Low Academic Performance in Our Classroom

Sory Rodriguez


The James McCune Smith School


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Do you think school and education is important to succeed in life? Many students in our class believe that education is important, but they continue showing low academic performance. Your teacher has tried very hard to help you improve academically so you can become better readers, writers, and mathematicians. We have done Project Based Learning and other fun activities to make sure you enjoy school while learning interesting and important topics required by the standards.


As Public Policy Analysts, you will focus on how to understand the low academic performance problem in your classroom. Once you understand it you will be able to help each other solve this problem by learning how to become independent learners eager to meet the standards. Once you complete this project, you will have a better understanding of the topic. If you work hard implementing the plan or solutions, your teacher will definitely see great academic improvement in each one of you.   



You will be working in groups to find out the reasons why students are not doing well in your classroom. This WebQuest will guide your group on what to do to find the causes of the problem and the solutions.

In the task you will:

1.    Complete a student survey.

2.  Your group will do some research to find out the reasons why students in your class are not doing well academically.

3.  Your group will present (presentation, poster, brochure, cartoon) a plan or solutions on how we can work together to help each other to improve our learning.


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Now it is time to show what you have learned about being a Public Policy Analyst.

For this project, your group will use Public Policy Analyst (PPA) to create a presentation with a plan or solution that will help your class improve academically. Your group will decide how to present the work. You can create a poster, brochure, or even draw cartoons. Be creative! 

Image result for low academic achievement


Public Policy Analyst (PPA)

Step 1: What is the problem?

The problem is:

Students in our classroom show low academic performance.

Step 2: Where is the evidence?

Complete the classroom survey provided. When you complete the survey we are going to have a class discussion about what students think about school and education. Also, the discussion will give your group ideas of what to research to find out the problems and the solutions to low academic achievement in your classroom.

·       Classroom Survey. (Click here)

·       Use the links below to get more information about the topic:



·         Poor Sleep tied to Kids’ lower academic performance

·         School Bullying Linked to Lower Academic Achievement

·         Bullied Kids Suffer Academically, too, study says (CNN)

·         Poverty Disturbs Children’s Brain Development and Academic Performance

·         Facts About Child Nutrition

·         Academic Performance and social behavior in elementary school are connected, new study shows

·         Here’s why immigrant students perform poorly

·         Students must take responsibility for their own learning

·         Empowering Students to Take Ownership of Learning

·         5 Reading Skills to Improve Academic Performance

·         How to improve Math Skills

·         5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Written English

·         10 Ways to Improve your Academic Performance

·         14 Ways to Improve Your Grades if You’re Underperforming


Step 3: What are the causes?

After researching the topic complete the worksheet for causes.  Have conversations and group discussions about the topic. Take notes and organize your ideas with your group.

Use this worksheet to organize your ideas. (Click here for worksheet 3)

Step 4: What is the existing policy?

·       School rules and policies about student performance.

·       Complete worksheet 4.

Step 5: What policies can you create to correct the problem?

·       Complete worksheet 5.

Step 6: What is the best policy to correct the problem?

·       Complete worksheet 6.



PPA Presentation Rubric (Common Core ELA Aligned)




Below Standard


Approaching Standard


At Standard



Explanation of Ideas & Information

I use inappropriate facts and irrelevant details to support the main topic

I can choose some facts and details that support the main topic. Some details might be irrelevant

   I can choose appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support the topic



I do not include everything required in the presentation.

I present ideas in an order that does not make sense

I do not plan timing of presentation well; it is too short or too long

I can include almost everything required in presentation

I can present ideas in an order, but it doesn’t always makes sense

I can present for the right length of time, but some parts may be too short or too long

I can include everything required in presentation

I can present ideas in an order that makes sense

I can organize time well


Eyes & Body

I do not look at audience; read notes,

fidget or slouch a lot

I can make some eye contact, but read notes most of the time

I fidget or slouch a little

I can keep eye contact with audience most of the time



 I speak too quietly or not clearly

I do not speak appropriately for the situation (may be too informal or use slang)

I can speak loudly and clearly most of the time

I can speak appropriately for the situation most of the time

I can speak loudly and clearly

I can speak appropriately for the situation, using formal English/Spanish when appropriate


Presentation Aids

I do not use visual aids or pictures

I used inappropriate or distracting visual aids or drawing

I can use visual aids and/or pictures, but they sometimes distract from the presentation, or do not add to ideas and themes


 I can use visuals and pictures to make       

  the presentation more interesting


Response to Audience Questions

I do not answer audience questions

I can answer some audience questions, but not clearly or completely

I can answer audience questions clearly and completely



Participation in Team Presentations

Not all team members participate; only one or two speak

All team members participate, but not equally

All team members participate for about the same length of time, and are able to answer questions



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By completing this WebQuest, you should achieve the following goals:

1.    Understand the reasons why students in your class have low academic performance.

2.  Explain verbally and in written form the more efficient solutions to this problem.

3.  Have productive class and group conversations about the problem, its causes, and the solutions. 



Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.

Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1-3 above.)

With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others.

Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail.

Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

Social Studies Practices