Mid Term Grades

<p>Well mid-term grades are in I hear. How'd did your plebes do? My daughter did very well, but she's worried about some of her friends getting thru, Physics especially.</p>

<p>I hear physics and calc are causing a lot of heartburn...that's why it's so important to buckle down 11th and 12th grades - don't slack up.....</p>

<p>my son is not doing "great" but OK. Physics game him a run for his money, but since finding help with the tutor his last test grade was an 80%, so that is GREAT news!</p>

<p>This is very difficult to admit, but - Disasterous - especially Physics. He has been really trying to find a successful way to study for this Physics Prof since the 1st test, ACE programs, upperclassmen, "professional" tutors, talking to the Prof. etc. Each time the results are not good. Not losing all hope, but it is very depressing for him and us, especially trying so hard to succeed. Also, its difficult to tell if it just a particularly tough grading teacher or a study issue. </p>

<p>Also, shouldn't Fire Fighting be a relatively easy class to get a decent grade? Does this class have written or hands-on grading criteria? Any positive suggestions welcome. Royce DM sounds like your son found the right Physics tutor, hope ours finds one very soon.</p>

<p>Welcome parentmma10!</p>

<p>I so hope your son finds the right help! My son was SO encouraged after finding this tutor.... it was like the night before the last test. he said he was awesome. PM (private message)me if you want to know more info, I will then bug my kid for the time/place when <em>this</em> tutor is there.</p>

<p>Thanks Royce DM.</p>

<p>KP10 is holding his own and seems encouraged with that. </p>

<p>I think the hard part is many of our students were used to grade inflation in HS and that isn't the case here. </p>

<p>Also they have college classes in addition to a rigorous regimental schedule. This compounds both the stress and the challenge of succeeding academically. </p>

<p>My understanding is that many freshmen take a bit of a dip the first semester until they get college life figured out. And then things get back up where they are suppose to be. The same will be even more true for our young men and women. </p>

<p>The best we can do is support them with our never ending faith that whatever their situation is today they can and will improove upon it. If classes are to be repeated, lessons will be learned in the process. </p>

<p>The academy is highly selective of who they allow in and are comitted to keeping them there. </p>

<p>The results right now are not indicative of long term success. I always have gone on the philosophy that success is not necessarily indicative of the initial results but how you go forward with them. </p>

<p>So go forward all plebes and midshipman, take your results and with determination, grit, tenacity and so forth take those results and improove upon them!!</p>

that's why it's so important to buckle down 11th and 12th grades - don't slack up.....


<p>All you HS Jrs out there. Take as much AP Calc, Physics and Chemisty as you can. LFWB took two years of AP Calc and Two of AP Physics and got A's in both calc classes and both physics classes as well as Chem last year. The prep in HS really helped him a lot.</p>

<p>Not bad for a poor little DC Public School kid.</p>

<p>Re: Firefighting class</p>

<p>This is not an easy class, it is not as intuitive as one would think. I received a 'C' in this class plebe year</p>

<p>Ditto what LFWBDad said. The Calc, Chem & Physics can eat people at KP. My kid wished many times that he'd had a little more of those before going in. I recall him saying once towards the end of the first tri, when he was beat up & exhausted, that he wished he'd been offered the prep school so he would have been better prepared. He did ok the first year but struggled and fought his way through. </p>

<p>There is a saying at KP. "D is done". A few alumni taught us that saying. Just wanted to add my thoughts here that in watching this first year as a parent, it can be a bundle of extreme nerves. We sure don't have normal college kids here. The 54 credit hours in one year makes you wonder how they can do it. Another saying is, "No one makes it through alone". The extra study sessions & tutoring are a must. All of our kids were stellar high school students or they wouldn't be there. But now, the usual study habits don't work, time management pushes them to the edge, they might be homesick & the classes are kicking their butts. Its gonna be a bumpy ride. Wish I could say something more upbeat. All we can do is just keep motivating them to hang tough & get help. </p>

