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The Great Fire Wall of China

As my regular readers know, I am writing from China these days, and have been doing so four years so far. Sometimes the blog becomes inaccessible to me, making it impossible to post regularly. In fact, starting in late September 2014, China began interfering with many Google-owned entities of which Blogspot is one. If the blog seems to go dark for a while, please know I will be back as soon as I can get in again. I am sometimes blocked for many weeks at a time. I hope to have a new post up soon if I can gain access. Thank you for your understanding and loyalty.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Class Policies for High School

These are the class policies I use for junior high and high school math and science classes. They are quite brief, but effective because students perceive right away that I say what I mean and mean what I say. Being straight-forward and authentic is probably the number one key to classroom management. Educators will debate the validity of grades forever, but as long as colleges pay attention to GPAs, teachers will have to figure out a way to determine grades. The following system has worked well for me.

Duties of Responsible Students:

1. Responsible students come to class on time, with their homework and materials laid out on their desk, pencils sharpened, and ready to begin before the scheduled start of class.

2. Responsible students do everything in their power to make it as easy as possible for their classmates to concentrate and achieve.

3. Responsible students turn in work that is neat, complete and on time.

Components of Grade:

1. Classwork 40% of grade (includes quality of work completed in class and responsible behaviors during class. Giving your work your professional best effort will raise this grade. This grade starts at 100% for all students.

2. Homework 30% of grade. The grade is the number of completed assignments out of possible assignments. Unacceptable assignments will receive an “R” which means “redo within one week.” Otherwise, the grade for that assignment becomes 0.

3. Tests 20% of grade. Test are graded as a straight percentage.

4. Quizzes 10% of grade. These are generally pop quizzes. 51% or better on a pop quiz earns a P for pass. 50% or below is a “no pass.” Announced quizzes are graded as a straight percentage.

Formatting Your Work:

1. All work must be done on standard 3-ring notebook paper, or specified graph paper. Do not fold your work.

2. Pencil is acceptable for certain work done in class and for math. Products like lab reports and essays must be written in cursive using blue or black ink only. You may write your work on a word processor, however printer malfunction is not an acceptable excuse for failing to submit the assignment on time.

3. Remember to use your English skills. Even when the work is not for English class, you are still expected to indent paragraphs, maintain margins, proofread and rewrite your work as necessary to submit your best work.

4. All papers must have a proper heading as previously instructed.