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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 (31-40):
jlo1313
by Silver Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 12:15 PM

 Wow, he did an awesome job! 

I don't agree with do-overs.  I still hold this ancient belief that school should prepare the children for life in the adult world and there are few opportunities for do-overs as adults. 

I understand the part about wanting the kids to learn the material, but I believe that is the opportunity for the teacher to go back and review it, offer up another project or test and measure the success rate, all while keeping the original grade for the original project. 

PinkButterfly66
by Silver Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Yes, because this is 6th grade. Their first year in middle school.  As long as the child learns from the experience then the do-over was a success.

GLWerth
by Gina on Jan. 16, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Personally, I think assigning a new project to those who didn't do well might be a better idea, but some good points have been raised by others.

The idea of fixing it is worthwhile, but more for younger kids. Have them do that earlier in the school cycle. These kids will be in middle school next year and should  be able to do their work independently.

Quoting jlo1313:

 Wow, he did an awesome job! 

I don't agree with do-overs.  I still hold this ancient belief that school should prepare the children for life in the adult world and there are few opportunities for do-overs as adults. 

I understand the part about wanting the kids to learn the material, but I believe that is the opportunity for the teacher to go back and review it, offer up another project or test and measure the success rate, all while keeping the original grade for the original project. 


jlo1313
by Silver Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 12:31 PM

 Having a 6th grader and a 3rd grader, I can tell you they plan for plenty of "parties" and unnecessary activities during the school year that a few extra tests and class work assignments isn't going to impose on the cirricullum they need to cover :)

Quoting GLWerth:

Personally, I think assigning a new project to those who didn't do well might be a better idea, but some good points have been raised by others.

The idea of fixing it is worthwhile, but more for younger kids. Have them do that earlier in the school cycle. These kids will be in middle school next year and should  be able to do their work independently.

Quoting jlo1313:

 Wow, he did an awesome job! 

I don't agree with do-overs.  I still hold this ancient belief that school should prepare the children for life in the adult world and there are few opportunities for do-overs as adults. 

I understand the part about wanting the kids to learn the material, but I believe that is the opportunity for the teacher to go back and review it, offer up another project or test and measure the success rate, all while keeping the original grade for the original project. 

 

 


kam013
by Silver Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 12:59 PM

I'm not a huge fan of do-over's, I think it sends the wrong message overall.  That said, I do understand that on occasion if the majority of the class just "didn't get it" it may be necessary in order to make sure the materials have been learned, which is what school is all about. 

As a former teacher I would have gone with a different approach and that is to offer up a 2nd project to students, more along the lines of extra credit.  It would be available to all students . . . those that did well on the first project could get an "extra credit" grade and those that didn't could potentially replace their bad grade with a better grade, but not receive extra credit points.  If you make the choice not to do the 2nd project your current grade stands.  But that's just how I would have handled it . . . and again this would just to ensure that the students understood the materials.  


GLWerth
by Gina on Jan. 16, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Your solution is the one I'd have preferred, but given the number of kids that didn't do well, I suspect there would have been a huge amount of blowback from parents too, if she didn't find a way to fix it.

Quoting kam013:

I'm not a huge fan of do-over's, I think it sends the wrong message overall.  That said, I do understand that on occasion if the majority of the class just "didn't get it" it may be necessary in order to make sure the materials have been learned, which is what school is all about. 

As a former teacher I would have gone with a different approach and that is to offer up a 2nd project to students, more along the lines of extra credit.  It would be available to all students . . . those that did well on the first project could get an "extra credit" grade and those that didn't could potentially replace their bad grade with a better grade, but not receive extra credit points.  If you make the choice not to do the 2nd project your current grade stands.  But that's just how I would have handled it . . . and again this would just to ensure that the students understood the materials.  

 


momtoscott
by Gold Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 1:51 PM

 Especially for big projects, yes, kids should be able to do a do-over.  Especially as early as the sixth grade level, many kids have no experience in structuring a large task, and they may have little understanding of the expectations they need to meet.  Not all have parents who have had academic success, either, and who understand how to help their kids set up and complete a project. 

The kids in your son's class who redo their projects will learn something, and the extra work may also make some of them more determined to do it right the first time for their next project. 

I disagree that IRL you don't get do-overs.  Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't.  People correct mistakes, refine processes, etc., all the time.  I'm way better at my job now than 20 years ago because I was able to try, make mistakes, learn from them, and figure out how to do things better.   

Kids don't have a single learning style, and if you have always been at the top of the class (I was), it is hard to understand how much harder school can be for kids with gifts in different areas. 

I have an autistic son who is mainstreamed, a high school freshman, and while he does his work consistently (he is mostly in honors classes), there are times when he has to do a paper or a project or a test over.  I don't think of him as competing with the other kids in his class, because the goal of schooling is to educate the kids, not to see who's at the tippy top.  Is he learning?  Yup.  Sometimes takes him longer, and sometimes he needs a do-over, but he's learning. 

SWasson
by Bronze Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 1:57 PM

In a truly fair world, no. But the teacher would probably be risking his/her career if they gave a large proportion of the class poor grades because of one assignment. 

LindaClement
by Linda on Jan. 16, 2013 at 1:58 PM

If the majority of the class fails a project, it does rather suggest a problem with the teacher, no?

OHgirlinCA
by Platinum Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 2:01 PM

 I say no do overs.  The students knew what had to be done and were given ample time to do it in.  They have to learn about responsibility and deadlines.  They have to learn from their mistakes.

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