Students usually have an idea what they will get on an assignment when they turn it in. Many times, they are right on the mark. But there are times when the grade is much lower than expected. It is important to find out what happened, but it needs to be done in the right way.
First of all, it is important to talk to the teacher in private rather than to ask in front of other students in class. This is a frequent mistake students make. If you say, “I don’t understand why I got this grade” in front of the whole class, the teacher does not have time to go over the paper and discuss the points missed. It is much better to quietly ask for an appointment when you can discuss the grade.
Second, it is best to approach the teacher by asking if he can explain what you missed. When you ask, “Can you help me understand what I did wrong on this question?” in a respectful tone, it sounds better than “Why did you count that wrong?” The first question gives the teacher a reason to want to help you understand, which is what teachers do best. The second question puts the teacher in a defensive mode by making him feel that you disagree with him.
Third, it is important to learn the information you missed, because it may show up again later on a test or exam. More importantly, it might be the foundation future concepts build upon. I have witnessed students miss a question on a homework assignment, later miss it on the test, and then again much later on the exam. Teachers take time to grade daily work so students can see what they still need to learn. Take time to read over questions you miss on daily work and pay attention to comments your teacher writes on it. If you really don’t understand what you did wrong, seek help right then so you will be ready to move forward with the next lesson.
Daily work is great for reviewing what you learn each day in school. When your daily grade is low on a particular assignment, find out why and figure out a way to learn the material. Respectfully ask for help if you need it. Teachers are impressed by students who take the time to review their graded papers and look for ways to learn what they missed.