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Kids and "Do Overs" in School

Posted by on Jan. 16, 2013 at 10:30 AM
  • 66 Replies

So, I have a sixth grade son.

About two weeks before the winter break, he started a project. The kids all knew that it would be a major portion of their grade for social studies/history.

They could choose to work in groups or solo. My son chose solo, because, he told me, last group project ended with him doing the whole thing anyway, so it was easier to just work on his own.

They had class time for the project, but were expected to work on their own time as well and they had five weeks to do it, though ten days of this was over the break.

Yesterday, we got a note home. It had Conrad's score 73 of 75 points for the report and 23 of 25 for the oral presentation, total 96 points out of 100 possible. 

I talked to him about how he could have improved, but then I saw the note on top, which I had to sign and send back. 

It said that the teacher is allowing the kids who didn't do well to redo their reports to get their grades up. I saw the teacher at the grocery store later in the evening and asked about it. Conrad was only one of 5 kids (out of two classes of 29 kids) who actually put forth the effort to do research and complete the project acceptably. 

So, do you think that a do over of this is appropriate? Or should the kids learn from their mistake? 

I'm torn and I know I might feel differently if my child had not done well, but I also make sure he works on his school work and puts forth a decent effort to do well. This particular son, doesn't need much pushing, but I also make sure second son (the one who tries to do the very least he can to get by) does his work as well. 

So, again, for those of you who have made it this far: 

If the majority of a class fails a project, paper, test, etc. should there be a chance given for the kids to get a better grade, or should they learn from their experience and do better next time?  

by on Jan. 16, 2013 at 10:30 AM
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Replies (1-10):
stormcris
by Christy on Jan. 16, 2013 at 10:51 AM

I think there should be a do over for any grade/work/project given. The point of school is not to reward those who are better it is to teach those who are not. In such if they are never given a chance to do it over how do they "learn from their mistakes". Practice makes people better not some grade. Yes, competition can cause some children to strive to excel but it also hinders others. Not having them do it over would be a loss of opportunity to improve that seems to be lacking in the foundation of our education system in many areas. If a child is brought to believe they must be perfect the first time, each and every time, that child may decide if they cannot do something perfectly they should not do it at all. This can set in fairly quickly in the school years and can lead to a tragic non-productive adult life. Saying this I realize that the real world does not often give second chances, however, school is not the real world it is to learn how to improve yourself so you can manage those only one chance situations in the real world. 

JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 10:52 AM
1 mom liked this

 First, congratulations to your son.  He should be very proud that his efforts paid off.

I say, no do overs.  There are very few do overs in life, and the best time to learn that is when they are young.  However, I suspect that the do overs are allowed, and the note sent home, in anticipation of all of those parents calling or emailing her requesting do overs.  She is probably tired of the BS from the parents.

I have a friend who used to be a middle school math teacher.  She had to fail many students over the years, but the parent of one particular student actually complained not only to the principal about the F, but also threatened to go to the school board.  She wanted my friend to change his grade to a C.  My friend refused.  She said that the F was the grade he earned.  He never turned in homework, didn't pay attention in class, and put forth no effort on tests.  My friend had talked to him throughout the year about his progress.  He just didn't care.  My friend almost lost her job over it and it was a major factor in her decision to leave the teaching profession.

GLWerth
by Gina on Jan. 16, 2013 at 10:54 AM

I guess my stumbling block here is that it teaches kids that you don't have to do your work the first time, because you'll get another chance later on.

It isn't about competition, it is about responsibility and I fear this is teaching that you don't need to take responsibility.

Thanks for your reply though, you've given me some things to think about.

Quoting stormcris:

I think there should be a do over for any grade/work/project given. The point of school is not to reward those who are better it is to teach those who are not. In such if they are never given a chance to do it over how do they "learn from their mistakes". Practice makes people better not some grade. Yes, competition can cause some children to strive to excel but it also hinders others. Not having them do it over would be a loss of opportunity to improve that seems to be lacking in the foundation of our education system in many areas. If a child is brought to believe they must be perfect the first time, each and every time, that child may decide if they cannot do something perfectly they should not do it at all. This can set in fairly quickly in the school years and can lead to a tragic non-productive adult life. Saying this I realize that the real world does not often give second chances, however, school is not the real world it is to learn how to improve yourself so you can manage those only one chance situations in the real world. 


furbabymum
by Gold Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Hmm. This is an interesting question. I moved in the middle of 3rd grade to a higher income area. A report was assigned my first day of class. I had NO idea what the expectations were for this and I did awful. My old school wasn't as good as this one and to this day I'm ashamed of how I did on that report. I would have loved a do over on it. However, if kids were just too lazy to get the work done they aren't likely to do it over anyway so the teacher is wasting her time.

