Monday, September 14, 2009

Another Mystery

I'm not sure why, but out of my four regular English 1 classes, the last two periods are doing better as a class than the first two periods. Here are the class averages by period as of yesterday.

Period 1: 54.4% with 17 Fs
Period 2: 50.7% with 16 Fs
Period 5: 67.2% with 7 Fs
Period 6: 66.4% with 9Fs

I have 4th period prep and 3rd period is my honors class. You would think that 5th and 6th period because they are late in the day would be hanging off the walls and not doing any work but that really isn't the case. I am getting more makeup work in today as well which is nice. Late work is the bane of teachers and I still have yet to find a system that works for me and that will induce the maximum number of students to turn it in. I've tried the 'if it's late it's a zero' tactic, the 'just turn it in' tactic, and the 'turn it in for 50% credit' tactic and they have all failed. This year I am trying something new. They get dinged 5% per day until they lose 25% of their grade and it seems to be working. The fact that they can turn it in and get a 'C' is doing the trick so far. It does punish them for turning it late, but not so much that it's not worth it to them. I remember when I was in high school (was it really more than 20 years?) and that if I could only get 50% credit, it simply was not worth my time.

Tomorrow is open house at our school, and like last year I have resorted to bribery to get my students to come to open house. I told them that if they show up and sign in with their parents they get 10 extra credit points. Last year, when I was interning at the prep school I literally had 8 or 9 parents tell me their kids dragged them to the open house just so they could get their points. Hell, if it worked there, it should work here. Plus I am making walking taco dip as well as a snack for anyone who comes by. Well, actually my wife is doing that for me.

At least I'll eat well tomorrow night!