<p>Parentmma10, welcome & I hope you'll be able to network with Royce's mom about the tutor. The "right" one can help. It worked wonders for my kid & others here. One Dad hired an outside tutor for physics last year. I think the academy helped him find one. If worse comes to worse, that might be an option as well. The firefighting course used some chemistry & physics if I recall. Not so much hands on until later in the course.</p>

<p>My son did great in physics in high school and struggled with pre-calc. At Kp he has an "A" in calculus but is having a tough time with physics and has a "C" at midterm. Guess you never know for sure how they are going to do. We're thrilled with the calculus grade but had us send him some study skill books for physics so I'm hoping he can pull his grade up during the second half of the term - or at least hold steady at the "C".</p>

<p>This is the time of year, plus in about November and February, when it is so important for parents to keep up the encouragement. Send silly and inspirational stuff - it is really all you can do since it is up to THEM to figure out the KP system (or lack thereof). It is really hard for these bright students to ask for and seek help - as they rarely had to in HS. Calc, Physics, Celestial Nav, Materials and more are very painful. As noted before, even Firefighting is not a gut course. So appreciate the agony they are going through, love them when they come home next month (I'll never forget picking him up at the train station in full uniform - looking so handsome and mature). They will need your support as well as your saying that you will love them no matter how it turns out at KP. They will get extra chances, so make sure they don't give up easily even though 1/3 do not make it to graduation.</p>

<p>Ditto on Calculus being a bear. My son had a couple of college courses in calculus "light": Precalculus and Survey of Calculus. Based on these courses and the math placement exam they took during Indoc, he ended up in Calculus I (3rd level with the 4th and highest level being Studio Calculus). But so far he has a "C" in Calculus. Although he has definitely heard all the discussions about "D is Done," he was still a bit disappointed and deflated, even though his other grades were fine. We are very pleased with how hard he is working, but want to be responsive to him as he attempts to reach his goals and do as well as he can this year since he and we have heard that grades don't come any easier for upper classmen. Therefore, we have talked about all the kinds of help the Academy makes available. However, he feels he can do better with just the textbook, but needs to spend more time on it than he has been able to find so far. As they say in "Steps to 4th Class," "It becomes crucial to learn time management skills."</p>

<p>parentmma10, here's one other thought for figuring out what it takes to succeed in your son's Physics class.</p>

<p>The midshipmen themselves have commented on various professors and whether there is a key to doing well in that particular prof's class.</p>

<p>See <a href="http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/SelectTeacher.jsp?sid=1052%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/SelectTeacher.jsp?sid=1052&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>You have to join, but there is no cost to sign up.</p>

<p>The midterm grades are generally low. Your kids probably are having the same problem I had early on first term. Many of them will continue to have difficulty getting adjusted to the way the academics here work. My advice is to tell them to work harder than they ever have before. They need to stop stop wasting time on the net and start working getting help if it is a problem. There is a guy in my company who is a setback, like many of the mids that were in my class ('09). Last year he told me how hard he worked etc etc. and still got the setback at 3rd trimester. This year he and I were out on a whaler and he told me this: His setback was because he slacked off and didn't work enough. He kept telling himself he could just do what he did in high school with studying and then go to large study groups and that would help him. Now he is doing darn well taking the his classes over and has the mindset that he slacked off WAY WAY too much. Parents reading this, be supportive of your kids and their "Stress." Mids, if you are having trouble with your grades and can't keep your eyes open in class try doing this: </p>

<p>Bring a cough drop or candy or something to suck on during class to stay awake. Take notes during class to stay awake. Go to bed earlier.
Stop going to study groups with your friends or stop working in groups for your math and science courses. You don't take group exams, if you did then you guys would be set but unfortunately...<br>
Don't wait until the night before to prep for an exam. If you do manage to get an 'A' on the exam it will help your grade but just wait until you have to get ready to take that cumulative Physics final and you never really LEARNED what it was you needed to know.<br>
Before class, instead of talking about how your CTOPO is gay, start getting out your notes from the day before and review them.</p>

