Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How to ration high grades, part V

9 comments:

Katharine Beals said...

The student in question has never been to Florida, but has seen sandy rivers, as well as people fishing along the beaches of the Northwest.

The 3rd grade curriculum at the school in question yet to cover U.S. geography; in particular, rivers and beaches have not figured in the "literacy" component which was the source for this particular assignment.

Mrs. C said...

This really bugs me. I have similar worksheets here at home, but just circle the wrong answers in pencil, tell the kids the right ones, and hope they learned something after they erase and make corrections. What is up with the big red marker marks all over? Looks horrid. It would discourage me for sure.

bky said...

But the last one just doesn't make sense, geography or no. You don't fish "in a beach" and beaches don't "run through" something. At some point an incorrect answer is just wrong, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

I would have only taken .5 (1/2)off for each wrong answer. It seems to me that there are 2 parts to each answer: the spelling and the vocabulary. Total points for the worksheet should be 20. The student got the spelling right and should be credited for that. To mark the entire problem as wrong...is just wrong. As a parent I would point out that the teacher should be more careful in grading. My child should get 19/20 on this sheet, or 90%.

Anonymous said...

Pardon my before-coffee math. If two points were awarded for each fill-in-the-blank, the score would be 18/20 (or 9/10 if you used .5 for spelling and .5 for vocabulary).

Cranberry said...

It's a stinking worksheet, isn't it? By which I mean, does every little worksheet get a grade? In my opinion, in the third grade, it would be more appropriate to go over the worksheet in class, let the students correct their answers, check off that the student completed the assignment, and move on.

I'd agree with bky, though, that you can't fish "in" a beach. This sort of worksheet is also an exercise in logical matching. If the last one must be "river," then only "beach" remains for the earlier sentence.

Giving a grade for every little worksheet is a nice way to make some children shut down with anxiety about their performance, though. Especially if you hand them back in class with a large red grade on the top.

It also encourages over-the-top parental involvement in homework. (If this was assigned as homework, not a test.) If every little worksheet gets a grade, then a parent must check, and correct, every worksheet before a teacher see is, especially if the school uses grades for course placement. This rather defeats the purpose of a school, which I would define as a place devoted to learning, rather than reciting.

Anonymous said...

It's useful to learn how to approach such exercises, though. Many state tests seem to have questions structured in a similar fashion. If your child doesn't catch on to the tactic, teach him (or her) to approach them as a pure matching exercise. Which answers can only go in one slot? Which remaining answers can't fit in certain slots? For example, "A triangle has three beaches" wouldn't make sense. Learning the habit of crossing off items which have been used can simplify the task.

Cranberry said...

sorry, that previous comment was mine.

Laura said...

It's useful to learn how to approach such exercises, though

It's useful to make the point of an exercise clear to a student if the goal is for them to learn from it.

Is the point to demonstrate that the student has learned how to change a singular noun into a plural noun?

To demonstrate knowledge (taught in the classroom or preexisting) about the particular nouns being used?

Or to demonstrate the ability to use process of elimination rather than knowledge/skills to guess the correct answer?