U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Education
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-11-2012, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Middle America
16,356 posts, read 12,962,901 times
Reputation: 18782
I come from a slightly different perspective where this sort of thing carries a little more weight. Because I work with students with disabilities, their ability to keep their things managed and organized even more critical for their success than it is for typically developing students. Their academic success hinges upon what some consider to be simple things...the ability to manage one's self and needed materials effectively. Many of them have IEP goals that relate to independent self-care, and organizational skill development may be among the self-care skills targeted. In other words, it's part of their assigned work. A big part of my job is teaching disabled students to be as independent as possible, and taking ownership of their own materials and responsibilities is a taught skill.

We also do home communication notebooks that are maintained daily to detail the student's day to the parents, but that's part of individualized ed. Most parents respond in kind, by communicating pertinent info back. With students with as profound of disabilities as mine, the parents tend to overwhelmingly be very good about attending to these things and seldom blow it off. There are a handful that will not communicate appropriately via home communication binder, though, even though it's been shown again and again that special education students do tons better when there is a concerted effort to stay on the same page.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-11-2012, 10:58 PM
 
Location: Minnesota, USA
7,278 posts, read 7,153,483 times
Reputation: 5797
I find it hard to believe that this thread has not attracted a debate over the value of notebook checks.

Personally, I hated them. I was thrust from being in a single classroom all day and having all my things in a white bin to changing classes eight times a day, with only three minutes in between classes. As my locker was on the opposite side of school from some of my classes, it could be difficult to set things in my locker in an organized manner. I tried carrying a backpack around school, but in addition to putting a strain on my back, I am just not a very organized person. Only organized when I absolutely have to be, basically.

When I was in 7th and 8th grade, most of the teachers checked notebooks, and for some classes I remember it being a significant portion of the grade - one I always did poorly on. When I entered ninth grade, and thus high school, I don't think I had any notebook checks (maybe one), so that was a relief. However, during the sophomore year of high school, we had notebook checks in biology, in "health", in history, and I think in math - English was the only class in which we had no notebook checks (and that was taught by an awesome teacher). I remember a negative correlation existing between whether or not a teacher conducted notebook checks (or how much emphasis they placed on organization) and how good their rapport with me. I do not think we got along worse because of my fault per se, but because of personality compatibility. I had a theory back eleven years ago in 8th grade that SJ personalities tended to do notebook checks and be more conscious of their student's organization; whether or not this theory is correct, I do not know, but I generally do not like to have SJ's in authority positions over me.

Notebook checks completely ended after 10th grade, and I did much better after the first semester of eleventh grade, although not exclusively because notebook checks had ended.

Only one of my college professors required to turn our notes in. I had him twice, and it was only in one class that he actually carried through with what the syllabus said about that. I performed excellently in college, compared to a mediocre (and sometimes terrible) job in high school and middle school.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-11-2012, 11:04 PM
 
Location: Middle America
16,356 posts, read 12,962,901 times
Reputation: 18782
Organizational skills are important for many students to learn, (particularly students with disabilities, but, really, any student). But I'm sure this is a point of view that could be debated endlessly. It's hard to argue that requiring various organization techniques, in and of itself, does anything to HURT students, though. We could argue how important those skills are all the livelong day, but the truth is that organization makes one generally more efficient, and for students, efficiency and success correlate in the long run.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-12-2012, 08:46 AM
 
8,687 posts, read 4,572,519 times
Reputation: 8401
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
I find it hard to believe that this thread has not attracted a debate over the value of notebook checks.

Personally, I hated them. I was thrust from being in a single classroom all day and having all my things in a white bin to changing classes eight times a day, with only three minutes in between classes. As my locker was on the opposite side of school from some of my classes, it could be difficult to set things in my locker in an organized manner. I tried carrying a backpack around school, but in addition to putting a strain on my back, I am just not a very organized person. Only organized when I absolutely have to be, basically.

