Some students (and parents) who want to boost grades go straight for the extra credit. While the thought is understandable, it’s misguided. Extra means “in addition to.” If your child is not doing what he or she is supposed to be doing in the first place, don’t expect the teacher to be too keen on extra credit. Teachers are much more likely to provide extra credit opportunities to students who are making a noticeable and concerted effort to do what is expected of them. (Remember the whole “good impression” step?) Don’t ever have your child tell a teacher, “My parent wants me to ask for extra credit.” It’s the child’s grade, not yours.
That being said, some teachers don’t give many extra credit opportunities because they find that students don’t take advantage of them. Some students look at an extra five points and decide that it’s not worth the time. These students don’t realize that a few extra points here and there can raise their grade over the course of a semester. For this reason, make any and all extra credit opportunities mandatory. You wouldn’t walk by a $5 bill lying on the ground; you’d stop and pick it up. Likewise, don’t leave those five extra points on the table. Do whatever it takes to get that extra credit when it’s offered. Doing so may provide the opportunity to earn more.
Establish a rule that extra credit opportunities are mandatory.