dd's kindergarten "report card" - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 27 Old 11-14-2002, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
Gracefulmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: I think I live in the laundry room!
Posts: 721
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
OK, it's her first report card ever. And I'm such a "mama bear" with my babies, but this has me SO upset! Listen to my l-o-n-g rant, if you can hang in there long enough.

First of all, there were 43 days of school in the first quarter. It turns out, dd was tardy FIFTEEN times!!! I'm so upset that it has to show up on her report card... I have chosen to drive her to school instead of having her take the bus. (School is 3 minutes from home, and I just would rather do it myself.) But I feel like this is a judgment of me, and shouldn't be on her record. And *why* was I not told about this after the FIRST time??? It's obviously a chronic problem, and I didn't even realize we were getting there late.

Then there are the developmental areas she was graded on. (1=accomplished, 2=satisfactory, 3=making progress, 4=needs improvement, and 5=no understanding) Really, she got good marks - mostly 2's... which shouldn't have me upset. BUT-- for "knows days of the week and months of the year", she was given a 3, making progress. Nothing wrong with a 3, but I have to wonder how much progress a child can make in this area. She knows them all, and has for over a year... knows them as well as you and I do. So WHAT PROGRESS IS THERE TO BE MADE? I ask you??!! She also got a 3 for "associates sounds with letters", and for "recognizes frequently used words in print"... but *she is reading*! Reading. Reading to her father and me, reading at probably a second or third grade level, and reading with expression. Yes, she is making progress. But for the first quarter in kindergarten, is that really worthy of a 3?

These just seem so arbitrary, like the teacher was pulling numbers out of a hat.

: Why do kindergarteners need to be graded?

: : Which child was the teacher thinking of when she filled out this report card??

: : : Why, why, WHY do I care so much???


Thanks for listening!

Wife and Mama who homeschools-- mostly in the kitchen!
Gracefulmom is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 27 Old 11-15-2002, 12:35 AM
 
bestjob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 980
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Tuck it away. Don't even discuss it with your daughter. Even more important, don't discuss it with the other parents. If you really have issues with it, tell the teacher and no one but the teacher. If you're still not satisfied, talk to the principal.

For what it is worth, the children around here don't get report cards in the first term of kindergarten, just a little letter home from the teacher telling about how the child is settling in and what the teacher feels is a reasonable set of learning goals for the child.

My daughter is in Grade Three. I still hate every test, every evaluation because I love her so much and I think everything she does is wonderful. If she gets a four (the best mark possible according to her school's marking rubric), I obsess because she didn't get a sticker as well. I guess that's why they don't let mothers write letters of reference for their own children's scholarship applications, huh?
bestjob is offline  
#3 of 27 Old 11-15-2002, 09:15 AM
 
mommymushbrain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Van Buren, Arkansas
Posts: 199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My DD was scored low on being able to draw a person with 6 body parts. : Yet at the same time she would come home and draw elaborate pictures... like the water drops coming out of our sprinklers, or a baby inside my tummy and food inside hers. I made a comment to DH that if she would have drawn an anatomically correct boy or girl she would have gotten in trouble. When she drew the pic of me pregnant with a baby in my tummy, she also drew 2 huge circles for breasts!

I know how you feel about the tardies too... I drive DD to school as well... We live 7 minutes from her school, but the bus ride would be over an hour for her. It's not my DD's fault when she is late... heck sometimes we get there on time, but by the time we get to the drop off zone she is tardy!

I hate school...
mommymushbrain is offline  
#4 of 27 Old 11-15-2002, 02:38 PM
 
darlindeliasmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: near Philadelphia
Posts: 1,170
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
mollydia: does the teacher KNOW your child can read, or that she knows her days/seasons? I would want to talk to the teacher, because if she/he doesn't know this, she/he isn't doing her job. (or can't do her job, if the child is not demonstrating her proficiency in school). What I mean by the second point is that, if like my DD, she is sitting on her hands and not contributing in class, or clams up when the teacher is evaluating her, then the teacher won't have an accurate picture of her abilities.

