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Kids and "Do Overs" in School

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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
Replies (11-20):
GLWerth
by Gina on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Already did, then we went over what he could have improved (based on the great feedback from the teacher). I'm very proud of how hard he worked on this though.

Now, he's really interested in ancient history, as this was on the Sumerian civilization, so he's doing independent research on cultures that were influenced by the Sumerians. Yeah, he's a geek, but he comes by it honestly.

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

OP... Tell your son Bravo for doing his work and doing such a good job!


jehosoba84
by Jenn on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:03 AM

 I agree with all of the above, except stormcris. Sorry : (   You make a good argument though.

stormcris
by Christy on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:04 AM

It is my experience that if they did not do it/complete it the first time most will not bother with the do over.

Perhaps since do over suggests an original submission it may be that only those who submitted work would get one. I know when I was in school and they provided do overs that there had to be something to do over rather than just ditching out the first assignment and doing it later.

Quoting GLWerth:

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. 



talia-mom
by Gold Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:04 AM
Do overs are a completely stupid, worthless thing in schools.
Kids no longer have to put forth effort because whiny assed "parents" who don't bother to parent or be involved in their child's education bitch if their child gets a bad grade.
My children are not allowed to have do overs in their classes by my request. If they fail a test, they get grounded. Not a redo.
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matofour
by Bronze Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:05 AM
1 mom liked this
Well, I feel like if only five kids did the project correctly, then I wonder what they missed?
If it's one or two kids, that's expected.
If it's over 90% of the class, my thought is immediately the teacher didn't explain it right, didn't take enought time to explain what they needed to do.
If the majority of the class screws up, yes I believe the class should get a do over. Why? Because I feel the teacher obviously missed something if most of the class didn't understand the project.
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JMmama
by Bronze Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:05 AM
I generally disagree with do overs as they get higher up in school and 6th grade would be right on that line for me. However, if the vast majority of the class did poorly I would probably offer the chance to redo it because if only 5 kids out of 60 did an acceptable job I would assume that my expectations or instructions were somehow unclear.
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Sisteract
by Whoopie on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:06 AM

In Catholic Schools, you get what you earn. Do overs, LOL-

I swear to bob,many of those teachers enjoyed putting that big, fat red F at the top of the paper. 

Now on the test, if all failed, I'd say it was a teacher problem, more than a student's effort, but for a project there should be no do overs.

LavenderMom23
by Bronze Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:08 AM
It's amazing no one thinks it is wrong for a home schooler to redo until 100% mastered. But public schools only give one shot?
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Sisteract
by Whoopie on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Intentional failing? What if they did not understand the subject matter? How about getting addition help vs grounding? Nice, punitive approach that does nothing to solve knowledge deficits. 

Quoting talia-mom:

Do overs are a completely stupid, worthless thing in schools.
Kids no longer have to put forth effort because whiny assed "parents" who don't bother to parent or be involved in their child's education bitch if their child gets a bad grade.
My children are not allowed to have do overs in their classes by my request. If they fail a test, they get grounded. Not a redo.


lisa601
by on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:09 AM
If my fourth grader brings home a bad paper, we can redo it at home and get the grade changed even if it's already recorded in the computer. The teacher is more concerned about them learning the material than the grade. I get that but often wonder if he's putting forth his best effort or not.
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