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Extra Credit-I need ideas!

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Junior Member
I assigned my students a book report that was to be due last week. They had a month to work on it and were given weekly reminders that the due date was approaching. On the due date I had several reports not turned in so I gave those students two extra days to get it done but told them they would lose 30 points because it was late. Now the book report was worth 200 points and they knew this. Those that still did not turn it in got a zero. I had parents complaining that this was not fair and that this was going to bring their child's grade way down, which is true. Several of them asked if I would assign some extra credit for their child to complete. I don't think I should have to provide the extra credit because many reminders were given regarding the book report but my principal is breathing down my neck about it. My question is: What type of extra credit have you done for reading and how much has it been worth? Thanks a lot!


Senior Member
extra credit

Honestly, I'm not a big fan of extra credit. Why should I give extra work just because they didn't want to do the original assignment? I've never given it for that reason. However, since your principal is breathing down your neck about it, I'd ask him/her first what he/she suggests you give. If that's not a good option, tell them to do another book report. What is their reason for not doing it in the first place? What are parents saying? They think you shouldn't give their child a zero when they didn't do the assignment? What do they expect you to give them? I take off 5 points for each day that something is late. If they want to talk about "fair", they should think about the child that did what they were supposed to, when they were supposed to, and ask themselves why they deserve the same grade when they didn't do it on time.


Not a fan of extra credit

I'm not a fan of extra credit, either. In fact, I tell my students to never ask me for it; instead, they should work hard all quarter to keep their grades up. I may have a bonus question on a test, but that's about as far as it goes.

I, too, think you should ask your principal, since he/she is the one bothering you about it (in addition to the parents).

If you do end up offering extra credit, I don't think that it should be worth nearly as much as the original assignment. Maybe keep them from failing, but not enough to make huge jumps between grades.

You could do something like have them create something: poster, diorama, mobile. Or, just make them do another book report on an outside reading book.

I'm willing to bet that several of those asking for extra credit won't even do it.


Senior Member
extra credit

i teach 6th, and this is my extra credit policy:

i will not give you extra credit immediately after a progress report and you see that your grade it bad

i will not give you extra credit immediately before report cards when you worry that your grade will be bad

i will not offer you extra credit because your parents ask me for it

i WILL...give a bonus spelling word each week; try to include challenging extra credit questions on quizzes and tests; offer at least 1 extra credit opportunity (above and beyond, extension, do at home, on your own time, takes some attention, energy, and time!) for each subject at least once a quarter. (i also have a couple year-long extra credit opportunities: language--find a printed grammar/mechanics error and bring it in and tell me how it needs to be fixed; social studies--check the nation section of the newspaper to find stories about Western Hemisphere countries (besides US), bring them in, and summarize them)

if you want a good grade in my class, you should...
pay attention during lessons
stay organized
actively study
do extra credit when offerred, even if it's not needed for a good grade
turn quality work in on time (i take 25% off for 1 day late, after that=0)
redo any assignment (not quiz or test) for an averaged grade
need help? come to study hall before or after school or ask for help during a recess

i go over these policies with my students at the beginning of the year---AND WITH PARENTS; they know not to ask for extra credit.

i offerred extra credit in language, social studies, and reading 2 weeks ago--everyone got a copy; everyone's parents got a reminder in monday folders...how many bothered to do it? 2 kids did reading; 2 other kids did social studies. (many more should have!) oh well, at least i can say i offerred it!

BTW--i don't tell students how much extra credit is worth-- i leave it open-ended, that way if a student does some real spectacular work, i can give more points. the point value is never anywhere near an entire assignment's grade--but it can soften the blow of a C or D grade!


Senior Member
Stand firm!

I would not offer any extra credit in this case. To me, a month is MORE than ample time to complete a book report. My feeling is that if they don't care enough about their grade to do the regularly assigned work, why should I provide extra credit opportunities? When I have a project due, I always send home a letter with due dates, grading rubric, etc. that requires a parent signature. That way, when a parent acts surprised, I can whip out the letter and show them that they did in fact know about the project.
Good luck!


Extra Credit policy

I totally agree with you. It's the students' responsibility. I would give them something very challenging for them to earn extra credit points. Since it is "extra," they need to work hard to earn the points. Maybe some kind of an essay question or book project related to a story you are reading in class. Make them work! I often give extra credit on quizzes and tests. My extra credit assignments are random and always challenging!


Extra credit

How about letting students correct their test mistakes? I stamp my tests "Please Correct."" If they do a good job, I give them 5-10 extra points. Or I give them enrichment sheets such as those included with Scholastic News or Mystery Math Pictures for extra points. This seems like a reasonable compromise to the situation.


Full Member
I say make the "extra" work their original assignment, but not worth as much now.

If you do offer something diffrent as extra credit, I would offer it to the entire class, to be fair, what about those kids who did the work, on time, but wish they did better, or try their hardest but still didn't get an A?


look at the other side of the story!

what if something comes up like a death in the family or a car crash or something that will keep the child from putting his or her complete effort into his or her work. What if the person isnt very interested in a topic so it is hard for them to really understand it. School is about learning, not just giving out grades you know!!! l:(


Senior Member
To disappointed: I did not see anything that indicated that special circumstances would not be addressed.

To OP: I pretty much agree with everything said above. However, with a principal breathing down your neck, it really does not sound as if you have an option. Give the entire class an "opportunity for enrichment". Another book report sounds appropriate. Make it count 100 points.