You've made me nervous all over again. DD's conference is in 2 weeks, and I am worried about whether this teacher GETS her.

Still, if DD is happy, I wouldn't worry.

P.S. I really think it would have been a courtesy to you to drop a note to you or call you about the tardiness issue. I would be pretty angry about that lack of communication.
darlindeliasmom is offline  
#5 of 27 Old 11-15-2002, 03:17 PM
 
bestjob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 980
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Actually, those two posts have got me thinking. First, if you're stopping by the school every morning, why not drop into the class once in a while for a chat. Then you see what is happening and you and the teacher can pass information back and forth. I have found that my daughter's teachers seem to know her quite well, but it doesn't always come across to me on the report card. They also know her in ways that I don't because they are doing work with her in ways that I don't. Your daughter's teacher might have interesting things to tell you about the way your daughter acts in a large group of strangers. I stop by at least once a week just to say hi and ask questions about work that we don't understand or tell the teacher about stuff that particularly excited my daughter.

The second thing is that your daughter's teacher should be sending home a weekly or biweekly newsletter letting the parents know what is going on in the kindergarten room. Then you have something to talk to your daughter about each day so you aren't depending on your little one's information about kindergarten.
bestjob is offline  
#6 of 27 Old 11-15-2002, 03:44 PM
 
tara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: lost in space...
Posts: 2,612
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I know I'm some kind of hippie leftie weirdo, but I don't think kids should get grades at all. First of all, they don't really say much. Second of all, some kids just don't learn the way some teachers teach or don't express their learning the way some teachers expect them to. Third of all, I think they are bad for self esteem (because of the above reasons, because they don't say anything about a child's effort, improvement, creativity, learning style, other skills that aren't on a report card, Etc, etc, etc.) I went to this hippie college that didn't give grades - instead, for every program we wrote a self-evaluation and our instructor wrote a narrative evaluation for us. So, if you're a slacker who just happens to test well so you skip a lot of class but get good grades on the exams, instead of getting an A or B (which doesn't say a darn thing about your learning, imo), you get a narrative eval which says, "Able to demonstrate knowledge on exams, but not present for most class discussions". If you are present and able to demonstrate your knowledge in class discussions, projects, whatever but don't test well, your eval says that. Just feels more fair. Plus, you have to look at your own learning and honestly evaluate yourself, which is a really useful skill.

So, I definitely don't think a 5 year old kid should get grades. Of course, I don't think there is a public school that would agree with me...
tara is offline  
#7 of 27 Old 11-16-2002, 02:36 AM
 
Britishmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 4,195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
"does the teacher KNOW your child can read, or that she knows her days/seasons? I would want to talk to the teacher, because if she/he doesn't know this, she/he isn't doing her job. (or can't do her job, if the child is not demonstrating her proficiency in school)."

yes yes yes!!!

This would be my focus. If you were late, accept the comment and get there on time in future. But be very very very if the teacher isn't competent enough to know who in her class can read.

Disgraceful.
Britishmum is offline  
#8 of 27 Old 11-16-2002, 03:58 PM
 
sklt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 44
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Oh my goodness, Tara, you and I could NOT possibly disagree more.

Quote:
First of all, they don't really say much.
That depends on the teacher. If a teacher has been beaten down by the system, and by parents who say things like “Grades don’t mean anything,” then you’re right. But a conscientious teacher, who is given the time and ability to really work with the children, assess their abilities, and be honest without having to worry about pleasing the parents, will give meaningful grades.

