Every test, I remind kids that the final is given after textbooks are turned in, AND that the final comes out of the questions on their tests; I remind them that our test correction sessions are very valuable for their future June selves.
Every June, I give a comprehensive final that covers everything from Jamestown all the way up to wherever we land; this year, it's the end of the Civil War (no assassination, no Reconstruction, no Jim Crow: where did the time go?).
Every June, the students who have achieved that dizzying number (ok, so it's really 102.5% because I believe in rounding up) sit in lawn chairs outside the classroom, drinking the soda of their choice (which I supply), munching on snacks (which they bring), playing with their electronics, listening to music, signing yearbooks, chatting, and basically feeling care-free and special as a reward for their commitment and fine work in my class over the school year. Mathematically speaking, even if they scored a zero on the 50 point final, they'd still have an A- in the course. Scholastically speaking, dang.
Every year, I am delighted to celebrate their outstanding achievement with their names in my window.
|This is how it looks in my brain. The reality contains considerably more blacktop and zero grass.|
Every year, it's a pain to round up beach chairs from the teachers and search for the sodas they like (inevitably, someone wants a @#$! Cactus Cooler or a !@#$ Welch's Grape Soda--WHERE CAN I BUY JUST ONE CAN OF THESE?), but I don't really mind....it's the least I can do for the kids who've done the most.