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Home : 2004 : Feb : 14

    By S/4th grade

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    That's always a toughie.

    First, I try hard to make prevention the best medicine. Put the students in rows, have them clear off their desks and I circulate throughout the test. I also remind them before EVERY test that if anything else besides their pencil is on their desks or if they talk/whisper/mouth a word or their eyes are straying onto someone else's paper, then I will think they are cheating. If I think they are cheating, then here's what will happen...

    - minor test like a spelling test- 0 for the week; then the parent has to sign the test so they see the 0 and hear their child explain why
    - larger test: only mark up to the point where they were caught cheating; send home with parent and child-written explanation to be signed by parent and child
    - next time there's a test (or for the next 5 times), the child sits alone up by my desk
    - don't count the test at all but give them a make-up assignment to be done on their own time, such as at recesses; make it hard and boring and count this as their test mark (I only do this if it's easy for me to come up with something, otherwise it's too much work for me)
    - remove a privilege that requires trust (e.g. going to work in the library or take messages to the office), after explaining that because they cheated, you can't trust them any more

    Just some thoughts. I'm interested in others' ideas too. I find that sometimes the parents of the cheaters are either ambivalent or disbelieving, so I try to make the consequence mostly something that happens in my classroom.

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