Michael has loved every grade and
THEN the math paper came home with a drawing on the back of a boy's face and a cloud coming out of his cartoon mouth that said, "I hate school." OMG! We were so shocked! STUNNED! Is this our little boy?
Three days later...Matt and I had been wondering when Michael would be bringing home his report card. We had asked him each day of the new nine weeks and both times he said he didn't get it yet. Then Matt and Michael drove to wrestling practice and had a conversation on the way.
Matt - "When are you getting your report card?"
Michael - "I don't know dad."
Matt - "Did you get it today?"
Michael - pause "No."
Matt knew something was up at this point.
Matt - "Do you have your report card?"
Michael - Long pause "Yeah."
Matt - "Where is it?"
Michael - "In my computer bag."
Then I remembered how my husband was in school, or so I've been told. Matt is super smart. He never had to study to get good grades. He picks things up easily and has a memory like an elephant. I wonder where this saying came from? He told me that when he was in school he pulled C's because he never did the homework. Why bother when he could ace the tests without studying? He was BORED in school. While other kids worked on their homework Matt read books, until that didn't even keep his interest, and he began to get into trouble. Oh I did NOT want Michael to receive this gene from the Wallace side.
I emailed his teacher and she said Michael was bright in math. He participated every day and helped other students who had trouble with the material. She said Michael made careless mistakes in his calculations. Now we have told Michael umpteen thousand times to take his time and double check his work. She also said that he could fix any of the problems on his homework to earn full credit. The students have been allowed to do this all year. Why am I just now hearing this? Back to the kitchen table.
I shared the email with Michael. He smiled feeling pretty good about himself. Then I dropped the bomb about the homework. His face fell. "Oh, yeah. I forgot." We came up with a plan of attack.
Plan of Attack
Bring ALL papers home every night - no matter the grade
After school relax
When Mom gets home we'll both work on our school work together at the kitchen table ( I could use the time to grade papers.)
Get to bed by 9 pm
Take time and double check ALL work in ALL classes AND fix all errors on homework
Is it boredom? As a teacher I struggle with this everyday. I have many Matt's in my classroom, bright students who don't complete their homework, but do well on tests and quizzes. How do we reach these kids? How do we get it through to them that it's important to complete ALL of the work? Most of them settle for just passing. "I just want to pass." How about I want to do the best I can?
Is there anything you've tried in your classroom or with your children that works. If so please share.