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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 (21-30):
nurbabe82
by Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:09 AM

 

Quoting JMmama:

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.

 I was thinking the same thing.

GLWerth
by Gina on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Maybe that is why she gave very detailed feedback on what was good and what wasn't in the reports, so that the kids could go back and fix it.

I checked the cover page (because my son forgot it this morning, so I ran it into school) and they can only get half the points back if they improve it.

From what my son said, everyone turned in something, so everyone has the chance to do it over.

I posted this because I am conflicted about it and you've definitely given me more to think about.

The weird thing is that in lower grades, this has never come up, but suddenly in 6th grade it has.

Our school starts Middle school in 7th grade, so maybe this is to help them step up their research and writing skills before entering the next phase?

Quoting stormcris:

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. 

 



greenie63
by Silver Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:11 AM

Congrats on your son for doing a great job!!!

I understand what you are saying and it almost doesn't seem fair, but sometimes a few will respond to the do-over. Maybe the children who do well the second time just needed more instruction and were too afraid to ask for help from the teacher or the parents.

Letters sent home are a great idea to get the parent's attention, so hopefully they will do well. Now this will determine those who are just not doing the work but here's my million dollar question from someone who is an educator, why aren't they completing the assignment and are there factors preventing this? 

GLWerth
by Gina on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:12 AM

You know, in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades, their big research project goals and expectations were given to parents at conferences. This one was totally on the kids, no instructions were given to us.

I wonder if that was the difference.

Quoting matofour:

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.


talia-mom
by Gold Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:13 AM
And yet they never fail a test because we study for them and work on their lessons every night. There is no excuse for a child to need redos.


Quoting Sisteract:

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.



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Lorriane
by Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:14 AM

I do not  believe in allowing them to do it over again. They should do their very best all the time. I do see another issue that I have dealt with over the years with a few teachers and that is when so many in a class does poorly that maybe it is the instructions were not clear or that they just are not good teachers. I also do not believe that projects of this size be given over a 2 week break since a lot of families either go out of town or have a lot of family around. . No I do not mean no homework over the holidays but not a research project.

GLWerth
by Gina on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:16 AM

They had a week and a half of class time before and after the break to work on it as well as it being over the break.

Quoting Lorriane:

I do not  believe in allowing them to do it over again. They should do their very best all the time. I do see another issue that I have dealt with over the years with a few teachers and that is when so many in a class does poorly that maybe it is the instructions were not clear or that they just are not good teachers. I also do not believe that projects of this size be given over a 2 week break since a lot of families either go out of town or have a lot of family around. . No I do not mean no homework over the holidays but not a research project.


terpmama
by Silver Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:17 AM
1 mom liked this
I think do overs for laziness are ridiculous but if say an entire class (or the majority of one) fails a test the same way (gets the majority of the same questions wrong) it may mean that it wasn't taught well (well= aim a way that the majority can understand clearly) or if a project isn't explained clearly (this happened to me in college- teacher had 2 classes back to back and forgot to include part of te instructions to the second class-) we were allowed to add in the part we didn't know about.
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GLWerth
by Gina on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:18 AM

I was in public schools and I think a few of my teachers also enjoyed that big F....it was always bigger than any of the other grades too!

I wasn't good at math and got several F's in that.

Quoting Sisteract:

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.


GLWerth
by Gina on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:22 AM

Right there is what my conflict is....not knowing if this was laziness or honest misunderstanding.

I'm starting to wonder if the difference is that in previous grades the big research project was presented to parents at conferences, so we had the expectations and parameters of the project right there.

This time, the kids were solo and it may have caused some issues.

Quoting terpmama:

I think do overs for laziness are ridiculous but if say an entire class (or the majority of one) fails a test the same way (gets the majority of the same questions wrong) it may mean that it wasn't taught well (well= aim a way that the majority can understand clearly) or if a project isn't explained clearly (this happened to me in college- teacher had 2 classes back to back and forgot to include part of te instructions to the second class-) we were allowed to add in the part we didn't know about.


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