Every week we give a Math assessment over the Math skills for the quarter. Currently, we are in the third quarter and I gave the kids assessment two of the third quarter Math assessments. The kids had done poorly on the first one, but I expected that because I hadn't taught many of the skills. I gave the kids a speech and told them to think of it as a kind of pre-test.
Well, this morning when I graded their second assessment I was dismayed. There were skipped problems, problems with no work shown, and just general laziness. So, first I fined (using our classroom money system) any student who turned in unacceptable work or missed work. Next, I gave a speech about the perils of not being a careful test taker. Finally, I warned that parents would not be happy to find poor test grades because they were not careful test takers.
The results of my little speech: three kids in tears. Sometimes third grade is really different than fifth grade folks. I did take it down a notch and point out that we still have six more assessments this quarter and that now is the time to learn what mistakes they made and improve.
The whole experience reminded me of a commercial I saw recently. See below.