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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My fifth grade dd's English class worked for what seemed like months on a class newsletter. Each student interviewed a different teacher at the school and then they spent ages editing their pieces. The finalized product came home today and I'm horrified with the sloppy grammar, the spelling mistakes, and the akward sentences. This is a class for above-grade level readers. I'd share some of the work with you, but it's probably inethical to put a child's work on the internet without her permission. So you'll have to take my word for the fact that these mistakes are inexcusable for fifth graders who supposedly edited these pieces <i>under a teacher's supervision.</i><br><br>
I read dd's piece, which I helped her to edit, and grammar mistakes snuck into it that I know were not there when I was finished with it. One example from dd's piece:<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">To heads are better than one. <snip> Mr. B thinks that his teaching position is very good and that it ever be the best.</td>
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??? <i>How</i> could a teacher allow that?<br><br>
My second grade dd also came home with a student-produced newsletter that was rife with spelling and grammar mistakes. Perhaps these are more excusable in second graders, but the newsletter came home with a note from the teacher explaining that they'd spent a lot of time editing their work. I know that when I was in school--even in first grade--we were expected to correct any and all spelling and grammar errors, no matter how small.<br><br>
And my sixth grade ds got into a bit of an arguement with his social studies teacher regarding their end-of-year project. This teacher insists that a *poster* or other visual presentation on a student's chosen subject is better than a written report. Why? Because making a poster or drawing pictures "encourages creativity." This sounds like classic education-school bullsh*t to me. Ds *prefers* to produce a written paper on his topic and his teacher is giving him grief about it? This is inconceivable to me. His topic is the origins of World War I--and the teacher thinks a <i>poster</i> will be sufficient?<br><br>
Children need to learn how to write and they need to learn how to write eloquently. I'm going to create a summer writing boot camp for my dd in which I'll be ruthless in my criticisms. She won't like it, but she'll be better off in the long run. I still inwardly thank one of my high school English teachers whose criticisms made me temporarily sulky, but eventually a better writer.
 

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I have gotten notes home from teachers that had words spelled wrong and grammatical errors. Not that I am a spelling snob, but it seems like the teachers should be able to spell!<br><br>
I wonder if the point of the poster was just to teach the children to work in another modality than writing. Some kids get really comfortaable in one presentation style, and it can help to push them outside their comfort zone to figure out how to present the material in a different way.<br><br>
At least your child's newsletter came out! My ds third grade worked for weeks on a newspaper, and then the teacher just kind of abandoned the project and it was never produced. My ds was very disappointed, as he had created some nice little cartoons for it.
 

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I know teachers I respect and are smart and all...<br><br>
But, education majors have the LOWEST SAT scores of any major in college. Pitiful. My MIL is great, but she will call DH on his cell phone to get the *right* answer to a math question (and has given the wrong info before) for her 5th grade class.
 

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Perhaps the teacher should have been a little more creative and given students choices of how to present the material. I always had at least 3 completely different options for a final project and left the option for student proposals open.<br><br>
In regards to the newsletter: copying it is publishing it. That format implies that others will read it and should have been (almost) perfect. It is frustrating that communication is not emphasized more. I am by no means traditional, but by the end of elementary school, I think students should "know" how to read, write, perform computations, communicate, and problem solve.
 

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I might be upset about the 5th grade newsletter.<br><br>
But I think a 2nd grade newsletter with spelling errors in it is actually a good sign! It shows that the children did the bulk of the work themselves. It shows that they were expressing themselves freely, and inventively, and not being limited by their inability to spell "conventionally." I would treasure it.<br><br>
Regarding the poster, I think that creating a poster presentation is a very valuable skill to practise. Kids should be able to write papers and create poster presentations.
 

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I agree that if there were no spelling or grammar errors in a 2nd grader's writing, it would indicate that the teacher had gone through and fixed all the problems. Second graders are still in the throes of learning the writing process, and have yet to acquire editing skills.
 

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TiredX2 said:
I know teachers I respect and are smart and all...<br><br>
But, education majors have the LOWEST SAT scores of any major in college. Pitiful.
<br><br>
Teachers also have the highest percentage of voluntary graduate degrees of any profession.<br><br>
You would most likely be angry if any teacher judged your child's intelligence on the basis of one test they took.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">You would most likely be angry if any teacher judged your child's intelligence on the basis of one test they took.</td>
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Yup. But they do all the time. I know they did with me. Honestly, I think teachers aren't given enough leeway--- they are supposed to be the professionals, though.<br><br>
My statement remains---- many teachers are fearfully *under* educated. Because of the low pay teaching not only draws those who really want to give back to their community and love children, but those who don't know what else to do, who want a job that fits around their kids schedules, etc... I think increasing teachers pay and status, not ignoring the current status of teaching candidates, is the way to go.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>TiredX2</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Yup. But they do all the time. I know they did with me. Honestly, I think teachers aren't given enough leeway--- they are supposed to be the professionals, though.<br><br>
My statement remains---- many teachers are fearfully *under* educated. Because of the low pay teaching not only draws those who really want to give back to their community and love children, but those who don't know what else to do, who want a job that fits around their kids schedules, etc... I think increasing teachers pay and status, not ignoring the current status of teaching candidates, is the way to go.</div>
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Ah, but yet you're willing to do the very thing you would be mad at?<br><br>
And there's a BIG difference between saying someone isn't intelligent and someone is undereducated.
 

