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class projects



I need advice about a class project that was assigned. As a class we read the book Regarding the Fountain. After reading the book the students were told to create a model of their dream fountain. The fountain could be a working model or a nonworking model, but they were to create a model. There is a written piece and oral presentation that goes with this.
I have been doing this project for years and for the first time I had two students go out and buy a fountain and turn it in. When asked about it one student's response was "My mother said she wasn't going to fool with a fountain."
I feel that I can't grade them. There are students who had lots of support from home and spent weeks on their project and there are those who had very little support and still did their best. A store bought project is not their work and as a parent I would be very upset if I spent weeks working with my child and someone who buys a project gets as good a grade as my child.
What do you all think?


some parents!!!!

What grade? How can parents be so stupid and disrespectful. All they are doing is telling their child that it is okay to cheat on the project. I would talk to each child about the project and if they seem to want to complete the project the right way I would maybe give them an extra day or to, but I would also grade the project down because it was late. If the child does not seem to care, I would go ahead and give them a failing grade-that is a hard consequence but that is a life lesson. It is not fair to the kids without support that tried their best and the ones that the parents give a darn and helped their children. I would also praise all the other students for doing their best on the projects. I don't always have time to help my son with every project to its full extent but we do the best that we can. What is happening to todays parents?



If you wanted them to buy a fountain, you wouldn't have asked them to make a model.

They did not do the assignment.

They either do the assignment or get no points.


Teach 5

Senior Member

I find it extremely difficult to grade any projects that are completed at home. For this reason, I do not assign home projects. Homework for me is just written reinforcement of class material, reading, or studying for tests. I do all projects in the classroom. I tried doing at home projects when I first started teaching, but it was very difficult to grade the projects that the students completed themselves compared to projects that students had parental assistance on, or worse ones that the parents did themselves.
Once I had children, I found that school projects of this sort that they brought home had little direction or grading information. It was hard to know what their teachers actually wanted.
It has worked really well for me to do projects at school, often I request items from home, like paper towel rolls, shoe boxes, etc. This way I can set-up a rubric & really grade each child's work not the parents.
You might want to consider making a class fountain or creating individual fountains in the classroom, instead of assigning this as an at-home project.



This is what I would suggest. Explain the situation to your principal. Talk to him/her about how you feel, etc. Call the parents and students in separately- meaning do one family at a time with the parents and the student-and make sure that you and the principal are also there. Explain your concerns to the family...why you are disappointed, etc. Then tell them that because the fountain wasn't their own work, the student has a choice of getting a 0 or getting a week or so extention to do redo it for partial credit. I wouldn't give them full credit because they are getting extra time, etc. Perhaps dock them 10-15 points. The option is up to them. I would also make sure the principal knows and supports the action that you are going to take at the meeting. That way, if the parents are upset and/or disagree, he/she will be there to back you 100%.


parents doing homework

These children will never learn responsibility and accountability if they are taught that their projects and homework will be completed for them and bought for them. UGH. What is your grading scale? What exactly were the requirements for this project? What grade level is this? Were they required to write a paper to go along with their fountain? If you can give us some more information, we can better advise you.


I teach fourth grade. I have been doing this project for years and the kids absolutely love it. The parents also have a good time working on it with their children.
Thanks everyone for your advice. I will talk with the principal about it. This week I am going to call the parents and give them the option of completing another one with a one week extension. I like the idea of taking off 10-15 points.
It really bothers me that some parents believe that they can do their kids work for them or take the easy way out and buy the project. What are these parents thinking?!?!