Extra Credit — I don’t get it
I went to high school in Canada, and they didn’t do the extra-credit thing in school, and I’ve decided I just don’t get it.
Can some of the teachers out there explain what the point of extra credit is, and who it is aimed at? Is it for struggling kids who need to do extra work to learn the material, and get rewarded for doing it by bumping their grades up? Or is it for high-achievers who are doing fine but want to ace the class? Or kids in between? Or all of the above? Because… it seems to me that one would want to assign quite different work for the different groups.
I ask because my (9th grade) son was working on “extra-credit” work for math this evening, and was moaning about how boring it was. Indeed, it was just additional practice at skills he had easily mastered already. It seemed an inappropriate thing to give an A student additional credit for, not to mention a poor use of his time. But he didn’t want to let the opportunity for credit slip by him. (This is an honors level class.)
So, if you’re a teacher, how do you approach this issue?