I love the last week of a grading period. That's the time of year when forlorn little seventh graders come sidling up to their teachers begging, pleading, and in some cases demanding, extra credit in order to bring their grades up to a passing level.
I hate to tell them this, but no amount of extra credit is really going to save most of them. I mean when you have a 43% and 70% is passing....it just doesn't compute.
Because I like to have fun, I put a note on the PowerPoint agenda that is broadcast on the Big Huge Screen in my room for the first nine minutes of class (four minutes in between class periods, and another five once the bell has run.) The note said "Today Only - turn in Twenty Reward Tickets and earn 10 points of extra credit!"
Now from the very first day of school one of the things I tell my students is that they Need To Read the PowerPoint When They Walk Into Class...this slideshow tells them what our standards are, what we're doing, what's due, any messages I need to get to them, plus a daily quote and a science trivia. And, of course, every day I have some knucklehead asking me "What are we doing today?" when it's sliding by them on a Big Huge Screen in full color.
Any guesses on how many kids actually read the message about the extra credit and took advantage of it?
Out of 97 kids?
As my grandmother would have said, "if it had been a snake, it would have bit 'em!"