I am sure we have all sped through something in life. Maybe we drove too quickly or finished an assignment without giving it a second thought, but we have all been guilty of speeding. Our students also speed. They rush through an assignment just to get it done and move onto the next thing. They write so quickly that their handwriting becomes unreadable and makes it nearly impossible to grade.
Well this year I am trying something new. I will be giving speeding tickets.
As you can see, speeding tickets will be given for sloppy work, silly mistakes, and incomplete assignments. However I will not give speeding tickets all year. I believe that if students know they will get a second chance on all assignments then they will not learn to work accurately and neatly the first time. I want students to be given some grace and mercy, but still learn to be responsible for their work.
So here is the plan!
All students will receive one speeding ticket (the first time they need it) without a conference required. The second time a student receives a speeding ticket they will have to conference with me to discuss why they are getting speeding tickets and what we can do together to help them not speed. The third time a students receives a speeding ticket they will not be able to receive full credit for the answers they correct and students will be informed that they have used all of their speeding tickets for the year. I plan on tracking student speeding tickets in my teacher notebook. I will print a roster for each class and place it in the Student Information section. Each time I give the student a speeding ticket I will record the date next to their name. This provides me with a record and will keep my head on straight.
Now along the same line as speeding tickets is retesting. I have had parents and other teachers ask if I believe in giving the students a chance to retest. My answer is yes and no. I believe that third graders have never taken science and social studies tests and have a difficult time figuring out how to study (even though I teach them) and some grace should be shown.
This year I will be allowing some retesting and this is how it will be organized.
If a student does poorly on a test (below a 70 during the first nine weeks, below a 60 during the second nine weeks, or below a 50 in the third nine weeks) I will attach a Request to Retest form to the test and send it home.
If the parents would like their student to be retested on that test, then they will complete the form send it back and the student can be retested during recess. I will let the student know they will retest two days after the form is returned (I send graded work home on Tuesday and will have the form back on Wednesday, so they will be retested on Friday.). The reason for having students below 70 the first nine weeks, but then 60 in the second and 50 in the third is that students should be comfortable with testing by that point in the year. They should know how to study and what the expectations are.
I will track how many times a parent requests a retest. I will only allow three throughout the year and will treat retesting the same as a speeding ticket (first time is free, second time is a conference, third time it is impossible to earn full credit).
I want students to learn to own their behavior and actions. I want them to be responsible for their grades and assignments. Students can be taught how to work hard the first time, but at the age of eight or nine they are still learning how to complete school work and what the expectations of school are.
The Retest Request form was not created by me, but was found here.
The Speeding Ticket can be downloaded for FREE here.
Enjoy and good luck!!!