Shorter Periods: Blessing or Curse For Grades? Reply

Progress report time has come and gone, and soon January report cards will arrive. Students tell themselves that when they receive grades, it is a time to reflect on their work over the past few months and find ways to improve. This year, the first time that BSGE has had forty-five minute periods, it is relevant to see exactly how this has affected the student body.

Despite grades usually decreasing a bit at the beginning each year as students adjust to the newfound difficulty of our classes, the change had the potential to be good or bad for students. Students were immensely split on this issue, with just as many responding “yes,” “no,” and “somewhat.” More surprising were the justifications, such as one student who responded, “The periods themselves are enough to cover the material we are learning in class, and it goes by a lot faster than the 70 minute periods previously. Thus there is no real difference in the actual teaching material, maybe except for less homework review but that is not essential.” However, some students find said homework review time necessary, such as Sarah Mathai ’18, who said, “The lack of homework review in some of my classes is troubling. I enjoy going over everything so I can better understand the topic.” Others think that the lessons themselves are now rushed and the teachers are not being given enough time to simply go over the class material. This is especially prevalent when discussing math classes, which BSGE students are accustomed to having 280 minutes of a week, but instead only have 225.

Struggles with the new schedule were reflected through the performance on progress reports, with the majority of students claiming that they did worse than usual on their first grades of the year. Additionally, students complain that they are getting less time for tests and the teachers are having trouble modifying them to fit the time frame. This has been an important topic of discussion for the school year. Hopefully the concerns will soon subside and students’ habits will return to normal

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