<p>I have my share of troubles but those are some things that kept my head from sinking underwater last year. Good luck to all.</p>

<p>USMC: Excellent Post! This is something that is common but not usually admitted by midshipmen. I guess it comes with a year of seasoning and experience. And the issue of stress is something I have not seen addressed in earnest in this forum. The question I have is how most of the plebes deal with the various stressors there. I can’t even imagine the work load. The academic load seems insane, the various activities which cause sleep deprivation are many, and the time for breaks few and far between. What do successful plebes do that set them apart and make for an easier (not easy) plebe experience?</p>

<p>Reaaaalllly great post Leadin. Spoke with my son via email telling him of a Plebe who got an F in fire fighting at mid term & she freaked. He said midterms are a wake up call but you can pull it out before its too late. What ever you were doing that worked so well in high school does not work at KP. He said "change strategy". I recall that he could read stuff once & go ace a test in HS. Not so at the academy. Took him a while to catch on. And asking for help was a new thing. 1/4 to 1/3 could be set back by year's end. :( Think I should send a big box of tabasco flavored candy to keep 'em awake? Geez its all so hard. I seriously don't know how they do it. Its amazing stuff. </p>

<p>Hang tough c/o 2010.</p>

<p>Leadin, </p>

<p>I like your no nonsense approach with a bit of saying to people that they have to self administer "tough love". </p>

<p>I would like to offer a differen perspective on group study. </p>

<p>It can be a very good thing if in the study group you find clarification of points you did not understand or if someone notices that you are not doing something well and corrects you. </p>

<p>It can be good if in the group you are drilling one another on things you need to know. </p>

<p>It can be good if in the group you are kept awake, alert and on focus.</p>

<p>I teach nursing students and today in labe they were reviewing a procedure on a manikin. I did little intervention. The student doing the procedure was struggling. The students surrounding her, talked her through it or demonstrated it to her. She learned a lot and their learning was reinforced. The group dynamics were working. </p>

<p>However you can get in a group with good intentions, loose focus and just waste the hours together away. Or you can get in a group of a bunch of struggling students and it is like the visually impaired leading the blind. </p>

<p>I'd suggest not to eliminate the group option, just go into it with caution and care. </p>

<p>One of the things my husband, who is the math wiz in the family reiiterates OVER and OVER is that students these days do not do enough problems sets. They think they can do a few problems for each increased level of calculus and move on. The material has not neurologically imbedded itself.
I wonder if the professors give enough problem sets to neurologically imbed the principles. I know on the middle school and HS level they don't. </p>

<p>My husband also suggests to re do problems that you know you have gotten right previously. Even taking the same problem and repeating it reinforces your learning. </p>

<p>Time on task is not a favorable concept. But if you are doing the task properly the time you take repeating it solidifies the learning. </p>

<p>But remember if you are going to neurologically imbed something, make sure you know that you have the process correct before you put to much time on task repeating it. </p>

<p>Best of wishes to all of our plebes. You are fine people and you were accepted into this school because the administration believes in you. Keep believing in yourself and put the sweat equity you need into it to succeed.</p>

<p>Thanks for all the good responses and opinions. What are your opinions (mids and parents) on staying with a sport if grades are suffering. Seems like:if the mid needs more time to study to be successful and "dig out of an academic hole", it is more important to study than continue with hours of sport practice and matches/meets etc. per week. Make sense? Or Not?</p>

<p>parentmma10, you raise a good point about sports and academics. I was discussing this with Atlanta Falcons football great and Naval Academy All American football player Eddie Meyers, USNA Class of 1981.
Eddie played a varsity sport fall, winter and spring. Some of his NAVY football records have yet to be broken.
He felt sports kept him focussed and efficient with his time. The only time he stumbled academically was when he sat out one season for one of his sports.
bvwhiteboy, USMMA Class of 2009 has made a similar observation in this forum--that sports seemed to help rather than detract from academics (paraphrasing).
The USMMA coaching staff and academic advisors seem very supportive of academic success. Have you or your midshipman discussed this with them to see what might help?</p>