Vernier Science Education - June  2024


General Science and Teaching

Late Work

Author Post
Michelle Sanders Michelle Sanders 540 Points

I teach middle school science, and I penalize my students when their work is turned in late. This is so that they learn the importance of deadlines and organization. I usually will give 1/2 credit for late work if work is turned in 1 day late, and after that it is a zero. Is this too much to expect in middle school though? What are some of your policies that you have for turning in late work? 

Amanda Wolfe Amanda Wolfe 16375 Points

Hi Michelle, I am a high school teacher. At my first school I had a similar policy but would allow students to recoup the other half of their credit for late work if they came in at lunch or for my after school tutorial to make it up. The policy in my department was half credit for work but I realized quickly, like Adeliz, that the students who were consistently turning in late work or worse no homework were the ones that had parents working overtime, or were responsible for siblings, or were having some major personal issues outside of class (depression, death or illness of a family member, drug abuse etc.) Of course there were my apathetic students too who I could never figure out but at least with this modification to the policy I could net a few of them. The extra time at lunch or tutorial provided them the focused work space that they may not get at home. It also gave me a chance to check in with them "conference" with them about what was going on. If late work was consistent then they would get a phone call home recommending that they attend my tutorials weekly so that they could get their homework done there. Again this worked for some students not all but there were definitely students that this helped tremendously. At the second school I worked at the grading policy separated the behavior of late or missing work from their grade entirely. We also had less homework and the students moved from class to class in cohorts so that we could more easily communicate about their overall progress. The support structures of tutorial, intervention classes, and even Saturday tutorial sessions were required for any students not completing their work or passing the summative assessments (competencies). We also had a lot of student and parent conferences if a student was slipping behind. In 9th grade the behavior of late or incomplete work spiked as students tried to play the game but over the course of 4 years we saw students taking initiative and responsibility for their work and producing beautiful work. This policy would only work if the administration was behind it and had supportive and organized intervention plans in place.

Pamela Dupre Pamela Dupre 92369 Points

Depending on what the assignment was, I may have them go to another teacher's class to complete. If it was a project I would ask what help would they need to complete it. I happily print out info if that is what they needed. I would give them one or two more days to turn it in with the understanding that for each day late, the work drops one letter grade if they have every item included. I agree with the others that sometimes the problem is a home issue.

Adaliz Gonzalez Adaliz Gonzalez 5032 Points

I used to teach in the city and middle school students have different circumstances worth listen to. Parents have 2-3 jobs and my students were responsible for chores once they get home, and/or may be in charge of siblings. I am very structured and disciplined when it comes to my work in the classroom but also willing to listen to what students have to say about homework. I would give them plenty of time to return it to me, whether in the classroom or through our online platform. I know also there were many irresponsible students that were unwilling to return homework; I set the rules, and would not call it it penalize students. If they choose to not return homework, then they face the consequences of their grade in my class, no judgement from me. If they come to me, or parents would come to ask the reasons for failing grade, well, the evidence is in their performance and lack of responsibility. But again for others, that come worried about doing homework and not being able to turn it in on time, I would listen and negotiate with them giving them full credit for it.

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