Friday, June 20, 2008

My daughter's grades are in: music and shyness don't mix

Good grades in reading, writing, and even in math and science (where she's learned to play by the language-arts rules).  Then there's music and social studies.

It's perhaps no surprise that a private, unsocial child earns mediocre grades in the kind of social studies class that increasingly asks students to make "personal connections."

Less obvious is how someone who's been picking out tunes on the piano since she was three, sings complicated songs with perfect pitch, and, after 9 months of piano lessons, plays minuets with precision and feeling, consistently gets mediocre grades in music class.

I don't think that elementary school music teachers gave out grades back when I was in school. Now that they do, the easiest thing for them to base them on is participation:  singing along with your classmates.

And there is perhaps nothing that embarrasses my shy, musically sensitive girl more than public singing.


Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to giving separate marks for "comportment"?

Or whatever it was they called it back in the day.

Anonymous said...

We're in lousy grade land around here....and heading into high school, where grades WILL COUNT.

C. took his math final and scored a whopping big 77. This can be laid at my door; I simply lost the motivation to collect-and-correct each and every piece of math homework in the last month of the school year.

On the other hand, the teachers had said they were going to do formative assessment, so I sort of wanted to see how that went.

Anonymous said...

We also found out that C. is in the B or B- range in Earth Science, which is also depressing. Thank God he's changing schools; otherwise he'd be starting high school with two Bs on his high school transcript.


The Earth Science teacher was terrific, but brand-new. I think this is her first teaching job ever.

So I should have been overseeing Earth Science, too, but when they brought in the new teacher (who is a leave replacement) I was so relieved to be off-duty that I up and quit.

Anonymous said...

My daughter's school uses standards based grading and my daughter reads above grade level, so her grades correlate more with the calendar than the work she does in class. The scale is from 1 - 5, so in October she recieves a 3, in March recieves a 4 and in June she may recieve a 5. One year she got 100% on all her assignment and had that grade spread. The teacher told me that the school had upper limits on grades for each marking period.

We don't really discuss grades in our house. Until the end of middle school, and high school, they are meaningless, and apparently, almost completely arbitrary.