When I got to the classroom this morning, I found the door open. The teacher next door, Ms. S, was directing traffic. Mr. E was out sick, but the biology students' DNA model was still due.
It's an interesting project. The students were to construct a model of part of a strand of DNA. They used different materials: some used beads, some used clay, many used Styrofoam, and a couple even used candy. I've seen this project in previous years, but usually the teacher is at school the day its due. It was interesting to get to see them as they scrambled to get it turned in on time.
Many of the students dropped off their models before school started. Once I got to the room I took over directing traffic, and Ms. S got the video I was going to need. It was a bit of a scramble, but everything was squared away by the time the tardy bell rang.
During class time, the students all had to look at all the models. Many complained that theirs weren't very good. When I questioned them about this, they admitted that they hadn't spent much time on theirs. I heard claims of being up late and not getting much sleep. One student didn't give herself enough time for the glue to dry.
I asked the obvious question. How long did they know about the assignment? Two weeks.
(As I'm writing this, it's lunch time, and two girls are examining all the projects. They told me that yesterday's sub asked how many of them had started the assignment yesterday. Maybe 3. The rest of them planned on doing the whole thing last night. Including the two girls.)
Procrastination is alive and well in the high school. Although, it's not like this was a surprise.