My kid rocks.
She just finished the first marking period of third grade, and she’s carrying a 91 percent average (95 percent in English — she’s a little me.
My husband and I are very proud of her, and we take the time to tell her that when she brings home her stack of tests every other week. We point out the ones she did a great job on, and we talk through many of the questions she got wrong on others.
A few weeks ago, we had a talk after she got a 67 percent on a spelling test — and about the consequences at home if she does not do well in school — and she’s done great since then on those.
But then she got a 53 percent on another test.
I spotted it while checking her grades online, but I didn’t say anything to her until she brought the test itself home the next week because I wasn’t exactly sure what the content was.
Turns out it was a test on something they had read about suspension and arch bridges, and they had to draw a Venn diagram to compare and contrast them.
Holy crap, I don’t know if I could do that.
But here’s the rub: It was an open-book test. And her teacher had noted that she didn’t see Sam using her book.
Sam was in tears when I asked about it. She kept repeating, “I tried my best, I really did,” but she didn’t seem able to explain what had happened. She finally kind of in a roundabout way admitted that she sorta didn’t understand what they had read and maybe she wasn’t totally sure what they were supposed to do.
We brainstormed ways she could have handled the situation better (like, dude, go to your teacher and tell her you don’t get it!), and I told her a story about the one test I failed in third grade. But we made it clear to her that failing grades will not be tolerated.
If I had come home with two failing grades in one marking period, I’m pretty sure my mom would’ve strung me up by my thumbnails. Yet punishment didn’t seem appropriate to me at this point for Sam.
What do you think? How do you handle bad grades?