I thought I would join this conversation as it's one that I have had with
myself lately! (Silently, mind you) I teach computer arts in my middle
school. I too accept late work without penalty. I don't give any grade
until the work is turned in.
I don't assume that most kids can complete the work at home due to
incompatible computer software, lack of software, lack of computers etc. I
will burn a CD of their work-in-progress and a demo of the software we are
using so that there is the opportunity to work at home, but without help.
This usually means they need to do the work at school.
However, the problem I have been running into lately is the kid who has
blown off listening to instructions, participating in the demos, hasn't done
the project, then decides to finally turn in the work and demands lots of
one-on-one help because he didn't listen to instructions, participated in
I feel that it's unfair to have this child usurp my time and attention
during class when I need to help other students who have been trying since
day-one on the assignments. I do give students time towards the end of a
class period to work on past work with help. I also have a few catch-up
days before major grading periods for student to get help.
Sorry, but I don't make it a policy to have students in my room before or
after school; that's when I'm prepping, loading software, grading work. etc.
They do have access before and after school to the library lab, sans help.
Anyone else running into this situation? How do you handle it? Suggestions
will be gratefully accepted!
From: Larry Prescott [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, May 13, 2004 8:42 AM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: re: question about due dates
I have found a solution that works for me at this time. I have a due date
but accept late work without any penalty. I also accept reworked
assignments at any time without penalty. This gives kids a target date to
work toward. On the due date, I collect the work and grade in accordingly.
If the work is not complete at this time, I give it a C if the student has
been conscientious but still needs more time. If a student is just "blowing
off" the assignment, but has put some minimal effort into class
participation, I give the work a D. For work that is not present on the due
date, but I know the student has participated in class, I give a D-. I then
remind students that I accept work at any time...even next year with no
penalty. (This last statement gets most of my 13-year-old brains thinking
about the policy) This gives kids the chance to turn in the assignment when
they complete it and change their C or D to an A. Kids who need the extra
time are given a way to satisfy their need to work well and not be
penalized. This extra work is to be completed before or after school or at
home. Some of my best work has come in several weeks after the due date.
For example, I had a piece of art that placed first in our state middle
school art contest that was several weeks late. The student who completed
this work changed her C to an A in the grade book. This would never have
happened if I did not set up a policy like I have. In short, have a due
date, but work in a way that you will accept any assignment or reworked
assignment at any time without grade reduction for tardiness.
This policy also keeps parents happy. They are amazed that I accept late
work without any penalty and that I allow students to redo any work that
they would like to do without any penalty.
Madison Middle School
575 West 7th South
Rexburg, Idaho 83440