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    Joined: Feb 2011
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    Originally Posted by islandofapples
    W t h
    I just read The Hare and the Pineapple. Everyone was on drugs when that was written and added to the test.


    grin Y'think?

    I'm laughing so hard at some of the oh-so-familiar responses to these questions, too. Ultramarina's one just above is one that made my DD throw her pencil on the floor and fold her arms over her chest in a disgusted slump in fifth grade. I still remember that obstinate look on her face.



    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    Dd was sick last week. Her LA homework (maybe they did it in class, not sure) was to watch a video about Lance Armstrong and then write about perseverance. I assume (really hope) that the teacher addressed the latest news when she assigned this. I told dd to just pretend she wasn't aware of recent events when answering the questions or the assingment wouldn't make sense. Ironic that this was assigned, I believe, the day after the announcement last week.

    I am cracking up at the other responses in this thread. I was thinking about the Hare and pineapple before I got to that sentence in the op. What is wrong with teachers? I would totally be giving extra credit to the kid who brought up Vietnam and Korean casualties in response to the Cold War (not to mention Latin America). But I also wouldn't have written the question he was responding too in that way.

    I bet I will be able to add to this in the future--thankfully the Montessori school dd attended until 5th grade did not give me the opportunity to contribute much to this thread.

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    Originally Posted by Iucounu
    I disagree. That sort of conformism, to the quirks of a teacher who demands wrong answers and is stubborn when shown to be wrong, isn't necessary in order to get an interesting and well-paying job. It may be necessary to safeguard a perfect grade point average at all times, but I'd still rather at this stage that my son prize correctness and attention to detail over that sort of thing. He can decide later how he wants to address the situation when points actually matter to his long-term GPA. I can't teach him to bow to the petty whims of people who should know better, just because of some small measure of power they hold to harm one, but I can teach him to be polite but assertive and to follow up on all opportunities to demonstrate that he's right.

    False dichotomy. This post assumes that conforming to expectations is always about abuse of power, and the nonconformist is always right. Sometimes there is no right or wrong, just different perspectives and/or priorities (see the post about commas above). Sometimes the subordinate is dead wrong.

    Originally Posted by Iucounu
    Proving beyond dispute that I'd been incorrectly docked points on a major question on one exam finally resulted in a curt statement that my job was "not to learn the law, but to learn what he wanted in an answer, just like in real life". That's garbage, of course-- it might apply to salespeople, but not to a field where rightness fundamentally matters, and where some things are not debatable.

    Wait... did we stop talking about law between the first sentence and the second?

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    Originally Posted by Iucounu
    I felt so much like "that parent", but I'd had enough. I told DS to always be careful to get the right answer, and not to ever change his answer when a teacher at his school told him differently. I finally told him that the way they approach math learning at his school and in the district is deeply flawed, though he's not to repeat that to anyone there, and that I'm doing my best to solve that problem for him. I also told him to refuse to do addition/subtraction math drills if his third grade teacher gives him any more (which also happened recently), and tell her to contact me. Had it!

    My parents were completely uninvolved with my education, and with that in mind, I just want to say: BRAVO!

    The kind of thing you did for your son would have meant a lot to me growing up. I hope he appreciates it; if not now, then maybe later.

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    Originally Posted by Dude
    Originally Posted by Iucounu
    I disagree. That sort of conformism, to the quirks of a teacher who demands wrong answers and is stubborn when shown to be wrong, isn't necessary in order to get an interesting and well-paying job. It may be necessary to safeguard a perfect grade point average at all times, but I'd still rather at this stage that my son prize correctness and attention to detail over that sort of thing. He can decide later how he wants to address the situation when points actually matter to his long-term GPA. I can't teach him to bow to the petty whims of people who should know better, just because of some small measure of power they hold to harm one, but I can teach him to be polite but assertive and to follow up on all opportunities to demonstrate that he's right.
    False dichotomy. This post assumes that conforming to expectations is always about abuse of power, and the nonconformist is always right. Sometimes there is no right or wrong, just different perspectives and/or priorities (see the post about commas above). Sometimes the subordinate is dead wrong.
    I respectfully disagree that it's a false dichotomy; see the words, "That sort of conformism...". You're right of course that I don't want to raise him to be completely stubborn and unable to take advice and direction from a teacher. I just want him to stick to his guns when he's indisputably right; I think that's a strength, and I'd hate for it to be broken just so a poor math teacher can feel that she's in the right.

    Originally Posted by Dude
    Originally Posted by Iucounu
    Proving beyond dispute that I'd been incorrectly docked points on a major question on one exam finally resulted in a curt statement that my job was "not to learn the law, but to learn what he wanted in an answer, just like in real life". That's garbage, of course-- it might apply to salespeople, but not to a field where rightness fundamentally matters, and where some things are not debatable.
    Wait... did we stop talking about law between the first sentence and the second?
    laugh Incidentally, I would probably get more cases if I were more of a salesperson. I do win almost all the cases I get, though.


