Make the Most of an Extra Credit Project

Extra credit assignments give students another chance

Extra credit can help your tween improve her grade.
Be sure your child knows how the extra credit assignment can impact her grade.. Alberto Guglielmi/Blend Images/Getty Images

Your middle school student may be offered the chance to tackle an extra credit assignment during the school year. Extra credit projects are a great way for your tween, or for any student, to improve their grade and maybe even to understand a topic even better. If your tween has the chance to participate in an extra credit project, encourage him to do so. He may benefit with a better grade at the end of the semester, or he may find a new way to learn about a subject.

Here's how your tween can make the most of his project.

Extra Credit -- Tips and Suggestions

  • Take it Seriously: Just because an assignment is labeled "extra credit" doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be easy, or an easy A. Make sure your tween tackles the project with the same seriousness that he would any other project. Turning in an extra credit project that hasn't been thought out, or that doesn't show much effort, could hurt your child's grade, and it most certainly won't impress the teacher.
  • Go the Extra Mile: Make sure your tween doesn't just do the minimum for the assignment. If he takes the time to do a little more he'll certainly learn more, and his teacher is also likely to notice. Extra credit assignments may even be graded a little harder than an ordinary homework or project assignment, so be sure your tween makes it a priority.
  • How Will it Impact Your Child's Grade: Your tween should know how any extra credit assignments will impact his grade. Will a good grade improve his overall grade, will a bad grade bring his grade down even lower? Your child's teacher should make the details known to your tween, so that he understands the consequences of the responsibility.
  • Follow the Directions: Many extra credit assignments require that your child pay attention to the directions and follow them carefully. Or, your tween may be asked to take an idea to see what he can do with it. Be sure your child knows exactly what his teacher is looking for in the assignment, so that he can follow through correctly.

    Should You Ask for Extra Credit?

    Some teachers offer extra credit to their students as a matter of habit, others do not. Students often wonder if they should approach a teacher to ask for extra credit, and the answer is "maybe." Some teachers do not believe that extra credit should be an option to students, others may think it a good idea. If your student does ask for extra credit, be sure he:

    • is polite
    • offers up several project ideas
    • makes a case for the extra credit assignment
    • doesn't argue with his teacher
    • suggests that it be available to the entire class
    • accept his teachers' decision

    Note: While an extra credit assignment may give your child's grade a boost, it's important that your tween avoid relying on extra credit as a means to save his grade. Help your tween stay focused on school and homework during the school year, and make it clear that you expect him to make schoolwork his main priority.

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