When I was in 7th and 8th grade, most of the teachers checked notebooks, and for some classes I remember it being a significant portion of the grade - one I always did poorly on. When I entered ninth grade, and thus high school, I don't think I had any notebook checks (maybe one), so that was a relief. However, during the sophomore year of high school, we had notebook checks in biology, in "health", in history, and I think in math - English was the only class in which we had no notebook checks (and that was taught by an awesome teacher). I remember a negative correlation existing between whether or not a teacher conducted notebook checks (or how much emphasis they placed on organization) and how good their rapport with me. I do not think we got along worse because of my fault per se, but because of personality compatibility. I had a theory back eleven years ago in 8th grade that SJ personalities tended to do notebook checks and be more conscious of their student's organization; whether or not this theory is correct, I do not know, but I generally do not like to have SJ's in authority positions over me.

Notebook checks completely ended after 10th grade, and I did much better after the first semester of eleventh grade, although not exclusively because notebook checks had ended.

Only one of my college professors required to turn our notes in. I had him twice, and it was only in one class that he actually carried through with what the syllabus said about that. I performed excellently in college, compared to a mediocre (and sometimes terrible) job in high school and middle school.
So because you didn't like notebook checks they are valueless? You do realize that there are lots of other students in a class besides you right? For many kids who may not test particularly well, notebook check may provide another way to demonstrate they grasp the material and to demonstrate valued skills.

Additionally, schools is as much about skill as it is about knowledge and to be very honest, out in the work place organizational skills and the ability to communicate in an organized way is just as valuable in most jobs as the knowledge set.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-12-2012, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Webster Groves, MO
1,060 posts, read 790,569 times
Reputation: 818
The only class that I recall in high school having a notebook check was my geometry class. In her class 50% of the grade was tests and quizzes, 25% was notebook, and 25% was class participation. I am not an organized person by nature, but did keep my notebook up well enough to get an A in the class.

As a social studies teacher I've never done notebook checks. But this is more because I can't see holding the students accountable for something I'm not good at. Students will get non-academic skills from different teacher throughout their lives. They will get their organizational skills from other teachers. I offer them the non-academic skills of being service-minded and always conducting themselves with honesty and integrity. But there is a science teacher I worked with that did notebook checks and they were a large portion of the grade. She was a neat freak (not meant to be derogatory) and thus imparted this ability to organize and plan on her students. At first I was against this, as I felt disorganized students that still learned the material were being unfairly penalized. But I think this was just a biased opinion based on my own personal views and personality. In the end I think it's valuable for students to be exposed to different philosophies and to adapt to those styles. So I do see a positive value in notebook checks.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-12-2012, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Middle America
16,356 posts, read 12,962,901 times
Reputation: 18782
Most teachers would prefer NOT to have to spend their instructional time carving moments out to keep students accountable, but you've got to meet people where they are at.

In special ed, my job is very much to teach students tools they will need to compensate for a variety of skill deficits due to disability, and I can't look at a kid who could be doing well if he could only manage to figure out on his own how to set up and utilize a basic organizing system, shrug, and say, "Yeah, well, it's his job to be accountable, guess he's on his own." Guiding him through that process until it becomes embedded in his own independent routine is part of my job. 99% of my job is teaching students how to be as independent as possible, and many of them don't come in with the tools, so that's where you start. Many non-disabled students actually face the same reality...coming in with skill deficits and without the tools they need to succeed, of course. But with my kids, it's expected that they'll be taught these tools, specifically. With non-disabled kids, it's more sink or swim.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-12-2012, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Middle America
16,356 posts, read 12,962,901 times
Reputation: 18782
Quote:
Originally Posted by scocar View Post
The only class that I recall in high school having a notebook check was my geometry class. In her class 50% of the grade was tests and quizzes, 25% was notebook, and 25% was class participation. I am not an organized person by nature, but did keep my notebook up well enough to get an A in the class.

