What if a teacher told your DC she was wrong, when really, she was right? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 07:55 PM
 
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So many parents on here stating that the OP's dd is wrong, I had to say this.

Matter is loosely defined as any physical object that has mass and takes up space. There is, however, no consensus in physics on the true definition of matter because the idea of "taking up space" is and must be ill-defined. When they need to be precise with matter, physicists discuss mass, particles, and energy.

Why matter is energy. Matter cannot exist without energy. Energy cannot exist without matter. Matter is the physical manifestation of energy.

All though, this is just my understanding...

MusicianDad (sorry not gonna get my real name), BSc. (Physics).



And no I don't think a teacher should tell a child "Your Wrong" in front of the whole class regardless of whether she's wrong or not.

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#62 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 07:58 PM
 
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Ya know, know that I think about it... The teacher shouldn't be asking the children a question when the experts don't even agree on the answer. The definition of matter hasn't yet been determined fully and everyone has their own theories on it in the scientific community.

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#63 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 08:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
So many parents on here stating that the OP's dd is wrong, I had to say this.

Matter is loosely defined as any physical object that has mass and takes up space. There is, however, no consensus in physics on the true definition of matter because the idea of "taking up space" is and must be ill-defined. When they need to be precise with matter, physicists discuss mass, particles, and energy.

Why matter is energy. Matter cannot exist without energy. Energy cannot exist without matter. Matter is the physical manifestation of energy.

All though, this is just my understanding...

MusicianDad (sorry not gonna get my real name), BSc. (Physics).



And no I don't think a teacher should tell a child "Your Wrong" in front of the whole class regardless of whether she's wrong or not.
I think admitting to being wrong is not a bad thing. I can't comment on teacher's reply since I wasn't in the classroom. "You are wrong" are not harsh words, if I am wrong about something, I am wrong.

E doesn't equal M. As simple as that. Matter is NOT loosely defined... matter is defined with precision. Being interdependent does not make matter and energy the same. I won't throw my credentials into the mix, simply because I don't think it matters how many degrees one has, it's whether or not they enjoy the subject and seek the truth in the subject.

If I am wrong, I hope I have enough self confidence to handle "you are wrong, and here is why", when it's meant as a learning experience and not a yell, or a smirk. So words in themselves don't worry me (and I will hope for the same for my children). Why should "you are wrong" bother me? Wouldn't I want to learn correct information? Can't I admit to being wrong?

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#64 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 08:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
So many parents on here stating that the OP's dd is wrong, I had to say this.

Matter is loosely defined as any physical object that has mass and takes up space. There is, however, no consensus in physics on the true definition of matter because the idea of "taking up space" is and must be ill-defined. When they need to be precise with matter, physicists discuss mass, particles, and energy.

Why matter is energy. Matter cannot exist without energy. Energy cannot exist without matter. Matter is the physical manifestation of energy.

All though, this is just my understanding...

MusicianDad (sorry not gonna get my real name), BSc. (Physics).



And no I don't think a teacher should tell a child "Your Wrong" in front of the whole class regardless of whether she's wrong or not.
OH FOR CRIPES SAKE!

I could see this being an issue IF the child understood that level of science behind the question "What is Matter?" She didn't. She was regurgitating facts she'd read in a book. She doesn't have a full understanding of the science behind it and neither does the teacher. However, the teacher teaching the children that matter takes up space and has states is in no way going to ruin these kids' understanding of science forever and ever. There is plenty of room and time to investigate the intricacies of particle physics in high school and college.

If the teacher did in fact tell your daughter that she was wrong, OP, I encourage you to TALK TO HER ABOUT IT. Whining about it on a web page is not going to fix the problem in the long run.

And, I'm out.
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#65 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 08:12 PM
 
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Oriole, If your going on E=MC2, then your right, energy doesn't equal matter. Energy equal Mass time the speed of light squared. Mass and matter are two different things. Also, you aren't in elementary school and have a bit more life experience so what you can handle is different then what the OP's dd can handle.

