Long term readers may recall that SportsBoy has a tendencey to, oh, not do his schoolwork. And then to lie about it. Happens at least once a year. Of course, in elementary school they coddled him a bit. Let him get away with turning in late work and still getting full credit. Until last year in 6th grade when his teacher finally got tough with him and he brought home nearly all C’s. One of the points she tried to make with him was that Jr High was going to kick his ass if he didn’t develop better homework habits. (Might be paraphrasing a little bit there).
Flash forward to 7th grade. First three weeks go by and..hey..he seems to not have the shit-ton of home work we thought he might have. Considering that he always starts off with a head of steam, I figured he must just have lucked out with a light load. But then I got a teensy bit suspicious. And THEN, I got access to this:
|#||Description||Type||Doc||Score||Max||Date Completed||Due Date||Grading Complt|
|1||Parent Signature Sheet Signed||Homework||1||5||9/2/2008||9/2/2008||Yes|
|2||Science Notebook Check||Notebook||5||5||8/28/2008||Yes|
|3||Lab Safety Quiz||Quiz||17||20||9/2/2008||9/2/2008||Yes|
|5||Unit A Vocab Quiz||Quiz||8||10||9/15/2008||9/15/2008||Yes|
See that last assignment? The one with the zero? See that top one? How frustrating is THAT? After one month he has an ‘F’ in science because of one missed assignment (oh, such a shock that it is an essay!) and one easy peasy item turned in late!!! And I mean EASY because he was with me that whole first week of school and I remember signing a sheet for every single class right away. Anyhow…the point is..check out what I can see!! That gradebook site is now one of my home pages and I check it every single day. There is also a tab with assignments, so as soon as I sign in to the grade site, I see which class has assignments due for the week. So tonight after I made sure he completed that essay above (with a very slim chance the teacher will give him credit, but I wanted it done no matter what), I asked him to show me what he is ready to turn in tomorrow and Friday.
Meanwhile just to use technology even more – he had a couple of zeros on History assignements too. I had him complete those last night. Sometime during the day today he zipped into the media center and send me an email: “ok mom I have turned in my puzzle piece and packet so you I have a 74 in ss” I logged into the grade system and saw:
|6||2.1 Rome Quiz||Tests/Quizzes||1||5||9/12/2008||9/12/2008||Yes|
|7||2.2 Fall of Rome Quiz||Tests/Quizzes||4||5||9/15/2008||9/15/2008||Yes|
|8||Byzantine Empire Quiz 2.3||Tests/Quizzes||5.5||6||9/22/2008||9/22/2008||Yes|
Whaddya know? Instant verification! Isn’t technology awesome? And to his credit, those were the only two classes with missing items and low grades. He’s got an 86 in math – though that could be in the 90s except for a low score on his first homework packet due to an incomplete page BUT at leas the turned in the packet on time! He’s tracking for an A in video film and has another 86 in English. He also turned in an extra credit packet for English tonight.
Quite frankly after going through his backpack tonight and just *organizing* everything for him, I can actually see why those few slipped through the cracks – it was a MESS. No more, and I am going to make a point every Wed night that he is with me to check his backpack to see if he keeps up the sorting. On a side note, I was looking at his honors algebra homework packet that I had to sign and OW, it hurt my brain!! Dear lord I hope he doesn’t ask me to help him with that!!
Now, I am sure that HE is not so enamored of this online gradebook 🙂 In fact, I think my SweetPrince said it best when I showed it to him – “Thank heavens my mom never had anything like that to check up on me!!”