As a social studies teacher I've never done notebook checks. But this is more because I can't see holding the students accountable for something I'm not good at. Students will get non-academic skills from different teacher throughout their lives. They will get their organizational skills from other teachers. I offer them the non-academic skills of being service-minded and always conducting themselves with honesty and integrity. But there is a science teacher I worked with that did notebook checks and they were a large portion of the grade. She was a neat freak (not meant to be derogatory) and thus imparted this ability to organize and plan on her students. At first I was against this, as I felt disorganized students that still learned the material were being unfairly penalized. But I think this was just a biased opinion based on my own personal views and personality. In the end I think it's valuable for students to be exposed to different philosophies and to adapt to those styles. So I do see a positive value in notebook checks.
I, too, was never an exceptionally organized student (wasn't Pigpen, either, and generally knew where my stuff was, but it was usually stuck in some random notebook, folded and placed on the page in the textbook, etc., not neatly placed in a tabbed and color coded binder labeled for each subject, or anything like that). Just middle of the road. I'm the same way as a teacher. I am not a neat freak and never developed the habits to maintain an instantaneous organization system...it's more that I build a pile until the end of the day/week, and then take that pile and organize it. So, sometimes I'm messy, because I haven't done my periodic organization sweep, sometimes you catch me right after one, and everything is organized. But even I do have to admit that things are SO MUCH EASIER when it's a neat-freak moment. It just doesn't work out for my particular personality or situation to keep them that way 100% of the time.

I work with kids who get easily overwhelmed by lots of sensory input, and their things being in a constant state of disarray does them no favors. If it's easier for ME when my stuff is all in its place, and I don't have autism, that tells me that it's pretty crucial for my students to maintain more order than I might push for myself or for students who don't have those same challenges. In theory, I know that it's helpful for all students...but it wasn't important to me when I was one.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-12-2012, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Minnesota, USA
7,278 posts, read 7,153,483 times
Reputation: 5797
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post
So because you didn't like notebook checks they are valueless? You do realize that there are lots of other students in a class besides you right? For many kids who may not test particularly well, notebook check may provide another way to demonstrate they grasp the material and to demonstrate valued skills.

Additionally, schools is as much about skill as it is about knowledge and to be very honest, out in the work place organizational skills and the ability to communicate in an organized way is just as valuable in most jobs as the knowledge set.
I never said that. I only said that I (personally) hated notebook checks.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-12-2012, 05:52 PM
 
9,804 posts, read 10,227,781 times
Reputation: 8704
Quote:
Originally Posted by lhpartridge View Post
My parents wouldn't have been available to sign notebooks. That's why I disagree with grading children for their parents' actions.
Well what does it prove anyway? Just because a parent signed a notebook that doesn't mean that they:

1. Know what is supposed to be there.
2. Read what is actually in there.

I would never complain to a teacher about notebook checks, but I do think they are stupid (except in lab classes).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-13-2012, 07:16 AM
 
Location: On the Ohio River in Western, KY
3,322 posts, read 2,908,944 times
Reputation: 3045
Quote:
Originally Posted by hey teach View Post
In high school, my own children had a math teacher who would have "notebook test" instead of notebook checks. He would hand out a test, but instead of math problems to work out, it would have something like this:

1. notebook page 8, problem number 6.
2. notebook page 17, problem number 4.

As long as the student had done their homework and kept it in the notebook, he/she would be fairly safe. Those who never did homework had problems.

These test were random, unannounced and counted the same point value as and announced test.
He rarely gave two classes a test in the same day.

Certainly, gave students an incentive to do their homework.
Now that's brilliant!

The last time I personally had a "notebook check" was in Eng 102, when the Professor required us to write at least a page every class about a quote he posted on the board, then monthly he would take the notebooks and make notes about out thoughts and notes. I really liked it, since it gave me a chance to get my feelings out, and to get immedieate criticisms about my writing.

The kiddo went through it till 6th grade then it stopped, and in 2nd grade they threatened to almost fail her (her grades were not the best that year, with her Daddy being deployed) for the planner checks for parents signatures. Her Dad was gone, and I worked 6 nights a week, and honestly would be so tired I would just forget most days. I went OFF, and luckily enough, they overlooked it, didn't deduct points, and she passed.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $79,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Education

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top