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Management > Contracting
Overview: The contracts we focus on here help teachers assess students' understanding of the objectives of a unit. Contracts can help younger students grasp the basics of setting a goal (the contract) and dealing with the smaller pieces needed in achieving that goal (the projects). Older students can benefit from the process by realizing a greater state of independence and responsibility in school lives. Most of the procedure involves teacher preparation, followed with students picking from a list of given projects that are worth varying grade points to achieve the total letter or point grade the student desires.
Contracts seem to involve lots of teacher preparation, and they do. But
the benefits are: class time is spent monitoring and helping with projects
as opposed to needing a new lesson every day, it provides a change of
routine in the classroom, students get to have input in learning activities,
students get to choose to focus on projects that show off their best skills,
and the finished projects don't come in all at once during the two to
three weeks a contract can last making grading easier.
Variations/Options: Teacher can set milestones so that certain numbers of projects or points are done by certain dates to keep students on-schedule; contracts can be used for upper grades as outside work or longer periods of time; contracts can involve community service work, number of books read, working with partners, apprenticeship with local businesses.
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