Lisac, no need to get all huffy about it. But there are way to tell a child you think they are incorrect with you announcing to the class "Your wrong!", hmm lets see "Not exactly, matter has mass and takes up space." Um, try some more here "Matter has energy, but our books say that it is anything that takes up space in the world."

I'm sure there are a few other ways to correct a child without saying "your wrong". In fact in the general population stating "your wrong" is considered horribly rude and disrespectful.

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#66 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 08:25 PM
 
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That webpage is wrong.

Brief notes about matter and energy for a quick reference:
1) All matter in the universe (in the ordinary world) is made of small ether units and which are in a highly compressed state. I call it "Ether Magnetic Particles" or space matter. Also, the spaces between the celestial bodies in the universe are filled with space matter [The 90% 'unknown matter' in the universe is space matter.]

2) All form of energy (except gravitational potential energy) are stored in the ordinary world, in the form of highly compressed space matter (just like as a compressed spring).

3) All form of energy are released in the ordinary world, because of the decompressing, releasing or expansion of space matter (just like as a decompressing or releasing of a spring).

4) Mass and energy are not interchangeable: Releasing of energy in a nuclear reaction is due to the rapid- huge increasing of volume of ordinary matter to space matter. I.e. the missing matter (mass defect) in a nuclear reaction is converted into space matter.


Increasing of Volume = Mass disappeared / Density of space matter (V=M/D).

http://physics-edu.org/index.html

Look, this is a complex subject, there's no two ways about it. But I think you should focus on the fact that:

A) This is SECOND GRADE.
B) Your DD has a weak understanding of this subject (as do many adults, there's nothing wrong with that!), and her teacher is not a theoretical physicist. The teacher was trying to teach the unit.
C) Books are not always right.
D) Neither are webpages. Best to check your references in multiple, reputable sources (and yes, I realize I haven't done this here!).
Sorry, but I don't think you are getting good information. The webpage you quote is BS. I have spent the last 7 years doing theoretical and experimental astrophysics (about to do my thesis defense tomorrow!) and I have never heard the terms "ether magnetic particles" or "space matter", ever. (I think they are referring to dark matter?) This in particular makes no sense:

Quote:
Mass and energy are not interchangeable: Releasing of energy in a nuclear reaction is due to the rapid- huge increasing of volume of ordinary matter to space matter. I.e. the missing matter (mass defect) in a nuclear reaction is converted into space matter.

I can't even figure out exactly what he's trying to say. The mass defect of a nuclear reaction is the quantity of mass coverted to energy (in the amount E = mc^2), but so-called "space matter" has nothing to do with it. The energy appears in the form of kinetic energy.

In particle physics it is very common to treat matter and energy as interchangeable. In fact, when calculating particle interactions, one does not deal with mass at all, but rather mass-energy, ie, the amount of energy stored by the mass of each particle.

I think the OP's daughter was essentially correct in saying that matter and energy are forms of the same thing. Certainly it is unfair to call it Wrong-with-a-capital-W because it really isn't.
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#67 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 08:27 PM
 
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Sorry, but I don't think you are getting good information. The webpage you quote is BS. I have spent the last 7 years doing theoretical and experimental astrophysics (about to do my thesis defense tomorrow!) and I have never heard the terms "ether magnetic particles" or "space matter", ever. (I think they are referring to dark matter?) This in particular makes no sense:




I can't even figure out exactly what he's trying to say. The mass defect of a nuclear reaction is the quantity of mass coverted to energy (in the amount E = mc^2), but so-called "space matter" has nothing to do with it. The energy appears in the form of kinetic energy.

In particle physics it is very common to treat matter and energy as interchangeable. In fact, when calculating particle interactions, one does not deal with mass at all, but rather mass-energy, ie, the amount of energy stored by the mass of each particle.

I think the OP's daughter was essentially correct in saying that matter and energy are forms of the same thing. Certainly it is unfair to call it Wrong-with-a-capital-W because it really isn't.
ARE YOU CALLING ME WRONG????

Well as I said above, this is a complex subject, and I was going on my layperson's interpretation of what I was taught in physics. I am not a physicist nor to I play one on TV or the internet!

