Need opinions!

Community Leader
Registered: 07-16-2001
Need opinions!
6
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 1:33pm
Friday, my class had a sale for our economics unit. It went very well and the kids loved it. They did group businesses, and the day before I went through with each group what they were to bring to make sure the work was divided up evenly. It seemed like it was.

Well. Friday comes and one boy who was supposed to make brownies for his group did not. He waited until bedtime to tell his parents (the kids knew for two weeks). Another group made bookmarks. It was a group of six boys and one boy make about 25, the rest of them make maybe one or two. Some made none.

In another group, a girl was gone to a skating competition. She knew she was going to be gone and told me about it. She did do her part before the sale, though.

My question is- what do I do with the boys who didn't contribute? I want to be fair, but I also want them to realize the consequences of not doing their part. I thought about doing a "before/during/after" grade and making it three parts. The kids who did nothing before would lose 1/3 of their grade. But then I have the girl who didn't do anything during. Should I mark her down too?

Any opinions?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
In reply to: shywon
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 6:44pm
I've faced this problem and when I assign a group project I always give an individual grade and a group grade. The group grade is usually set up so that a goof-off won't hurt the others too badly. I assign criteria on the goals of the project's content and the overall achievement of the objectives. The individual grade is more based on effort and cooperation with the group. That way you can really make a point to the goof-offs. I've averaged them together and also recorded them as two separate grades. You can weight them as you want. If one or two carried the group, I always weighted the individual effort more so they would get their reward.


Of course the parents usually yell when the other group members get an A and Georgie Goof-off gets a C after not doing his part. If possible make up a rubric for each project requirement and give it to them in the beginning. That way the parents don't have much they can do after the fact if you hand them the rubric with Georgie standing there to verify he got it on day 1, who can they blame?

The worst mother I ever dealt with went on a campaign after her daughter was in a weak, under-achieving group and didn't get an A. She carried her grudge (and complaints)on as her younger kids came to my grade. What a pain. It almost made me give up on cooperative projects.

Sherry

Sherry

 

Avatar for foxinsox1
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: shywon
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 9:19pm
Okay...here's what I'd do...let the individual students anonymously evaluate themselves and each other. Have them give each other a point system. How many points would you give for your contributions and others' contributions. Explain what you did for the group. Maybe self evaluate - what you could have done better. Finally, what grade do you feel you should receive for your work. Maybe even have a rubric, so they understand on how to evaluate themselves and others. Then you be the ultimate judge. You sometimes can't grade everyone on the same scale. Sounds like your skater girl was responsible and planned out her absence ahead of time, while the others sound a bit lazy. Stress in the real world that if someone didn't pull their weight they too would be evaulated and might even risk losing his/her job. It's a real world life lesson. Sounds like fun!

D

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-06-2003
In reply to: shywon
Mon, 04-14-2003 - 1:26pm
my thoughts, would be to have made a ruberic for this assignment. That way, things can be broken down to specifically state what grade doing this and not doing that will give you. But, since the assignment is finished, I don't really have much advice other than nothing frustrates me more than teachers who threaten to give you zero's and threaten to not take late work and threaten to drop your grade if you don't attend so many classes, and then they give you an A anyway. It not only makes the teacher lose their credibility, but word gets around that you are a pushover and a load of excuses will get you an easy A. Of course, I'm not experienced much on the teacher end yet. Im a Music Ed Major. I've only got two years undre my belt there as well. But you can always start out hard-nosed and ease us later. I would drop their grades, give them C's, or whatever your grade for "average" work completed is. Maybe the low grade will help, maybe it won't, you can always explain your reasons for their grade when the parents call you because they didn't get an A. Good Luck!!
Avatar for luvmyevan
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
In reply to: shywon
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 6:19am
Ok, as a person who was required to do many group projects in college, I ended up having to fight out the battles when I was assigned to groups with people not working. I would request to work on my own, or choose my own group. If that was not granted, I went to the Dean -- I paid tuition to be graded upon my own performance, not that of Joe Blow. He fully agreed, and I would be permitted to work alone or start my own group. I take serious issue with my performance being judged/graded by someone else's work (or lack there-of), and don't believe in doing that to other children.

On the job, your evaluation is not dependent upon how well the other ____ grade level teachers do (insert your own grade level there). How would you feel if one really slacked off, was not referring low kids for more testing/possible help, not showing up to work on time, not good with the kids/parents, etc. and your overall evaluation (which could mean whether or not you ultimately keep your job) was based on his/her performance because you happened to be in the same grade level?

OK, having said that, as a parent also, I will not allow my children to be graded/judged by the work others have done (or have not done, as may be the case). I am raising my stepson who is in 3rd grade, and have not had to deal with it yet, but if/when the day comes, I will make sure that he is given an individual grade. "Group grades" don't happen in life, (i.e. one person isn't evaluated/demoted/fired at John Q. Public's Business Corp. because his peers don't hold their weight), so why should it work that way in education?

Sorry, I have strong feelings on this one, as you can tell, because I did almost receive a lower grade than I deserved due to another person not holding their own. I proved that the rest of our group were the ones who had done the work, and we received the grades we were due. The fourth person received his own grade, that otherwise would have lowered our score. In the end, one child can't force his/her peers to work.

Katie

Community Leader
Registered: 07-16-2001
In reply to: shywon
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 8:22am
I went back and read my post, and couldn't find anywhere where I mentioned a group grade. The kids were given individual grades, and that's all I asked about. Some kids didn't pull their weight with the group, and I needed advice on how to handle two distinct situations (slacking vs. prior obligations).

I ended up having each child write out a list of what he or she did before, during, and after the sale. Each section was worth five points, and if they didn't do anything during a particular time, they got five points taken off. I docked the absent girl some points, but not all of them b/c she was responsible beforehand.

You're right- we aren't given "grades" in real life. However, we're expected to know how to work in groups and get along with other people. That's something that needs practice, and learning how to deal with it is part of life.

Avatar for luvmyevan
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
In reply to: shywon
Fri, 05-02-2003 - 9:31pm
I apologize, I guess I misinterpreted the original post. I thought you were trying to decide how to grade the groups where kids were not doing their part. I guess I got the impression that it would be a group grade from something said in a later post. I do know people who give group grades, and it really irks me, so I apologize if my message came off the wrong way, but I have very strong feelings on the topic.

I fully agree that people need to learn to work together and be tolerant. In my current position, I work with 15 different classrooms, and have to be flexible. I don't necessarily care for everyone on a personal level, but you'd never know that unless you're someone I had told that to, so on a professional level we deal OK with each other. In fact, there's only one, out of 2 buildings, 3 direct administrators, and 13 other staff members between the 15 classes.... ONE, that drives me nuts. No one on staff can stand her, but professionally she's OK. So, I do know the importance of learning to tolerate others -- not necessarily get along, but at least tolerate without hostility.

The group grades thing is just a sore subject because of all the group projects we were assigned in undergraduate school.... but again, I apologize if I misunderstood the question.

Katie