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    Annoying homework situation

    This actually has to do with my son, who's in elementary school. He spent almost an hour and a half last night doing a two sided math worksheet. The math problems were inside shapes in a picture, and the instructions said that after you completed the math problems, you were supposed to color in the shapes using black and gray, based on a certain criteria to reveal the picture. It sounded somewhat stupid, because both black and gray obviously cover up the color of the pencil, but it made sense that perhaps the teacher could tell that it was done correctly by having the correct shading, so he proceeded per instructions.

    Today, he brings home the exact same sheets, and says his teacher told him that he colored the boxes too dark so that she couldn't see the math problems!? and that he had to do it over. He's a very conscientious kid, and was upset that he screwed up and had to do it over.

    Anyway....I thought it was a ridiculous exercise to attempt to color over lead pencil with a black pencil, and somehow expect the lead to show through, and overly punitive to make him do it over given the silliness that was explicitly stated in the instructions. I emailed the teacher my thoughts, in a diplomatic fashion, of course. Thoughts?



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    Re: Annoying homework situation

    Teacher will probably write a diplomatic email back requesting the assignment be completed.

    Personally, it sounds like a bunch of crap to me.



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    Re: Annoying homework situation

    Does sound like a strange assignment.



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    Re: Annoying homework situation

    At least its a good sign that your kid cares about the work he turns in this early in his education...



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    Re: Annoying homework situation

    I've realized that emailing teachers will end in either

    A) An apology about not explaining something

    or

    B) A paragraph long rant about how he/she clearly stated what the kid was supposed to do.



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    Re: Annoying homework situation

    It was good of you to contact the teacher, and to do so diplomatically. If you would, post when you hear back from her; I'm curious as to her reaction. From what you've described, that's a problem in the worksheet design that she certainly should have caught. What was the purpose of coloring in the shapes? Was that necessary for the completion of the sheet?


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    Re: Annoying homework situation

    Quote Originally Posted by ornryactor View Post
    It was good of you to contact the teacher, and to do so diplomatically. If you would, post when you hear back from her; I'm curious as to her reaction. From what you've described, that's a problem in the worksheet design that she certainly should have caught. What was the purpose of coloring in the shapes? Was that necessary for the completion of the sheet?
    I certainly allowed for the possibility that he was given verbal instructions to either change the color, or not color it, when I emailed her. It was stated, as step 3 I believe, to color the sums that were less than 45,000 black, and the sums over 45,000 in gray (or something like that). It basically made the thing look like a dart board when he was done, so I'm not sure what the real point would have been, other than to make it easy to tell at a glance that the paper was correct.

    He did complete his homework again tonight, and actually completed it much faster, so we focused on the positive aspect of practice, even though having to redo it may not have been fair.



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    Re: Annoying homework situation

    I teach 5th grade and making him redo it was a bad job out of the teacher. If your child had the coloring correct, she should be able to notice he solved the problems correctly. I don't want to judge a teacher based on one bad assignment, because I'm sure I've given bad ones before. Hopefully she will reflect on it and decide to find something more practical to help reinforce whatever math skill she is teaching.



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    Re: Annoying homework situation

    Quote Originally Posted by dtclones View Post
    At least its a good sign that your kid cares about the work he turns in this early in his education...
    I was the same way at that age but it was repeated pointless assignments and weird teaching that made me start to hate school.

    Isn't that the story for all of us though?


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    Re: Annoying homework situation

    My classroom mgmt professor will love this. I'll be sharing tomorrow night in class. You did the right thing, but I wouldn't have made my son redo the work he had done correctly the night before. Poor assignment imho.



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    Re: Annoying homework situation

    On the plus side, he probably won't grow up to be a Raiders fan, so he's been spared some longer-term aggravation.

    The assignment sounds ridiculous to me, just a train wreck waiting to happen.

    That said, did other parents feel the same way?


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    Re: Annoying homework situation

    Quote Originally Posted by heyguy85 View Post
    I teach 5th grade and making him redo it was a bad job out of the teacher. If your child had the coloring correct, she should be able to notice he solved the problems correctly. I don't want to judge a teacher based on one bad assignment, because I'm sure I've given bad ones before. Hopefully she will reflect on it and decide to find something more practical to help reinforce whatever math skill she is teaching.
    But are you smarter than a 5th grader



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    Re: Annoying homework situation

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonepride View Post
    Today, he brings home the exact same sheets, and says his teacher told him that he colored the boxes too dark so that she couldn't see the math problems!? and that he had to do it over.
    Being the glut that I am I would have sent the old homework stapled to the new homework back and stated the following

    "Here is his homework from the other night. He wrote the answers on the new sheet so you can verify that he actually did the work correctly in the first place."

    SHE should have been able to verify the original sheet with the other students sheet or should have been smart enough to look at the solutions page that comes with these problems. Obviously the teacher was not thinking at the moment and was lost in what to do. This reminds me of some of the skits on this show. Where they are dumbfounded when put into a situation. Nothing at teachers since my dad is a Doctor at a college, but some really make you wonder with there answers. I would love to hear what she wrote back

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEP7uti0PDw"]YouTube- dumb blonde: are you smarter than a fifth grader[/ame]


    Last edited by Dave19642006; 12-16-2009 at 09:09 AM.

  14. #14
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    Re: Annoying homework situation

    After dealing with my own children's teachers, I am convinced that elementary mathematics is not taught by mathematically-minded people.

    Was this a coloring assignment or a math assignment?


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    Re: Annoying homework situation

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyClone View Post
    After dealing with my own children's teachers, I am convinced that elementary mathematics is not taught by mathematically-minded people.

    Was this a coloring assignment or a math assignment?
    My daughters school has seemed to make a point of this very problem. Each class has 2 grade levels in it. 1st with 2nd grade, 3rd with 4th. etc. Each class also has 2 teachers. One teacher has a more language arts focus and the other a more Mathmatics/science. I like the format for this as well as it seems to add more flexibility for those students that may be ahead of the current curve or slightly behind. It seems to be a pretty good environment for them to learn and the school is usually at the top of all the state testing scores.



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