Advanced particle physics aside, I still think that the OP should talk to the child's teacher. I know my son's teacher would be happy to hear that she was wrong and would correct her information.
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#68 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 09:03 PM
 
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As physicist are able to detect smaller and smaller particles, the differences between matter and energy become less and less clear. Some believe that at some point they will discover a particle that makes up both matter and energy.

The OPs DD should be encouraged to think about these questions and not simply accept a simple definition that excludes the possibility of deeper understanding.

Heck, I'm not saying that the OP needs to explain particles, quarks, string theory, etc to her DD. I'm also not saying that learning about how on a pratical everyday level there are differences between matter and energy. I'm just saying that the OPs DD isn't wrong, and needs to know that the issue has more complex levels that are not fully understood, and that she may indeed be correct.

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#69 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 09:07 PM
 
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You know...this is a very cool debate (and much of it way beyond my scope of knowledge).

Maybe you should show it to your DD and say:

"Wow. Not even scientists/science lovers can agree on whether matter is energy".

The quest is way more important in science, I think, than the answers.....

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#70 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 09:13 PM
 
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Oriole, If your going on E=MC2, then your right, energy doesn't equal matter. Energy equal Mass time the speed of light squared. Mass and matter are two different things. Also, you aren't in elementary school and have a bit more life experience so what you can handle is different then what the OP's dd can handle.

Lisac, no need to get all huffy about it. But there are way to tell a child you think they are incorrect with you announcing to the class "Your wrong!", hmm lets see "Not exactly, matter has mass and takes up space." Um, try some more here "Matter has energy, but our books say that it is anything that takes up space in the world."

I'm sure there are a few other ways to correct a child without saying "your wrong". In fact in the general population stating "your wrong" is considered horribly rude and disrespectful.
I'm not sure what difference am I not seeing? Certainly I am an adult, but I grew up into this kind of adult because it was modeled for me. "You are wrong" is not an attack. It is a statement of fact that might be true, or might be false. The statement "you are wrong" is simply that, a statement. If my child was upset, I'd ask her why... Is it because she is wrong? Is it because she is wrong and someone made fun of her? Is it because she is wrong but thinks she is right, and therefore thinks she is being unjustly singled out? Is it something else?

If a child told me the teacher was disrepectful in some manner, and used demeaning tone, or made fun of her mistakes, that would be a different discussion, but condemning a teacher just because she said "you are wrong" doesn't seem informed or valid. What else did the teacher say? What did the other students say? What was said before "you are wrong" and after? If I was concerned about my child's sensitive nature I would certainly talk with the teacher, but I wouldn't assume the worst when my kid was corrected because of a mistake she made, kwim?

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#71 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 09:27 PM
 
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As physicist are able to detect smaller and smaller particles, the differences between matter and energy become less and less clear. Some believe that at some point they will discover a particle that makes up both matter and energy.
...
Heck, I'm not saying that the OP needs to explain particles, quarks, string theory, etc to her DD. I'm also not saying that learning about how on a pratical everyday level there are differences between matter and energy. I'm just saying that the OPs DD isn't wrong, and needs to know that the issue has more complex levels that are not fully understood, and that she may indeed be correct.
Here is what I think... I think some kids are quite able to understand physics, or get a pretty good grasp on it. The fact is... if a child is interested in physics, there is nothing wrong in showing to that child how matter and energy is different. It won't prevent the child from becoming a great scientist, but it will define the concepts: "Look... if it's gas, solid, or liquid, it's matter! Air is matter, water is matter, even tiny tiny parts that everything in the universe is made up from called "atoms" are matter... Energy is an ability to change conditions... light is energy, electricity is energy... you can see how it works, but you can't really see "IT", as you can with matter."

One can also say that the scientist are working on converting matter into energy and vice versa. But even when it's done it will be a conversion, and "E" won't equal "M" all of a sudden. "Something" will have to happen to change one into another, something will have to convert "energy" we can't see into little particles of "matter" we can. The difference is still there, and the next Einstein will have to have a good grasp on those differences to actually do this discovery. How does one learn the differences? By another human being explaining it to a child, and correcting that child when he/she thinks "it's the same". One can't grow without learning from mistakes, especially in science, kwim?

