Saturday, September 03, 2011

You Mean We Had to Do the Work?

On Tuesday I taught the kids how to do a guided outline, which is a good tool for kids to use to help with their content area reading.  I modeled how to do it, we did part of it as a class, and then they worked with their groups.  No problem.

Then I said the words that apparently were spoken in a language foreign to twelve-year-olds:  "We will go over this and grade it on Friday so if you haven't finished, it's homework."

On Wednesday and Thursday I had written on the board that homework was to finish their guided outline as it was due on Friday.

I also said multiple times that the guided outline was homework and due on Friday.  Any guess what I heard from some of my kids when I asked them to get out their guided outlines on Friday?

"You mean we had to finish it?'



Linda Fox said...

Sigh. Yeah, that's familiar. I'm having my kids make paper roller coasters. They were given class time to make a plan, then submit a parts list, so I could give them the right number of templates to start construction.

On the day that the parts list was due, AFTER they spent a day making up the parts list, 1 whole class didn't have it. Only 1 group immediately got to work, and 10 minutes later, turned in the list. They were able to start construction that day.

The rest took another day. I'm going to be entering a checkpoint for that, and docking them points for that lateness. I swear, for some of these kids, the grade appears (in their mind) to be arbitrary - that they get a good grade because "I like them" and a bad grade because "I don't like them". There's no connection between effort or outcome of work and grade.

Stats and Stats said...

Probably all teachers have had similar experiences. Does anybody out there understands where this comes from and how to cure it?

Darren said...

You make it sound like this surprises you :-)

HappyChyck said...

Maybe that behavior comes from the idea that we teachers only have influence over what they do in the classroom, and it's a complete frustration to expect students to do work outside of school when they never do it. If we truly want it done, it has to be done in class.

Fixing it? I don't know. I have a few strategies, but they are not fool proof. It really starts with expectations all all stake holders. Not a new story there.

CozyStitches said...

Sigh in deed! Sounds like my 7th & 8th Graders! :D