After reading a post by Mrs. Chili regarding the griping of her students when being held accountable for learning, I do have to admit a bit of frustration with one of my classes. Only 19 of my 32 American Literature students bothered to turn in a one-paragraph summary of a short story everyone read.
This is quite a frustration for me since I have been quite intentional preparing this class to do the writing and meeting basic expectations. Despite the grades on the summaries turned in being relatively low, I am more upset that 40% of the students couldn’t find the time to compose 10 sentences.
Unfortunately, I have been out of the classroom quite a bit in the last two weeks with tournaments around the state in three different extra-curriculars. However, I will have no time out of the classroom for the next few weeks, so I will begin conferencing with individual students on Monday. Also, I am giving the second writing, a thesis paragraph, tomorrow.
Other than the number of summaries not turned in, I was also a bit frustrated that the majority of the students who did turn in the assignment did not follow directions. I had a list of approximately 10 questions to answer “yes” to before turning in the summary. The first question states, “Did you double space your summary (whether handwritten or typed)?” Half of the students did not double space. Frustration city!
I guess I need to sit down with each student and begin to decipher why the assignment was not completed or why the directions were not followed. This is part of the reason why class size is such an important factor.
With such a basic assignment, I would expect nothing less than excellence from high school juniors. We will also have to compose another summary because I still need to see the students successfully show the skill, at least the ones who have not done so.