Quote:
Second of all, some kids just don't learn the way some teachers teach or don't express their learning the way some teachers expect them to.
That’s true, but part of being in school is learning to express oneself appropriately and adequately. Also, some kids DO learn the way their teachers teach, and COULD express their learning the way some teachers expect, but don’t. Those kids SHOULD get “could do better” types of grades, for several reasons. First, because, as parents, we can’t know exactly how our children are behaving in class. We know how they behave with us, but there’s not a single kid that doesn’t act differently in an environment other than home, whether it’s the library, the store, or school. (Back to that learning to express oneself appropriately thing – different places and different people call for different actions.) So grades are one way for a teacher to send that message to parents. Also, the “could do better” kid doesn’t deserve the same credit as the child who puts forth his best effort and/or knows the material. If someone is better at something, they deserve the recognition that goes along with that. It doesn’t mean that the child who is not as good at that particular thing is bad or stupid or anything. It just means that we all have different abilities. Which brings us to…

Quote:
Third of all, I think they are bad for self esteem (because of the above reasons, because they don't say anything about a child's effort, improvement, creativity, learning style, other skills that aren't on a report card, Etc, etc, etc.)
Yikes. This is one of my BIGGEST soapboxes. A HUGE part of the problem with public schools today is that teachers are afraid to grade students appropriately, because they might hurt someone’s feelings. I say that’s hooey. People are judged throughout life; judgment isn’t necessarily bad. I was lousy at art; I just wasn’t creative. So I got Bs and Cs, which accurately reflected both my ability and my effort. I was the queen of “could improve” at keeping my mouth shut, lol. There were rules; I broke them; I deserved the consequences. Grades DO say something about a child’s effort. If a kid’s really trying, the teacher sees that (unless the teacher’s a complete waste of flesh, and I’m the first to admit that those types do exist). If a kid’s really trying, but still not getting it, I can’t imagine the teacher who wouldn’t do all he could to help that child. And any improvement WILL be reflected in the grades. There’s not a lot of call for creativity in, say, math or phonics or spelling. So, grades in those subjects don’t need to reflect a child’s creativity.

The point is, teachers are generally not evil purveyors of arbitrary pigeon-holing numbers (or letters).

That said, I’d agree that Kindergarteners don’t need to be graded. But the teacher was probably forced to do so by the school district. Which is not to say that it was right that she (most likely) was fairly arbitrary in her grading. OH. I just realized. I talked to my SIL this morning, and her daughter is in K this year. She was telling me about the “test” that her K did, and it was almost trick-question-y. I went back and re-read your post, Mollydia, and I would bet dollars to doughnuts that the report card was based on the same type of thing. One thing in particular stands out: the “associates sounds with letters” one. The test my niece was given required the child to say what SOUND started the name for a particular picture, not the letter. For instance, rather than saying “F” for frog, the correct answer was for the child to make the “ffffffffff” sound. “F” was wrong. Which is stupid, btw, and another example of teachers being forced to teach to the lower-level student (see my rants in the “dumbing down of America” thread, lol). I would talk to the teacher about it, but don’t go in defensively. That won’t get you anywhere. Teachers want to *work* with parents, not *fight* with them.
sklt is offline  
#9 of 27 Old 11-17-2002, 09:24 AM
 
daylily's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Virginia
Posts: 4,035
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
mollydia, I know how you feel. I was outraged by my dd's kindergarten report card. (She is now in fourth grade.) She was listed as an "emergent reader"--a classification of skills which she had mastered at age two. Those who told you that your dd's teacher is probably unaware of your dd's abilities are probably right. Definitely arrange an appointment for a conference. It's probably not a good idea to try to talk to her when you drop your dd off, because the teacher will be very busy with all the children who are entering the classroom and she won't be able to devote her full attention to you.