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#72 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 09:37 PM
 
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Wait... wasn't the point just made that the differences are NOT that clear?

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#73 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 09:43 PM
 
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Wait... wasn't the point just made that the differences are NOT that clear?
They are clear.

Matter: exists in the form of atoms as liquid, gas, solid or plasma, can be measured by its volume or mass. Matter STORES energy, which doesn't make it energy (i.e. the fridge stores food, which doesn't make it food).

Energy: does NOT exist in the form of atoms, it can be stored in atoms. Energy can't be measured as volume or mass (i.e. you can't say "I have 3 cups of electricity"), can be observed, but can't be "seen", i.e. you can't just look at energy in the microscope as you can with particles of matter.

I"m not sure what's unclear... Help me out?

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#74 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 09:52 PM
 
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First of all, the DD was wrong. W-R-O-N-G wrong. There's no two ways about it.
You are right that there's no two ways about it. There is only one way. The dd was correct. Demonstrably, empirically correct.
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So the teacher was correct in telling her she was wrong, if that actually happened, which I'm not convinced it is. My impression of the teacher was that she said, "Well, almost!" NOT "You're WRONG!"
I'd be interested to know where you got this impression given that the OP said this:
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According to her (I asked her again . . .what did the teacher say, did she just say "Well, almost" or something like that) and she said:

The teacher said I was wrong-- in front of the whole class.
Possibly you got this impression through a mechanism similar to how you gained your understanding of physics. That would explain a lot.

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Secondly, actively encouraging a child to disrespect a teacher is a bad idea.
No, it's an excellent idea because it builds in a defence when she encounters attitudes like this:

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Sometimes teachers act badly, but there is nothing wrong with learning to deal with people who are superior to you who are also jerks. It's a theme that is likely to repeat throughout life, often in situations where you can do nothing about it. Better to learn to deal with those people appropriately than to harbor resentment towards them.
First of all this teacher is not superior to my dd (or me for that matter) in any way. The fact that she is in a position of (a little bit) of authority does not mean she can do or say whatever she wants. When people say "learning to deal with people in authority who are jerks" it has been my experience that they really want you to be a complacent, obedient little follower. That is the opposite of what I want for my dd. There is virtually always something you can "do about it". You just have to decide whether it is worth the effort and the price you'll pay.

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#75 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 10:05 PM
 
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They are clear.

Matter: exists in the form of atoms as liquid, gas, solid or plasma, can be measured by its volume or mass. Matter STORES energy, which doesn't make it energy (i.e. the fridge stores food, which doesn't make it food).

Energy: does NOT exist in the form of atoms, it can be stored in atoms. Energy can't be measured as volume or mass (i.e. you can't say "I have 3 cups of electricity"), can be observed, but can't be "seen", i.e. you can't just look at energy in the microscope as you can with particles of matter.

I"m not sure what's unclear... Help me out?
If that were true then matter would exist without energy and energy would exist without matter.

(ie the fridge exists without food in it and the food exists without a fridge to put it in)

Show me matter without energy and I will say that matter and energy are different.

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I'm not sure what difference am I not seeing? Certainly I am an adult, but I grew up into this kind of adult because it was modeled for me. "You are wrong" is not an attack. It is a statement of fact that might be true, or might be false. The statement "you are wrong" is simply that, a statement. If my child was upset, I'd ask her why... Is it because she is wrong? Is it because she is wrong and someone made fun of her? Is it because she is wrong but thinks she is right, and therefore thinks she is being unjustly singled out? Is it something else?

If a child told me the teacher was disrepectful in some manner, and used demeaning tone, or made fun of her mistakes, that would be a different discussion, but condemning a teacher just because she said "you are wrong" doesn't seem informed or valid. What else did the teacher say? What did the other students say? What was said before "you are wrong" and after? If I was concerned about my child's sensitive nature I would certainly talk with the teacher, but I wouldn't assume the worst when my kid was corrected because of a mistake she made, kwim?
There are two ways to state a fact. Nice and not nice. "You are wrong" is not nice. A teacher is old enough to phrase that fact in such a way that it is much more productive.