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daylily,<br><br>
Ok, this is funny (given the thread topic). I hope you do not get too upset to find out inethical is not a word. I think you were thinking of unethical.<br><br>
As a teacher, I have run into both brilliant, creative professionals and some not-so-smart individuals. I understand the creative writing process and I agree with most of it. The idea that grammar is learned through reading is true of many children. However, it does not work for all. So, I think parents do need to fill in where teachers leave off.<br><br>
Good luck this summer,<br>
Laura
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
LOL, Laurajean--the whole time I was typing the OP, I was worried that I might make a spelling/grammar mistake! I'm not upset--I kind of suspected that "inethical" was incorrect, but was too lazy to go get my dictionary and check.<br><br>
Tired--I agree with you. I mean, as reader said, it's not fair to judge someone's intelligence based on one test score, but OTOH, when you major in education, you waste valuable time in classes about education rather than in content classes--math, english, science etc, and so are less equipped to teach. In my perfect world, there would be no such thing as an undergrad degree in education. Would-be teachers would be required to major in English, Math, History, Bio--basically any academic subject of their choosing and upon completion of a Bachelor's degree, get a master's degree in education in which the bulk of classes are still content classes, <i>not</i> education classes.<br><br>
I think creativity is important, but in <i>sixth</i> grade, the end-of-year research project should involve more than just drawing some pictures on a piece of posterboard. These kids are just two years away from high school--they should be writing.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>daylily</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
OTOH, when you major in education, you waste valuable time in classes about education rather than in content classes--math, english, science etc, and so are less equipped to teach. In my perfect world, there would be no such thing as an undergrad degree in education. Would-be teachers would be required to major in English, Math, History, Bio--basically any academic subject of their choosing and upon completion of a Bachelor's degree, get a master's degree in education in which the bulk of classes are still content classes, <i>not</i> education classes.<br></div>
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This is actually the requirement most states have now.<br><br>
And this is also what you get in a college learning environment. My DH is a college professor, and most haven't the foggiest notion about how to present material. They spend the entire time standing in front of the class lecturing.
 

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reader said:
TiredX2 said:
<br>
Teachers also have the highest percentage of voluntary graduate degrees of any profession.<br>
<br><br>
But in almost all districts, teachers' salaries are directly linked to the amount of graduate eduaction they have, so taking some classes means an instant pay raise. That's a pretty strong motivator.<br><br>
I have a B.A.E. and also took some grad-level ed classes. They were a joke, really, compared to non-ed classes.<br><br>
To get into my teacher training program, there was a minimum ACT score required, maybe 18? on a test that goes to 36. Somewhere just under the 50th percentile... but if you didn't score that "high", all you had to do was take a 1-credit remedial skills class...<br><br>
During my interships and observations, I saw teacher after teacher making errors in simple arithmetic or spelling... and when the students questioned them on the errors, not one ever admitted to being wrong.<br><br>
I do know some great teachers, but they're in the minority. I also think that smart, well-educated teachers manage to share so much more knowledge with their students than most, because they can add their own information to the given curriculum materials.<br><br>
dar
 

