Yup, my kiddos are cheaters. I've had 4 different kids get caught cheating on their spelling tests. They try to hide the words inside their desk and peek at it. (I had similar problems back in Florida with my firsties there too, so it's not a Chicago only problem.)
My classroom policy is that if I catch them cheating I take away their test, make them change their color, give them a zero and write that they were cheating on the test, and then make them have it signed by their parents. I feel like this works pretty well, I've never had a kiddo caught cheating twice. I've never had parents upset with me or outraged at their child getting a zero. I HAVE had parents come to me utterly embarrassed and apologetic for their child.
Apparently some people think this consequence is too harsh. Many say you should let them re-take it at a later time, which I agree would be fine, if I had a later time to give it to them. But in this case I would have to take time out of the OTHER students instruction to give the re-take to the cheater. I don't think that's fair to the others. We don't do recess regularly, and if we do it's just 15 minutes of free time at the end of the day. We do that maybe once a week, sometimes less often depending how much work we have to get through. So making them re-take the test at another time isn't an option.
I feel like it works to teach the students a moral lesson, that if you cheat, you lose out. Cheating in real life has strict consequences, so why shouldn't we ingrain that into them at a young age?
So I guess my question to you is:
How do you handle cheating in your classroom? What are your consequences? And do you think I'm to mean?
PS- 30 Day Shred: Day 3 complete (today will be Day 4). I'm in SO much pain! But it's the good kind of pain where you know it's making a difference in your body. I'm so proud that I've kept it up and done it every day, even though some days I didn't feel like it.