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    Originally Posted by DAD22
    My parents were completely uninvolved with my education, and with that in mind, I just want to say: BRAVO!
    Thank you. blush Emergency times call for emergency measures, and he has put up with a lot. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he will wind up with a good math teacher before he goes off to college. We may be moving during this school year, and hopefully that will bring some much-needed changes-- indications from posts here are that smaller school systems can tend to be more flexible, and the new one would definitely be small. smile


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    Ugh, decided to mention the "stranger" question in a short email to the teacher. Here is her response:

    "Thanks. Some students asked me the same question. When we were introducing the words, we did sort it in the people category, as the sheet suggested and I used the Stranger Danger as an example. DS sometimes does not focus and listen as he should. Please continue to encourage him in that area.

    Umm, he knew he was supposed to put it into the people category. He just also knew that it didn't really make much sense. And I guess our definition of what strangers do is kidnap kids? Seems a bit extreme to me. I am not denying that he doesn't listen/focus at times, but I don't feel that was relevant here. Kind of annoyed that she pushed this off on a fault of his rather than addressing the problem with the question. frown

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    Originally Posted by Iucounu
    I respectfully disagree that it's a false dichotomy; see the words, "That sort of conformism...". You're right of course that I don't want to raise him to be completely stubborn and unable to take advice and direction from a teacher. I just want him to stick to his guns when he's indisputably right; I think that's a strength.

    There's still a lot of nuance here. Sometimes we think we're indisputably right when, in fact, we're not. Sometimes nonconformity amounts to tilting at windmills. And again, sometimes we're indisputably right from our priorities and perspectives, but indisputably wrong from someone else's.

    I agree that "stick to your guns" is a strength, but it's only a strength if you know how to pick your battles, and when to abandon the field to fight another day.

    Sticking with the war metaphor, George Washington was not the tactical genius that Benedict Arnold was, but Washington knew when to fight (both politically and on the battlefield), and Arnold did not. The results speak for themselves.

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    Sure. I just didn't assume that conforming to expectations is always about abuse of power, and that a nonconformist is always right. I'm discussing specifically when one is 100% right and can prove it to any reasonable person, yet a person in authority is simply refusing to admit it out of pique. There is no real nuance, for example, to a teacher getting the wrong numeric part of an answer on a simple word problem during grading (implying failure to even check the answer key), the student getting it right and insisting on rightness, then the teacher reporting at a parent-teacher meeting that the student couldn't do word problems. (That actually happened to us, resulting in a daddy smackdown of said teacher, who retired suddenly soon after.) Or, perhaps, the nuance adheres when figuring just how far up her rump the teacher's noggin actually has been planted. laugh

    When a child is young and inexperienced like DS7, there is an easy solution: teach him to politely and persuasively argue to the teacher in favor of the right answer, and then appeal to a superior authority on the academic subject (me) if the teacher won't see reason. I can then also double-check to make sure he's in the right (he always has been so far). Eventually I expect his own ability to discern when it's a black-and-white or gray-area situation to develop further, as well as his ability to handle disagreements gracefully with all kinds of people, and I will help him grow in both respects.

    Still, I want him to wind up with the ability to know when he's completely right and an adversary is completely wrong untarnished. He also should be able at some point to assess accurately when he won't win a particular battle at the initial stage or on appeal, as well as the likely outcomes of pushing a point regardless of that instead of bending. I won't be there to save him forever.

    But still, right is often just right when it comes to math. The ability to be right with near-perfect or perfect accuracy is so valuable that I refuse to take even the risk of impairing it at this stage, just as I want him to have confidence in himself. The rest will come with time. And in extreme circumstances, sometimes a brave person just has to be ready to make a stand.


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    From our high-stakes STATE EXAM (ISTEP+ in Indiana) for 4th graders two years ago (it's a "released" question available on the internet, so I'm okay to post it, BTW)...

    Kevin is using wooden rods to make picture frames. The length and width of one picture frame and the length of one wooden rod are shown below:

    (diagram of a rectangle with dimensions of 10 inches and 8 inches marked, and a single wooden rod marked with a length of 48 inches)

    1) What is the perimeter, inches, of the picture frame?
    (straight forward -- no complaints there)

    2) How many wooden rods does Kevin need if he makes 4 picture frames like the one above?

    Well, the only answer they gave credit for was 3 -- perimeter x 4 divided by 48. However, I had several of my high ability students (who are always cautioned by me to NOT over-think questions on these tests because they understandably have the tendency to do so) give the answer of 16. Four picture frames...four sides in a rectangle...you need sixteen wooden rods.

    And now MY compensation as a teacher in the state of Indiana is tied to the results of standardized tests written with questions like this?!?

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