As for the tardies, it does seem petty to punish the child for the parent's transgressions. Teachers have told me that it can distressing for a child to arrive late which is one reason why they strongly emphasize punctuality at our school. It can also be disruptive to the classroom atmosphere to have a child arrive late.
One year, we were tardy so many times that I got a warning letter from the school saying that we could be kicked out if we didn't shape up. (My kids don't go to their neighborhood school. I got permission for them to attend a different school in a better neighborhood.) But I understand where you're coming from. Even sillier is the "perfect attendence" award that schools give out. All I see in that is a child whose parents send her to school when she's sick.
daylily is offline  
#10 of 27 Old 11-17-2002, 04:29 PM
 
tara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: lost in space...
Posts: 2,612
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hey, sklt... It's cool that you and I have different opinions on this. I suspected someone would not agree with me! But, I'm not sure I expressed myself really well, so I will try again...

I don't think that grades are meaningful because what they tell is a story about whether a child is able to do this exercise and pass that test. You don't get grades for effort. If a teacher is grading on a curve, a grade can say more about the rest of the class than the individual student.

You said,
Quote:
part of being in school is learning to express oneself appropriately and adequately.
and I just can't agree with you. If a child's innate learning style is such that s/he learns best by, say, experiential learning, and his/her teacher expects the child to learn by lecture... well, that child isn't going to learn. I just don't believe that learning style is that maleable. That child isn't going to learn and his/her self-esteem is going to suffer from report cards full of 'bad' grades. Also, some kids test well and some kids don't, and again I don't think it's really maleable. That's what I mean about report cards being hard on self-esteem. If you're trying but you just can't get there (or if you know the material but can't pass the test) and you bring home a report card with a D on it... ouch. That's not a 'could do better grade', in my opinion. It doesn't say that.

And, there is something in your statement that gives me the willies... something that feels like, "Our children must learn to conform!" Maybe you didn't mean it that way, maybe that doesn't bother you the way it bothers me.

And, as for the kid who deserves the bad grade in your example, this kid who is capable of learning and expresses his/her knowledge in the way the teacher expects but chooses not to, well that one proves my point, I think. Which do you think asks more of the child in terms of responsibilty, a C or D grade or a narrative evaluation that says, "I know Suzie is capable of this work. Occasionally she will participate and pay attention and get involved and excited. But, she spends a lot of her classtime talking with friends and the quality of her work can really vary. She did a project on dinosaurs that was beautifully constructed and detailed and demonstrated research, writing and art skills. But, much of her other classwork was turned in late or incomplete..." Which of these better expresses 'could do better'? Which of these tells the parent and child more? Which of these requires more of a teacher?

You said,
Quote:
There’s not a lot of call for creativity in, say, math or phonics or spelling. So, grades in those subjects don’t need to reflect a child’s creativity.
Again, I disagree... I would challenge you to think more creatively. What if, instead of completely a math exercise in a typical format a child needed to create story problems to get her head around the problems? What if she needed to draw pictures (five apples, cross out four...)? What if the typical spelling rules didn't help a child learn, but she was able to come up with some creative ways of remembering?

Finally, you said,
Quote:
The point is, teachers are generally not evil purveyors of arbitrary pigeon-holing numbers (or letters).
I want to make it clear that I didn't say or (I hope) imply any such thing. My issue is with the system, not teachers. I think most teachers are hardworking, underpaid, devoted, caring individuals who love children and do the best they can. I just don't think that the system of testing and grading is the best way to gauge or express a child's learning.

(Oh, and one more thing... After my experience at the hippie college, I went on to do a course at a local community college a couple of years ago. It was so interesting and frustrating for me to see these students so test-and-grade-focussed. For instance, during a lecture, there were constant questions of, "Is this going to be on the test? Do we need to know this? What pages do we need to study for the test?" Instead of a love of learning and a personal drive to explore as much as possible, these folks put boundaries on their learning because they wanted so much to pass the test. And I think our emphasis on grades contributes to this... )
tara is offline  
#11 of 27 Old 11-18-2002, 11:57 PM
 
lauren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: In a state of grace
Posts: 6,765
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
I have to throw out a funny story about creativity in math. Last year, my son's 1st grade teacher showed us an example of how he gets "sidetracked" when completing word problems in math. The stated problem had something to do with sorting apples into different color batches to come up with different sums at the end. He had to "show his work" so the teacher could tell how he came up with the answer. Well, on the way to the answer, my son invented, and drew in careful detail, a fairly complicated "apple sorting" machine. After the invention, he actually did get the problem right. But she used it as a learning example to show how he does it wrong. I thought the invention was fabulous.

