. How much effort does that require? Are we preparing our students to be productive members of society by sending the message that what matters is just being present while doing nothing? We need to give incentive for effort that builds toward a position of mastery. The more we practice the more our brains are stimulated, thus the more we learn. We can all learn when we put forth effort.
For every student that is helped and encouraged by giving them a 50 minimum (even if they refuse to do anything at all) I have ten that say "give me the 50" and decide not to do the work. The top students will do the work for the grades, the bottom students likely won't be helped by this gimmic anyway. It's the in between students that have calculated they can skip maybe 1/4th of the class work and still pass the course. if I suggested baseball players who go 0-4 should get credit for a hit so their average won't go too low or maybe a basketball team should get at least 50 points whether they score them or not I'd be called crazy. But really this is all about the philosophy of making students feel good about themselves whether they do well or not. it's the philosophy that has seen us go from the best nation in the world (in international testing) to near the bottom of the pile.
Zeros should be given for homework assignments and other formative assessment as those are not final indicators of how much a student has learned.
If you begin to give students below 50%-60% for large projects and tests, you are skewing the grade to where the student cannot recover. It is not my job to punish students for not doing a projector or failing a test (they have a lot more on their minds besides schools) so why would I give the student a 0?
Look at a 4.0 scale. 0 is the lowest you can go, that's an F. An F on a 100 point scale is 59(depending on where you teach). If I compare a 0 on the 100 point scale to a spot on the 4.0 scale, then the student would end up with a -6!!! Why would you give a student LESS THAN ZERO for not doing work?!
Telling a student their work is late and they fail is not how the real world works. Many times I've been given extra time to accomplish a task that I either a)put off b)forgot about c)didn't have time to do it.
A teacher's job is to show a student what their potential is, not drag them down into dispair.
I am finding that in some schools, the student behavior is so chaotic that only a very little learning occurs. In cases like this I think that teachers must help students feel better about them selves academically. I know that this is politically incorrect, but as long as districts, are not ensuring order in schools the teachers must do this themselves as best they can. Often what the teacher can do is not enough, not everyone can teach like their hair is on fire all of the time. For example, when one has a child of their own often the hair on fire focus, becomes one's own family. Of course it is and should be expected that teachers should have excellent classroom management skills, but in some circumstances even the best are undermined in their endeavors and what about beginning teachers? Are their classrooms just simply going to be a wash during that critical first year? What is the teacher learning when this happens? Administrative support at all levels is key to effectively educating students. Grading on a curve or making the lowest grade a 50% is ok when one is in a situation where grading with an F will only negatively effect students. Sometimes students and their parents need to understand that what they are being asked to do is learn and that the teacher is not the enemy. Often administrators are only looking out for themselves and attempting to maintain, an unhealthy status quo. If this is the case, then a teacher is often left to teach in a chaotic environment. When the teacher grades in a way that is sensitive to the needs of a neighborhood where extreme violence and chaos are the rule and where even the school and classrooms themselves are chaotic, grading with the same statistics that a functional district may use is not going to help the students in the least. In fact this type of grading will only cause harm. I know that this is not usual but it is common enough to be the norm in some places. The reasons I have not posted my district I think are clear. I am always working on improving my skills. Any comments and suggestions are welcomed. Thank you.
Well you are right that if you get nothing completed you get nothing but that is not the issue. I you get 100$ per car you fix and you have two cars to fix and you only fix one of them is it right or correct to get 50$ for the work. That is what a grade of zero is like. Neither is perfect but giving the 50 may promote more work where the zero may cause an attitude of why bother I cannot get a good grade any way.
So, you totally don't understand. If you make a grade of 50 they will not bump you up to passing. You still fail. Relook over your post because this is exactly what you are saying.
Just trying in life does not get you 50% results.
Try that at a job.
None of the cars I worked on got fixed, do I still get 50% pay, or do I get fired?
I tried to program the computer, but nothing worked, do I get 50% pay, or do I get fired?
Try that at university.
I tried all the classes necessary to get my degree, but didn't understand any of them, do I still get a chance to succeed or do I get dropped?
We as teachers (I've been teaching high school math for 8 years) are teaching more than content (although high stakes testing has taken a lot of that away), we should be teaching life skills, skills necessary to succeed in college, at work, etc.
Rewarding a student that doesn't do anything, or doesn't understand anything with a 50% grade will simply make that student believe that they are 50% successful when they aren't.
Where is the responsibility of the educator to engage the student in the learning process? Any student who is spending time putting on make-up is certainly not engaged and shame on the educator who fails to motivate and challenge the student to learn.
I learned years ago that giving a 50 really is fair. I teach in a middle school in CT and if a child receives less than 50 on an assignment or test it is too difficult to bring up the average to an acceptable grade. Many children become discouraged and give up. We are here to educate students not punish them!