Unfortunately, it sounds as if you need to develop an extra credit policy. I call it "opportunity for enrichment". At the beginning of the quarter I pass out a paper with their "opportunities" in each class I teach. I will not accept any of them the last week of the quarter. For example: This quarter my sixth grader's opportunities were:

Literature: Choose two stories from the Lit book and write a compare contrast paper focusing on theme

Religion: Choose a parable of Jesus' and write and present a devotion based on it.

Memorization: Take advantage of the bonus Bible passage assigned each week.

Spelling: Learn the enrichment words offered each week.

Grammar/Writing: Ask your teacher for a handout with five simple sentences on it. Take each sentence and expand it with vivid words to at least eight to ten words.

World Cultures: Choose a notable figure from Latin America (past or present). Develop a powerpoint presentation highlighting those achievements.

I also staple it to the report cards so the parents are also aware of it. Sometimes I have several to choose from in each subject area. The above are the ones I thought of off the top of my head. BTW: Very few students take advantage of it. And the ones that do, usually do not need extra points.
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Senior Member
This happened to me last year.

With book reports. It was written several times in their agenda, they had about a month to complete it, they were allowed to turn it in early, etc. Oh, and I would remind them at least once a week for that month about. I am quite sure I reminded them the day before too.

I had kids not turn it in and I gave them zeros. When a child would ask for extra credit I would say no. I only had one parent ask me if it could be made up. When I clearly said no, they had a whole month, and that I was trying to teach responsibility.

Does your principal know that you gave plenty of reminders and time? He/she isn't helping to teach responsibility. If you give those kids extra credit they will now think they will be able to not turn something in or turn it in late b/c they will have that fallback...and they don't need to think that or learn that.


Senior Member
Why do we always end up with more work?

First of all, I can't believe your principal is not backing you on this. It's ridiculous for these parents to think that b/c their darling didn't do the work that they can get extra credit. I don't offer extra credit if they're missing work. If they can't do what's expected of them, why would I give them more to do?

I would explain to your principal how much time they were given along with the reminders and the extra time given for those who chose not to do it on time. Why should you have to do MORE work when they couldn't do theirs?


Full Member
I would not offer extra credit

I would not offer any extra credit. A month is plenty of time to complete a book report. If there were any circumstances that caused the students not do the assignment, then the parents should have contacted you much earlier instead of waiting until after the assigment was due and saw what the grade would be. Students have a responsibility to complete the assignments on time. When the assigments are not completed on time, then they face the consequences. It is not fair to the students who followed the directions and completed the assignments on time. Yes, this is going to effect their grade, maybe they will complete the rest of the assignments on time. School is about learining. Learning to be responsible to complete the assignments and turn in when they are due.


Waste of your time

The only students who do the extra credit are the kids who don't need it. I'd give the extra credit this time--next time make sure you state that extra credit will not be assigned in the syllabus. Good luck.

tchr 8

200 Points!

No one should give assignments that can single-handedly destroy a student's grade.


Senior Member
I don't think that assignment would have ruined the grade had he at least put forth a little effort (you know, like turning something in!?!)

I give a HUGE Social Studies project that takes an entire quarter to complete. They're given 5 grades over the course of the entire project but it's worth 600 points total. If they were to blow that project off (granted that's 9 weeks worth of work) it would definitely hurt their grade a great deal.

It's their choice. The student chose not to do the assignment. They received the grade they earned!


Senior Member
NO Extra Credit

You gave them enough time, and enough warning. The students chose their grade!!! :(


extra credit help

okay for extra credit we always have multiple options flash cards w current vocab studying 4 atleast 20 minutes and having a parent sign that you did certain things bonus on testss especially BRAINPOP from brainpop.com 80 or bettergets us 5 binus points on our lowest quiz or test grade but grades all get averaged 2gether @ zee end anyway i assure you that i get as a pluses etc.



I 100% agree. You should give your students a second chance.


To Disappointed

Those are extenuating circumstances and it does NOT sound like the kids that the orginal post all had deaths in their families. Be realistic. Reality doesn't offer second chances and extra credit. Let's set the bar high and get the kids to reach it. Stop being so soft. You are correct that it's not all about the grades. As a matter of fact, give them all As or stars or whatever....but when they graduate with empty heads, limited resources and no gumption, then there's a problem. Talk about disappointed.


Extra Credit

In my class, I make it clear that there will never be an opportunity for what is usually referred to as "extra credit" when what they really mean is "instead of credit". There is NO option to choose not to do an assignment and then expect me to take time and make the effort to design something new for you to do. No way! Extra, by definition, means beyond. It denotes that you have done what is expected and want to explore further. If that is what you want and your grades will support it, I am more than happy to work with you, but "instead of" just doesn't float.


Extra Credit

This will be my first year teaching and the original teacher who posted probably has taken care of things since it has been 5 years since the post but I will be using EC as EC. Meaning the student will be allowed extra credit only if they have turned in every assignment. Now they may have gotten a zero on the homework because they took to long to turn it in but if they do not do it they can not get extra credit. Just an idea.


Senior Member
To firstyearteach:

just a suggestion: Make your due date for extra credit a week before the end of the marking period. Most students (especially the ones who need it) will take advantage of it. However, one year I had a class of students who loved to learn and many (most of whom did not need the extra points) took advantage of my "Opportunity for Enrichment" projects (see earlier in thread). Marking them at the end of the marking period became a nightmare.

Good luck this year!
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