Now, clearly time was of the essence here, and kids need to be able to solve problems in a timely fashion. But is there no room to value the apple sorting invention that happens along the way in public school?

 
lauren is offline  
#12 of 27 Old 11-18-2002, 11:58 PM
 
lauren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: In a state of grace
Posts: 6,765
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
P.S. Of course, his report card said "needs improvement" in math for that marking period....

 
lauren is offline  
#13 of 27 Old 11-19-2002, 12:56 PM
 
sklt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 44
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I HATE grading on a curve. Hate it, hate it, hate it. I'm of the opinion that it's a cop-out for a teacher. So we're in agreement there, lol.

I suppose I'd agree with you on the "learning styles aren't really malleable" statement, but in my opinion, the things that kids (particularly in elementary school) are learning ALSO aren't really malleable. There's only one answer to "2+2= ___" or "How do you spell Thursday". THAT's what I meant by little room for creativity. A child needs to be able to answer, immediately, “2+2=4”, or it’s going to be a long road for the rest of his life. Yes, all kids learn differently, and even the average teachers do what they can to help all the students in their class learn in the way they learn best. I'd bet that there's not a 1st grade classroom in the nation that doesn't do "manipulation" math and whatever other forms (sorry, I'm not really up to speed on all the "newfangled" teaching styles) of alternative (for lack of a better word) learning styles there are. Unfortunately, to my way of thinking, the old "learn by rote" standards have gone away, rather than being used in addition to the new ways. Teachers aren't allowed to use flashcards, which are an invaluable resource for many kids, or what my school referred to as "times tests", which had a page of math problems and a certain amount of time to complete them. The point, of course, was to better your own time. I honestly had little or no idea of what anyone else was doing with regard to their time, except for those students with whom I was in direct competition, lol. No one was belittled in elementary school because of scores or grades or whatever; there were FAR more important things to worry about, like who got to be "it" at recess, and whether you'd get the good teeter-totter, or the squeaky one.

I'm not sure that I buy the whole "some kids test well and some don't" argument; it seems like one of those "it's not my fault" sort of statements. I can't disprove it,though, so I'll mostly let it slide. I still don't see how it's wrong to expect children to stay focused on the task at hand. There are many parents of (for-real) ADD (or whatever it's called now) kids that are trying whatever means possible to ALLOW their children to stay focused on one task. It's a good thing. I still have trouble with it, myself, and I can only imagine what I'd be like if I hadn't had teachers who, basically, forced me to learn to focus - by expecting me to do well, and giving appropriate grades as to whether I did work to my potential or not.

And, I wasn't saying that "our children need to conform," although they do, in part. Children need to learn that there are ways to act in different situations, which are more appropriate than other ways. For instance, it is inappropriate to shout and run around in church, while that is appropriate behavior on a playground. Children also need to learn that there are authority figures in the world, and while they can question authority, they must also respect it, and be willing to pay the consequences of going against authority. I can't tell you the number of times I got in trouble in elementary school for arguing with teachers (most of whom were teachers for whom I had little or no respect). I may have been right (lol, I usually was), but it was *possible* that I didn't go about it in the most appropriate way .