Of course in this case, it isn't a statement of fact because she who was 'wrong' was in fact not wrong.

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#76 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 10:13 PM
 
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One can also say that the scientist are working on converting matter into energy and vice versa. But even when it's done it will be a conversion, and "E" won't equal "M" all of a sudden. "Something" will have to happen to change one into another, something will have to convert "energy" we can't see into little particles of "matter" we can.
A couple points.

Would you agree that the statement "Ice and water are two different forms of the same thing" is a true statement? I hope so! But something would have to happen to "convert" ice into water or vice versa, correct? The temperature and/or the pressure would have to increase or decrease. Something always has to happen to make something change forms or to convert one thing into another. The fact that two things have differences does not make a statement that they are two different forms of the same thing untrue.

You seem to be under the impression that scientists cannot (yet) convert matter into energy. They can and have. That is precisely how an atomic bomb works -- a tiny bit of matter (we're talking atomic size here) is converted into a tremendous amount of energy.

As an aside - I would be interested to know where light would fall in your dichotomy - it isn't matter, but we can see it. Or is light considered to be matter now? (No snark intended - I honestly don't know the most current thinking on the nature of light - I seem to remember something about photons, but do photons have mass..... Interesting to think about )

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They are clear.

Matter: exists in the form of atoms as liquid, gas, solid or plasma, can be measured by its volume or mass. Matter STORES energy, which doesn't make it energy (i.e. the fridge stores food, which doesn't make it food).

Energy: does NOT exist in the form of atoms, it can be stored in atoms. Energy can't be measured as volume or mass (i.e. you can't say "I have 3 cups of electricity"), can be observed, but can't be "seen", i.e. you can't just look at energy in the microscope as you can with particles of matter.

I"m not sure what's unclear... Help me out?
They are not clear.

Light, for instance, is made of a particle that can be measured and does have mass, is light energy or matter?

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They are not clear.

Light, for instance, is made of a particle that can be measured and does have mass, is light energy or matter?
Oh, oh! Can we talk about light pressure now?

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#79 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 10:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
They are clear.

Matter: exists in the form of atoms as liquid, gas, solid or plasma, can be measured by its volume or mass. Matter STORES energy, which doesn't make it energy (i.e. the fridge stores food, which doesn't make it food).

Energy: does NOT exist in the form of atoms, it can be stored in atoms. Energy can't be measured as volume or mass (i.e. you can't say "I have 3 cups of electricity"), can be observed, but can't be "seen", i.e. you can't just look at energy in the microscope as you can with particles of matter.

I"m not sure what's unclear... Help me out?
I guess people were saying that it gets really fuzzy when things get subatomic... but other people just jumped in on this with lots of other good points.

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As an aside - I would be interested to know where light would fall in your dichotomy - it isn't matter, but we can see it. Or is light considered to be matter now? (No snark intended - I honestly don't know the most current thinking on the nature of light - I seem to remember something about photons, but do photons have mass..... Interesting to think about )
And there in lies the problem with the definition of "taking up space".

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#81 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 10:25 PM
 
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I guess people were saying that it gets really fuzzy when things get subatomic... but other people just jumped in on this with lots of other good points.
Can't talk mass, energy or particles without going subatomic! It's just not as fun.

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#82 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 10:26 PM
 
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certainly not as confusing

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#83 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 10:28 PM
 
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I teach my dds that some information presented to them by teachers is their own interpretation and opinion. We don't call a teacher out if they mark something wrong that isn't, etc. but if the teacher had called dd#1 wrong in front of the class I'd encourage dd to approach them and talk about it, if it bothered her.

We are getting a LOT of interesting teacher interpretation in 3rd grade earth science.
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#84 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 10:34 PM
 
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Here's my take on the situation. Your dd said the teacher said she was wrong in front of the whole class. What you don't know is the exact wording the teacher used. To a 6 year, "That's not right" is the same thing as "That's wrong".

