Keeping Track of Low-Performing Students
With 3-4 sections, it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of students that aren't doing well in your class. Have you called them this month? Is their grade improving? Dropping?
We have a variety of resources embedded in Brightspace that give us insight into how our students are performing. The parts of this that I use most frequently are:
- Login History - In this area you can see the last time the student logged on. You can also look at a history of their logins and look for gaps in their logins. For example, if you are checking on a Thursday and they logged on that day or the day before, you can look a little closer and if it was a few days since their last login, that could explain why they have so much late work. When you email or talk with parents you could bring up that they need to be logging into their course every day.
- Time Spent in the Course - Here, you can see how much time they've spent in the course. If they are logging on every day, but you look deeper and see they've only spent a few minutes total in the content, that might explain why their quiz/test scores are low. Usually this indicates that they are flipping through the content pages looking for the link to the assignment and not actually reading the content. When you talk with parents, you could mention that they need to spend more time in the content in order to help them understand the material.
What I do....
The information above gives us good data about the student's activity, but doesn't really help us "keep track" of these students.
In the same spreadsheet I sent you earlier (attached below), I have a tab for failures. If they are failing after the first due date, I put their name/phone number(s), parent email, grade, what they are missing (if anything), and a place for making notes of contact. I like to color the cell that has their grade red for failing, yellow for 70s, green for 80s, and blue for 90s, just like the grade book in Brightspace. After a few weeks, I can see if the student's grade is generally improving by scrolling through the colors.
First, if they are missing something, I email them through the grade book that they are missing the assignment and record that in the spreadsheet.
Then, after I've graded everything, I email the parent if the grade is below 70. If they are new to this category, they get added to the spreadsheet. Regardless, I record this email in the spreadsheet.
If the parent emails me back fairly quickly, I don't call because I feel like it would be overkill and the parent would probably say something like, "I emailed you back, did you not get it?!" If they don't email me back, and the kid doesn't turn in their late work in a timely manner (bringing their grade above 70), I call home. I record the call home AND/OR the parent response in the spreadsheet. THEN, I make a note in the spreadsheet for a month from now to call the parent back if the kid's grade hasn't improved. If something warrants a call in the meantime, I'll call back before then, but this makes sure I don't forget to call back next month (the weeks seem to fly by during the semester and before I know it, a month has gone by!)
If they bring their grade above 70, I try to send the student and parent an email letting them know the grade has improved and to keep up the good work and don't forget this week's due date.
Some Sample Failing Emails....
FIRST Missing Work Email
____'s grade in her ______ course has fallen below 70%. This is largely due to the fact that the students have only had 5 assignments so far and she is missing 2 of them. I fully expect that once she has more assignments under her belt and submits the two missing assignments (_____, ______), her grade will improve rapidly.
The missing assignments will be subject to the following GAVS late policy:
1 - 2 day late - 20% off
3+ days late - permanent zero
I look forward to seeing these assignments from _____ ASAP.
Weekly Missing Work Emails Sent Through Brightspace Gradebook
You are receiving this email because you have a missing assignment(s) from the August 15th due date. Please check the gradebook and turn in your missing assignment(s) ASAP to earn as few late points as possible.
As a reminder, our NEW Late Policy is:
1-2 days late (turned in Thursday OR Friday) = 20% off
more than 3 days late = zero becomes permanent
Thank you so much! I look forward to seeing your submissions!
Grade Below 70 (no missing work)
My name is Emily Kroutil and I am ______ AP Environmental Science instructor with Georgia Virtual School. I wanted to send you a note letting you know that grades have been updated and ______ has a grade below 70, primarily due to low grades on his FRQ assignments and the test he took this week.
I encourage him to follow the strategies for success below:
- attend the weekly synchronous sessions or watch the recordings
- take detailed notes when reading through the content
- spend time studying his notes before attempting quizzes or tests
- turn in assignments EARLY so I can grade the assignments and he can resubmit before the due date for a better grade
- complete test corrections for +5 points back on his test. The procedures for test corrections can be found here: How to Do Test Corrections
- read the Module Resource newsletters (found in the User Links section of the course) AND assignment rubrics so he knows EXACTLY what is expected of him for EACH assignment. The newsletter for Science, Matter, Energy, and Systems can be found here: https://www.smore.com/sxv2g
There is still time to bring up his grade, as this week was only the second due date. It is on the syllabus, but for quick reference, our next assignment due date is Wednesday, August 29th.
If ______ has any questions about the content or assignments, I encourage him to email, call, or text me (__________) and attend the weekly synchronous sessions (or watch the recordings).
Thank you very much for your time and help.
Concerned About Progress
I have updated grades and was concerned about your child's progress in the course. Please have him or her check the grades and make up any missing work, according to the GaVS late work policy. The GaVS late work policy allows students to submit missing work up to 2 days after an assignment due date (Thursday and Friday) for a 20% penalty. After Friday, the 0 will remain and the assignment will not be accepted. If you have any questions, please feel free to email or call me.