To my class: Please work hard. You need to be finished with the power point presentation by the end of the day.
We're still looking at Hammurabi and comparing his legal system to our own. Overall, this has gone very well. The biggest problem has been with cutting and pasting. I don't think 7th graders fully understand what "in your own words" means. A list of clever loopholes:
- Cut and paste, and ignore the rule
- Cut and paste full paragraphs, but put "Information taken from:____________" at the bottom of the slide
- Instead of cutting and pasting, type the individual words from the source, changing nothing
- Cut and paste, and change 3 to 5 words in the paragraph, therefore making it "your own."
These kids aren't going to get kicked out of school for plagiarism. Most of the time, they just don't know what they're doing. But they need to learn. If they've copied and pasted huge swaths of text for this assignment, they're going to fail it. They won't receive a zero, but they'll most likely fail.
Well, sorry to turn the blog into a soap box, but that's how my day went... going around from desk to desk looking at students work, and pointing out how I knew they copied and pasted:
- hyperlinks still in text
- contained words they couldn't pronounce, let alone define
- contained exact wording of phrases
(It seems like the soap box is still underneath me... sorry... sorry. For real this time: I'm done.)
If you want your kid/step-kid/grand kid/ foster kid/ whoever to get extra credit for this, access her school work folder from home and see how far she is on the power point. Have her explain the slides to you. To get the extra credit, write me a note that contains at least 10 words on the 3rd slide of their presentation. Then, ask her if she put everything in her own words - and how she went about doing this. If you can't access their presentation for some reason or another, write me a note that lets me know that you tried, that you really did seriously try to look at it - but alas to no avail. (Please at least discuss it for me...) Then, adult-ish person sign the slip. By signing it you're saying you really did read this thing, and discuss it with said student. Please don't sell your soul for 5 extra credit points. *emoticon smiley*
In case you're wondering where Mesopotamia is/was... I made a map this afternoon. Here it is:
Not bad, huh?