I agree with you, also, that a narrative tells more than just a grade. I think that the two should be used jointly, rather than exclusively one or the other. The child who DOES participate, DOES work to his potential, and DOES know the material deserves a better grade than the talking child who doesn’t do the work. This also comes back to the whole “self-esteem” issue, and how teachers are afraid to really tell it like it is. Many teachers would be reluctant to send home the kind of narrative you gave as an example, because there are MANY parents who would either discount it as “if the teacher wasn’t so boring, my kid would pay more attention to her; the teacher needs to learn how to hold the kids’ attention” or, worse, would storm up to the administration and demand that the teacher “stop picking on my kid.” So, instead, what parents get are the good things, and the bad things are glossed over, or ignored. Which means that kids are moving from grade to grade, not knowing the stuff they need to know, and parents being unaware of it because teachers are afraid to accurately grade/assess a student’s level of learning, or of parents being aware of it, but blaming it on the teacher who “was always picking on Johnny, and wasn’t teaching in a way that he could learn.”

It’s a two-way street, and the parents who really care about their kids’ education will make sure that they are active in their kids’ classrooms, in touch with their kids’ teachers (and not just on the scheduled conferences, or after report cards come out), and willing to work with their kids at home, if necessary, to be sure they learn what is required.

Oh, and you're right, it's unfortunate how test-oriented most college students are, mainly as a result of the professors being test-oriented. It does depend on the class, however. Business classes tend to be more test-oriented than humanities classes, in my experience. This can be frustrating for, say, an English literature major who takes an accounting course; or, for an accounting major who takes an art appreciation course. I'd say that says more about your different learning styles than anything else.
sklt is offline  
#14 of 27 Old 11-19-2002, 02:07 PM
 
tara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: lost in space...
Posts: 2,612
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for replying, sklt... I think we feel more the same than different, really. I appreciate your opinion.

And, lauren, I think it's fabulous that your son designed and drew an apple-sorting machine! And, ITA that he should not be penalized for it... He sounds like a great thinker to me!
tara is offline  
#15 of 27 Old 11-19-2002, 03:09 PM
 
sklt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 44
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Tara, I think you're right. Come on over to our deck next summer; I'll bet we could solve all the world's problems over a beer and a smoke. (And if you don't do either, I'll drink and smoke while you solve, lol .)
sklt is offline  
#16 of 27 Old 11-19-2002, 03:42 PM
 
tara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: lost in space...
Posts: 2,612
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'll drink a beer with you for sure!
tara is offline  
#17 of 27 Old 11-19-2002, 07:40 PM
 
Britishmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 4,195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
"I know Suzie is capable of this work. Occasionally she will participate and pay attention and get involved and excited. But, she spends a lot of her classtime talking with friends and the quality of her work can really vary. She did a project on dinosaurs that was beautifully constructed and detailed and demonstrated research, writing and art skills. But, much of her other classwork was turned in late or incomplete..."

The point is that teachers should be able to make clear, constructive comments like this. They shouldn't run scared of some parents and so make innane generalisations instead. If teachers all took time to make constructive comments on reports, grades would become unnecessary.

An interesting read on this subject is Kohn's 'Punished by Rewards'.
Britishmum is offline  
#18 of 27 Old 11-20-2002, 12:08 AM
 
tara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: lost in space...
Posts: 2,612
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'll check out that book, Britishmum...
tara is offline  
#19 of 27 Old 11-20-2002, 03:37 AM
 
Britishmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 4,195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's a great book. I don't 100% agree with Kohn, as he makes an assumption that all children are 'unspoilt' when they start school, so do not need any sort of reward system.

I believe that for some children an extrinsic system is needed to 'jump start' them and achieve desired learning behaviours, but that the overall aim should be to remove any extrinsic system asap.

