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 no 0 policy 
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On Wednesday I went to a PTMA (Prospective Teachers of Mathematics Association) meeting for one of my Elementary Ed Block I classes. The meeting was about classroom management. I can't remember how this came up but one of the teachers (a 6th grade teacher) was talking about how her school has a No 0 Policy. They don't allow their students to get 0s. The students have to do the work but on their own time. This school would rather their students do the work and turn it in later than not do it. They would rather the students learn something instead of getting a 0. I thought this was a great idea but once we started talking in class yesterday about what we would do if a student refused to do the work I wasn't sure what to do. I think the no 0 policy is a great idea so that the students are actually learning something but I don't know how I would handle it if a student refused to do their work. Any ideas?

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Meagan


Fri Apr 18, 2008 10:47 am
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This is a good way to help the students succeed. I would rather my students take the time to do the work correctly and thoroughly rather than hurry through it or get discouraged and not attempt an assignment. However, what kind of message is that sending to students as they get older? I worry that this might allow kids to lose their accountability for their work, especially because some students just don't end up doing it or way till the end to do it. Students who were around this type of grading system would more than likely find it very difficult to adjust to college work and what higher up teachers/professors might expect.


Sat Apr 19, 2008 3:16 pm
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That policy sounds great! I agree with you and Shane that I'd much rather have my students complete their work late than just give up and get a zero on the assignment. They wouldn't be learning anything in the latter situation- and that's what I'm really after in the first place. To answer your question though.. I'm not sure what I would do regarding that policy if a student just completely refused to do the work. First, I would talk to the student and try to understand why they didn't want to do the work (is there something they don't understand? do they have all the materials they need to do it? are they afraid they'll have to present it to the class if they do it? do they have enough time to do it? do they just think it's boring or a waste of time?)... and I would also try to find a way to tailor my projects to each students individual interests (this is something I would do for the whole class- not just for the students who refused to do work). If, after all of that, the student still said they weren't going to do it.. I'm not sure what else I could do besides giving them a zero. So, I guess that doesn't really answer your question, but I'm not sure what I would do in that situation.

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~Lisa Hash


Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:26 pm
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I think this policy sounds great! I have never thought about doing something like that but it makes all the sense in the world. When students don't do their work and get a 0 they are ultimately not learning anything at all. Teachers sometimes act like they like to give 0's and i think this is the wrong thing. Being a teacher means to "teach" giving students the opportunity to learn something and if they are handing out 0's then they students have not learned anything at all. By allowing students to complete the work and turn it in when they want it is giving them the opportunity to learn something. I would much rather my students take their time and do a good job and learn than give them a deadline and give out 0's.

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Emily Nicholson


Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:51 pm
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I think that this is a wonderful policy. However like some of you have mentioned the problem I think I would face is how to impose this policy and make sure that everyone does do the work..eventually. But as I sit here and think about it having an open classroom where the student's know they have no chance of making a zero may make them want to do the work more. So many times students are discouraged by grades so allowing them to work at a pace that is comfortable for them and still recieve a grade is really encouraging. A student may refuse to do work however I do not feel that I would be a long lasting refusal more like I'm in a bad mood today refusal. If that makes any sense to you. But I do agree with most of you that a policy like this is wonderful and should be implememented in any way possible. Not only does it make the students feel good but it would make me feel good to know that I can look in my grade book and see grades not zero's.

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Danielle Underwood


Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:27 pm
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I think that this policy is a good idea, in theory, and it does give the children the opportunity to get their work done and turn it in. I don't think that it however takes in to account the students in the long term. I think that them not turning in work at a certain time, takes responsibility away from the students. I feel that it could effect them in the long run, because other places, such as work and college, will not allow this.

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Jessica Smith


Tue Apr 22, 2008 2:29 pm
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I agree with Shane. I think the "no zero policy" is probably a good idea for students in younger grades, but by the time students reach high school age they should be held accountable for their actions. Also, those students who who plan on entering college, this "babying" by high school teachers will definitely not help them in the long run.

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Merry Lauren Futch


Tue Apr 22, 2008 2:45 pm
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In connection with the no zero policy, I really feel it is important in the middle school. It gives the students opportunities to catch up on their work if they struggle with the assignments. Students are able to work more on their own pace and they don't feel as forced to complete the assignments just because the teacher demands it. I saw first hand at Cove Creek School how the no zero policy could prove to be beneficial and helped the students. Although some students were just being lazy, they still were given the same opportunities as everyone else to learn the material, whether on their own time or during school time.


Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:49 am
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As many have said this is great policy to make sure students learn, however I see this leading to students slacking off because they know they can wait. Im kinda halfway on this one I may try it one semester and see what happens, but I do not want my students to think that I am a push over. I think that if students are struggling then ok that makes sense to give them more time, but if the student is just slacking and being lazy then I am less adament to give them the no 0 policy.

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Kristi Allison Edwards


Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:05 pm
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