Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl
Look, as a teacher I've gotta say that when a student answers a question based upon an incorrect interpretation of the instructions it is because it was a crappily written assignment 9 out of 10 times. I think that the way your daughter answered it makes perfect sense.
A good teacher will not use an opportunity like this to shame a student or tell them they are wrong...but to see what the child knows when the instructions are made more clear. So I think the teacher should have gone over to your daughter and said "Hey Susie, how would you do this differently if I asked you to write the numeral next to the spelled-out number?" And then go from there.
Teachers need to be able to work with kids...there are many different types of learners and not all will interpret instructions the way the teacher intends (who is a specific type of learner herself). Any teacher who cannot see this (or will not) is being arrogant and abusing her power IMO.
I think positive feedback is in order when a child does something unexpected.
"cool - you found the pattern! The question, though, asks that you write the numeral next to the written word. Example (and write it out) 5=five. Could you correct these for me, please?"
Getting things wrong when you have no idea why is a waste of time, and a little deflating.
Op - you are not alone! I too have numerous examples of where my DD was marked wrong after unclear or just plain bizarre instructions.
Ex: DD is asked to put a dot on a map where our community is located. Our community is not on the map (is off the page, actually). DD puts mark on edge of page - on the margins and not the actual map - she is marked wrong. Somewhere in pages of instructions (it was one of those follow these 20 step projects) she is told she can colour the grass any colour she wants. She picked pink. She lost marks for it. She has also lost marks for not centering a title, not picking an opposite of a word when there was no opposite, etc. I am a little torn on what to do -if I pointed out every ambiguity or error I would be writing a note almost weekly. DD is not too keen on that - and I am not sure it is a good long term plan, anyway - but UGH! At this moment, we write on ones we are asked to sign where we are clearly right. I do point out where I think the teacher has erred, and always suggest she tell the teacher about it, or, if she wants, I can write a little note. She usually (not always) declines - but at least she is learning that:
a) teachers/authorities are not always right
b) we can advocate for ourselves if we choose.
c) choose whether or not to code switch (like that term!). Her school values organisation and conformity (blech!) - they see careful colouring and centered titles as signs of care and organisation. If she wants to do well, she might want to colour neatly. She may choose not to, but that is her call. At least this helps her see that different environments have different expectations and underlying principles.
My DD is quite a bit older than yours, though (almost 12). If she were younger and being marked wrong when she really wasn't (or the question was ambiguous) I would advocate more heavily. I honestly think our culture expects too much self-advocacy out of young ones...many are not capable of it, and should not be penalised for their inabiltiy to advocate. In early years, that is what parent are for, lol.
I would search for the win-win in these scenarios. The teacher does need proof your daughter does know 5=five. Could you suggest to the teacher that any time your DD writes an answer that is divergent and logical but not what the teacher wants, that the teacher spend a few minutes with her and assess her skill in the area the teacher is looking for? In many cases this can be done verbally, or with one or two questions.
I have to agree with the poster upthread who suggested getting your DD properly identified. I have had 2 kids in school - one with gifted papers, and one without. I have had a much
easier time advocating for my one who is formally identified than the one who is not. It is not all roses, but at least I have papers that say "no - really - she does need differentiation - do it!"
sorry for the book - it is a bit of an issue for me.