Anyway, he makes a good case for not using any grading or reward systems. Check it out and see what you think, he's quite revolutionary.
Britishmum is offline  
#20 of 27 Old 11-20-2002, 09:25 PM
 
lauren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: In a state of grace
Posts: 6,765
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Sklt, I was curious when you said teachers arent' supposed to be using timed tests and flash cards anymore. Is this for real, because my son's teachers have used both, two years running. I didn't realize this was outdated. Can you say more about that?

 
lauren is offline  
#21 of 27 Old 11-20-2002, 11:40 PM
 
sklt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 44
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Lauren, I was only speaking from experience a few years back, and I am hoping (and praying) that the signs are correct, and the pendulum is swinging back to include phonics and flashcards. My mom, and many other teachers that I know in various school districts across the nation, fought against school districts and administrators who wanted to completely abolish (and would have, but for the "subversive actions" of those fine teachers) any phonics instruction and the use of flashcards in reading (sight words) and math (addition/subtraction/multiplication/division facts). It frankly scared the living daylights out of me, and if I didn't think that those people had *mostly* accepted the value of learning these essential cornerstones and re-instituted their use, I would be planning to home-school the ladies without a second glance. Hooray for the "old school" teachers (and not just *old* schoolteachers, lol) who held tight to their flashcards and times tests, and didn't allow those short-sighted administrators and school boards to eliminate such essential tools of learning.

So there. lol. Just in case it hasn't become aBUNdantly clear to everyone, I get a little worked up about education. I also tend to be a little, um, shall we say FIRM (not to say stubborn, lol) about what I think is right. And I'm firmly in the old-school camp. I wish I could clone my K-5 teachers, and just send them out to work their magic in the world, .
sklt is offline  
#22 of 27 Old 11-21-2002, 12:02 AM
 
lauren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: In a state of grace
Posts: 6,765
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Well, for what it's worth, my son has had sight words, flash cards and timed tests, and so far he's an amazing speller, can add and subtract faster than I can (after all these years of practice), and is a terrific reader. I guess his school is doing something right!

I'm trying to re-learn along with him!

 
lauren is offline  
#23 of 27 Old 11-21-2002, 12:06 AM
 
sklt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 44
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
HooRAY for your son's teachers!
sklt is offline  
#24 of 27 Old 11-23-2002, 09:08 PM
 
MSings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: CA
Posts: 222
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just read an editorial about a new 1-5 grading system in Sacramento and thought it might apply to your school. It is part of the trend toward extensive testing and rigid teaching goals that is all the rage now. Basically children are graded 1-5 on all categories that parallel state standards. With this system the best number, be it 1 or 5, means that the student is exceeding grade level expectations for that skill. So if 5 is the best then 4 could still mean excellent work at grade level. Since some standards take all year to master but are listed in report cards from the beginning of the year, a child could perform flawlessly but still get a low mark early in the year. The logic is that if it hasn't all been taught then the child cannot have mastered it. So if the teacher has only taught 3 months of the year then no child will get a score of proficient unless the teacher tests all the students to see if they know more than what is taught.
MSings is offline  
#25 of 27 Old 11-24-2002, 09:23 AM
 
daylily's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Virginia
Posts: 4,035
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't like the sound of that system because it doesn't take into account things that the child learned independently. It's not fair to assume that a child hasn't mastered a skill because the teacher hasn't taught it yet. Since when do children learn only at school?
daylily is offline  
#26 of 27 Old 11-29-2002, 12:32 AM
 
bestjob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 980
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That system was tried briefly at my daughter's school. It was really flawed, partly because of the communication to the parents and partly because the teachers were constantly stuck explaining where the children were in their studies to parents. Reading, for example, takes all year for many years. A particular math topic, measurement, for example, may only be taught in the first term in each grade. It made the marks even more arbitrary than the old system of determining whether or not the child had achieved what was expected during a particular term of each grade.
bestjob is offline  
#27 of 27 Old 12-14-2002, 12:50 AM
 
Alegria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 502
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
see sig
and that's scary.

Grades for kindergarteners are ridiculous. Learning is fun! It shouldn't be forced down their throats. I can't spell to save my life; that doesn't mean I couldn't be a great writer or philosofer. There are always editors and spell checkers. You could get strait A's all through school and grow up with out loving yourself. Or you could "fail" miserably in grade school but make great contributions to society. Rote memorization doesn't further you on your spiritual path.
Alegria is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off