The teacher may have been very tactful about it but your dd was upset because she was sooo sure she had the question right, only to find out she didn't, and now everyone knew she didn't have it right. So, in her emberassment, she probably didn't retain the exact wording but just focused on the fact she was wrong and then, when she was explaining it to you, said she was told she was wrong in front of the whole class. And if that's the way things went, your dd wasn't lying by any means, simply not giving the exact wording the teacher used, because she probably doesn't even remember. I don't think that's so unheard of for a 6 year old.

Heck, I even get upset sometimes and forget the exact words someone said, but I remember the general gist of what was said. In that situation, the general gist of what was said is "You're wrong". But we don't know exactly how it was said. And that's what makes the difference here.

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#85 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 10:37 PM
 
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Here's my take on the situation. Your dd said the teacher said she was wrong in front of the whole class. What you don't know is the exact wording the teacher used. To a 6 year, "That's not right" is the same thing as "That's wrong".

The teacher may have been very tactful about it but your dd was upset because she was sooo sure she had the question right, only to find out she didn't, and now everyone knew she didn't have it right. So, in her emberassment, she probably didn't retain the exact wording but just focused on the fact she was wrong and then, when she was explaining it to you, said she was told she was wrong in front of the whole class. And if that's the way things went, your dd wasn't lying by any means, simply not giving the exact wording the teacher used, because she probably doesn't even remember. I don't think that's so unheard of for a 6 year old.

Heck, I even get upset sometimes and forget the exact words someone said, but I remember the general gist of what was said. In that situation, the general gist of what was said is "You're wrong". But we don't know exactly how it was said. And that's what makes the difference here.

ITA. I don't personally think you need to get into a big debate about whether matter does or does not equal energy. BUT, I do think you should try to find out what was said/how DD is being corrected in class. "Good try, that's not quite right" can feel a lot like, "YOU'RE WRONG!!!!" to a sensative child (or adult ).

 

 

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#86 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 10:38 PM
 
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certainly not as confusing
Confusing makes it even more fun.

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#87 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 11:05 PM
 
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"Good try, that's not quite right"
But this still isn't the "right" answer. A correct answer from the teacher could have been: "the exact relationship between matter and energy isn't fully understood"; "I'd like to keep things simple, and not get into quantom theory"; "We are aiming for a practical everyday definition"; "Would you like to write to the physics dept at the local university to see if they can explain this better?"

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#88 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 11:09 PM
 
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A couple points.

You seem to be under the impression that scientists cannot (yet) convert matter into energy. They can and have. That is precisely how an atomic bomb works -- a tiny bit of matter (we're talking atomic size here) is converted into a tremendous amount of energy.

As an aside - I would be interested to know where light would fall in your dichotomy - it isn't matter, but we can see it. Or is light considered to be matter now? (No snark intended - I honestly don't know the most current thinking on the nature of light - I seem to remember something about photons, but do photons have mass..... Interesting to think about )
Strictly speaking, matter is not converted into energy during nuclear fusion, it's released. Energy is stored in matter, and nuclear reaction is a release of that energy. When the nucleus of certain elements is "broken" the energy is released, it's not "created" or "converted". Electricity is the energy of moving electrons, but the it doesn't make electrons into "energy", their movement creates it, but they are not "it".

Eepster,

I just wanted to say that you are referring to photons in your post as if they have mass, and I wanted to clarify that photons (the particles of light=energy) have no mass. I would think that MusicDad would back me up at least on this one.

http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/as...rs/960731.html

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#89 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 11:27 PM
 
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And there in lies the problem with the definition of "taking up space".
not quite. To be classified as matter it has to satisfy both parameters, since photons don't, they don't fit the definition of matter.

While there is no denying that photons are the most interesting phenomenon, they still can't be classified as matter. Regardless of anything else that they are, they are not matter because they have no mass. "If the glove doesn't fit..."

Still no confusion.

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#90 of 129 Old 09-17-2008, 11:37 PM
 
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in this discussion of what is and is not and photons and writing the physics department, etc. Lets remember, this is a 2nd grade science class, not a gifted class, not an enrichment program at a science center, etc. the teacher was probably looking for Solid, liquid, gas (if I remember correctly plasma is not introduced at this age) they will look at the difference between a physical and chemical change, discuss that it has mass and takes up space.
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