Monday, March 03, 2008

I'm no mathematician, but...

I know that 50 is not the same as 0. What am I talking about? Some of you may already be familiar with the grading concept that doesn't allow students to receive zeros. Since 50 is an F and 0 is an F, the lowest they can get is a 50. My question is why would a kid who was struggling to get up to passing then try harder? They could do nothing and still get a 50. How would that work in real life? I owe Jack $100. I don't have enough to pay him back- so I agree to pay half now and half in a month. Only, I don't really want to give him $50, I want to go shopping. So, I give him nothing. Because 50 and zero are the same, right?

Yes, the middle schools in my district think this grading system is a good,good thing.


Blogger Mrs. Chili said...

I don't get this, either. The real world isn't going to give you 50% for doing nothing - it's going to show you the proverbial door.

I explain it to my kids this way; I was hired to do a job. If I only show up for half my classes, or if I only prepare for half my classes, I get fired. If my students are expecting their papers back graded and I don't do that, they get angry, they complain to my boss, and I lose my job. All or nothing, kids.

They still somehow fail to see how that all applies to THEM, though..

3/04/2008 5:58 PM  
Blogger Sunshine said...

My middle schooler gets a 50 (for a perfect assignment) turned in 1 day late and a zero if its turned in 2 days late.
A zero is a zero and it isn't hard to get one if you forget to hand in assignments.

I don't think this grading system of 50=0 is very helpful, in the long run.

Way back when my hubby was a deputy, he had a guy argue with him about how he had "slowed down" at a stop sign and that was the same as stopping. The demonstration from then was, "I'm going to take out my night stick and start beating the hood of your shiny new car with it. Would you like me to slow down, or stop?

Yeah, not the same thing.

3/04/2008 9:34 PM  
Blogger Adeline said...

i like this analogy sunshine

3/04/2008 9:48 PM  
Blogger Profesora de español said...

A high school teacher actually suggested that the other day, saying how a kid who earned a 20 would not be able to make up that grade by the end of the year. My response: Tough luck. I think if you've done 20 percent (or 0 percent) of the work, your grade should show that.

3/05/2008 3:14 PM  
Blogger The Vegas Art Guy said...

They do something similar here, except that the 50% only shows up for the final quarter or semester grade.

3/06/2008 7:52 PM  
Blogger Polski3 said...

We had a principal who tried to get us to do this years ago.....its BS. No work = a zero. I usually accept late work, but they cannot earn an "A" level score on it. IMO, GIVING a student 50% for failure to turn in work is not going to help them later in life. Let them learn that work has value.

3/08/2008 9:51 AM  
Blogger lbilak said...

Same thing in my middle school.
Must be the new math those admins are using.
Too bad they don't use that concept when they want a pay raise.
Cause I see them doing a whole lotta nuthin but makin a LOT more than the teachers.

3/08/2008 1:58 PM  

Well, after 15 years of teaching, I decided to take a chance and go with the many who do weighted grading. It was not comfortable, as I'm no mathematician either (why do you think I teach Spanish?) and I'm also a control freak. So, toward the end of the semester I ran the same classes on total points and found the almost all of the kids scored higher with weighted grades. I still need to tweak my percentages for next year, but with heaviest weight on performance (tests, in-class writing, some projects, oral production), they still are doing better and I don't have the worry that those holes - zeros give me from kids who participate in class but don't always turn in work.

3/10/2008 8:27 PM  

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