RLT2
by Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 10:57 AM
2 moms liked this

No do overs for projects. I do think a do over is appropriate for a test if a very large majority of students fail it.

Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Jan. 16, 2013 at 10:57 AM
1 mom liked this
I disagree with do-overs.

If they fail the first time then they fail. Keep giving them "do-overs" they will know they don't have to work for it the first time because there will be a 2nd chance...
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GLWerth
by Gina on Jan. 16, 2013 at 10:58 AM
1 mom liked this

Thanks...I'm very proud of him, but he's also a kid who loves school and doing research (definitely my child!).

I was also very happy with the teacher's feedback, it was on a form and had a numbered scale and very specific notes on what was good and what was not so good. Honestly, she did a great job in terms of making very clear what was good and what was not and why.

My thought is similar to yours about do-overs, but the other factor is that letting them do it over gives them the impression that doing it right the first time is not necessary, because there will always be another chance.

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 First, congratulations to your son.  He should be very proud that his efforts paid off.

I say, no do overs.  There are very few do overs in life, and the best time to learn that is when they are young.  However, I suspect that the do overs are allowed, and the note sent home, in anticipation of all of those parents calling or emailing her requesting do overs.  She is probably tired of the BS from the parents.

I have a friend who used to be a middle school math teacher.  She had to fail many students over the years, but the parent of one particular student actually complained not only to the principal about the F, but also threatened to go to the school board.  She wanted my friend to change his grade to a C.  My friend refused.  She said that the F was the grade he earned.  He never turned in homework, didn't pay attention in class, and put forth no effort on tests.  My friend had talked to him throughout the year about his progress.  He just didn't care.  My friend almost lost her job over it and it was a major factor in her decision to leave the teaching profession.


Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:00 AM
OP... Tell your son Bravo for doing his work and doing such a good job!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
wickedfiress
by Kellie on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:00 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting stormcris:

I think there should be a do over for any grade/work/project given. The point of school is not to reward those who are better it is to teach those who are not. In such if they are never given a chance to do it over how do they "learn from their mistakes". Practice makes people better not some grade. Yes, competition can cause some children to strive to excel but it also hinders others. Not having them do it over would be a loss of opportunity to improve that seems to be lacking in the foundation of our education system in many areas. If a child is brought to believe they must be perfect the first time, each and every time, that child may decide if they cannot do something perfectly they should not do it at all. This can set in fairly quickly in the school years and can lead to a tragic non-productive adult life. Saying this I realize that the real world does not often give second chances, however, school is not the real world it is to learn how to improve yourself so you can manage those only one chance situations in the real world. 

I agree with this, though I would not have been able to put it in these terms because I gave up in English because that crap never made much sense to me and I got bad grades in it. Throw me into a math or a science class, and I'm golden. LOL. :) 

It's amazing how people don't hold themselves to the standards they set for others.

JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:01 AM

 I agree with you 100% about the red.  And ultimately, it is doing them a disservice.

Quoting GLWerth:

Thanks...I'm very proud of him, but he's also a kid who loves school and doing research (definitely my child!).

I was also very happy with the teacher's feedback, it was on a form and had a numbered scale and very specific notes on what was good and what was not so good. Honestly, she did a great job in terms of making very clear what was good and what was not and why.

My thought is similar to yours about do-overs, but the other factor is that letting them do it over gives them the impression that doing it right the first time is not necessary, because there will always be another chance.

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 First, congratulations to your son.  He should be very proud that his efforts paid off.

I say, no do overs.  There are very few do overs in life, and the best time to learn that is when they are young.  However, I suspect that the do overs are allowed, and the note sent home, in anticipation of all of those parents calling or emailing her requesting do overs.  She is probably tired of the BS from the parents.

I have a friend who used to be a middle school math teacher.  She had to fail many students over the years, but the parent of one particular student actually complained not only to the principal about the F, but also threatened to go to the school board.  She wanted my friend to change his grade to a C.  My friend refused.  She said that the F was the grade he earned.  He never turned in homework, didn't pay attention in class, and put forth no effort on tests.  My friend had talked to him throughout the year about his progress.  He just didn't care.  My friend almost lost her job over it and it was a major factor in her decision to leave the teaching profession.

 

 

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