Robert Responds to Jen

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5 thoughts on “Robert Responds to Jen”

  1. Robert, you say: “I allow students to re-take quizzes, but they must first meet with me or otherwise show me that they have done something to increase their mastery of the material. No “just re-take the test and hope for a better grade.” ”
    and I love this! I *TRIED* it this past year – because that is my belief as well — if you didn’t get it the first time around, then you need more CI!!! BUT, they would not come in for the help, and when I refused to allow them a retest they insisted that they “knew” it NOW and would storm off and not get extra help and therefore not do the retake. It did not adversely affect anyone’s grade – last year – but how do you suggest I handle THIS year so I do not have parents, Admin, etc., claiming that I am not allowing retakes??? (I *think* I have it written in my class expectations – will have to double check that!)
    Thanks Robert!!
    ~~MB

    1. It’s a problem only if the school culture is such that everyone expects to be able to do re-takes. If (most) other classes don’t allow them, then there usually won’t be a problem. The other thing is to be sure it’s in the class syllabus. Then you show the syllabus to the admin or parents that you would have been happy to help the student, but the student refused to follow policy. If the student protests, you smile sweetly and say, “Great! I’ll see you tomorrow after school, we’ll review together for about 15 minutes, and then you can re-take the assessment.”

      BTW, it’s important that students re-take under “test conditions”, i.e. no friends hanging about, no cell phone etc. (because it’s after school).

      The nature of my interaction with students on re-takes changed when I moved to solid Standards-Based Grading. After some education and reminders, they understand that it truly is about showing mastery, not garnering points.

      (BTW, in line with Marzano, I reserve the right to change prior grades once the standard has been mastered.)

      Ben and I deal with a different clientele, so things do not necessarily work the same way in both situations.

  2. For those reasons and for the reason that it creates more work for me, and is done in a low mercenary way by the kid that almost borders on cheating, if is not just outright cheating, and the fact that doing so sends the message to the kid that the first time the CI was delivered wasn’t important, for those reasons, plus the fact that I am lazy, I allow no retakes ever.

    Another kind of related point here is that if a student misses a class with an excused absence, it is not made up for the simple reason that the kid wasn’t in the room to hear the input that is the subject of the quiz. That is a big advantage of assessing on the same day the input was given – you don’t have to mess with make-ups for all those millions of excused absences.

    But if the kid has an unexcused absence, of course it’s a zero in the book. I actually put the zero in the book at the time I enter the grades for the rest of the class who actually took the quiz – it then becomes the responsibility of the kid to make sure the zero is removed from the book the next day by showing me their excused absence.

  3. Geez, I thought I responded to this, but maybe I hit cancel instead of submit. Anyway, I was looking for this logic, because I’m not completely clear. It looks like the main difference is that the “exceeds standard” or “A” is recognized in this system, whereas in mine the “exceeds” is just extra. Makes sense. There should be a category / credit / documentation that the student is exceeding the standard! I will digest this more, but am inclined at this point to go with Robert’s percentages and just send it in. Then I will plan to use the other rubric for student self-reflection! This is great, all coming together.

    BIG QUESTION I now have is the rules badassery…as you get the rules in place in the critical first week, do you have the consequences ready…like the ones from last year where you send the kid out? Just want to have this stuff figured out. How does the actual process work to get all that stuff in place, while in 90% TL and showing you mean business and love all at once? Sorry to be dense! I know this is not a “quick answer.” I’m sure I will learn as people share their first week experiences. Thank you all for doing this! I will chime in when we start classes too! Will be unplugged for 9 days. Wishing everyone a great first week!

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