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Dear Daylily,<br><br>
ITA!<br><br>
In my school we stress that all errors need to be corrected. We are sure to teach the children to use the dictionary and force them to correct their errors. Everybody needs to learn this.<br><br>
I worked at a Motel 6 with girl who had just "graduated" from High School. I would not have graduated them. The inter departmental memos were illegible (even with spell check) and they were flagrant in writing them. We simply could not communicate with each other. Most of these girls went up the corporate ladder, so I often wonder who is running a company like that.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I think parents do need to fill in where teachers leave off.</td>
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ITA....<br><br>
...except that the LEGAL responsiblility for educating your children actually belongs to the schools....<br><br>
...who have dropped the ball, which is why homeschooling is so popular these days.<br><br>
I found this out when I had trouble making sure my oldest DS could read. He was struggling so much! His teacher said "...yes, he is low, but not so low we can put him into the resource program." (There are also quotas for these programs) I hired a private (very experienced) tutor for him and still he struggled.<br><br>
And year after year he was passed on.<br><br>
I would complain, and I got fingers pointed at me. "Aren't you his MOTHER? Don't you make sure he does his homework?"<br><br>
Then I enrolled in education classes at the local University. I discovered that it is the legal responsibility of the schools to educate your child! MMMMM...<br><br>
I scheduled my son's tutoring sessions to be during school time...that way, since he was out of school NOT for an illness, the school district did not get reimbursed for him.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> At the time, they were losing $ (It does not work this way any longer)<br><br>
I sent a letter demanding an IEP and I was asked to put it off....NO WAY!, I said.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbsup"> He was in the resource program very soon.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/clap.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="clap"><br><br>
I also retained him a year which paid off in ways I did not imagine<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod">...he was closer to his younger brother with whom he always got along<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">; he graduated from high school two years early<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">, and went to community college<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">. Then he went into the military <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> Oh, well, cannot have everything...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"><br><br>
Anyway, Daylily, did you ever take those concerns to the principal? Afterall, this is her school and the teachers are hired by her.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I think creativity is important, but in <i>sixth</i> grade, the end-of-year research project should involve more than just drawing some pictures on a piece of posterboard. These kids are just two years away from high school--they should be writing.</td>
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ITA,<br><br>
Perhaps your son could make an outline of the causes of the war...<br><br>
...Or a diagram of the events/sequencing of the war...<br><br>
...Or draw a map of the most important battles of the war...<br><br>
...He could have one side of the board the Northern stance, strategy, economics, politics, etc. and on the other side, have the Southern complement....<br><br>
He could have hidden pages or pockets in strategic places on the poster board.<br><br>
He could fill up that board so full that she will wish she asked him for a paper!<br><br>
In my Special Education class, our project was to read a book and do a presentation on it - a couple of people did posters, and two people actually did a piece of pottery! This is a university graduate class, honestly! For this project, I read <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Karen</span>, by Marie Killilea, a true story of a child born with cerebral palsy; I made a poster of the progress and prognosis of the disease, in the 1950's and now. A bit more complicated than pottery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Those are great ideas, Applejuice! Alas, the project is due today. But I asked the teacher if I could observe her class today--I'm really curious about how these presentations are going to go.<br><br>
As for telling the principal--I really hesitate to do that. I don't want to get this teacher in trouble. I did address this issue with him in a general way, during one of his "principal's chats"--parents are invited to come to school a few evenings during the school year and ask the principal about anything. It's a great idea, especially b/c usually only about 5 parents (in a school of 600 kids) show up, so you really get the principal's undivided attention.<br><br>
Anyway, I asked him about the "interactive notebooks" that this social studies teacher and some of ds' other teachers have embraced. Kids are supposed to draw lots of pictures, use different colored ink, etc. I felt the notebooks were gimmicky and didn't encourage *written* expression, but the principal thinks they're the greatest thing since sliced bread.<br><br>
Writing is difficult--you need to organize your thoughts and put them on paper in a way that others can understand you. Good writing is concrete proof of a well-organized mind. It's a skill that requires discipline and a lot of practice, so I get irritated when children are discouraged from practicing this vital skill and are instead told to use the easier communication method of presenting ideas as pictures or symbols.
 

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Anyone concerned about these issues maight be interested in reading Jane Healey's book "Endangered Minds" A fascinating and very well written study encompasssing a lot of the issues raised here - dumbing down, falling reading and writing levels, use of pictures and gestures instead of language - and much, much, more!!! I am an educator and I highly recommend this book to all educators, parents, concerned citizens...
 

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take a look at the old 8th grade education vs what kids learn now -<br>
this is part of why we homeschool in my home.<br><br><br>
This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina , KS , USA. It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina , KS , and reprinted by the Salina Journal.<br><br>
8th Grade Final Exam: Salina , KS -1895<br>
********************************<br>
Grammar (Time, one hour)<br>
1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.<br>
2. Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no Modifications.<br>
3. Define Verse, Stanza and Paragraph.<br>
4. What are the Principal Parts of a verb? Give Principal Parts of lie, play, and run.<br>
5. Define Case, Illustrate each Case.<br>
6. What is Punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of Punctuation.<br>
7 - 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.<br>
****************************************<br>
Arithmetic (Time, 1.25 hours)<br>
1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.<br>
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?<br>
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1050 lbs. for tare?<br>
4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month and have $104 for incidentals?<br>
5. Find cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.<br>
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.<br>
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $20 per metre?<br>
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.<br>
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance around which is 640 rods?<br>
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.<br>
**************************************** U. S. History (Time, 45 minutes)<br>
1. Give the epochs into which U. S. History is divided.<br>
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus<br>
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.<br>
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.<br>
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas<br>
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.<br>
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell , Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?<br>
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.<br>
****************************************<br>
Orthography (Time, one hour)<br>
1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?<br>
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?<br>
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?<br>
4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u.'<br>
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e.' Name two exceptions under each rule.<br>
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.<br>
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.<br>
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.<br>
9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.<br>
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.<br>
****************************************<br>
Geography (Time, one hour)<br>
1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?<br>
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ?<br>
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?<br>
4. Describe the mountains of North America<br>
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia , Odessa , Denver, Manitoba, Hecla , Yukon , St. Helena , Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco.<br>
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U. S.<br>
7. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.<br>
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?<br>
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.<br>
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.<br><br>
Also notice that the exam took six hours to complete. Gives the saying "He only had an 8th grade education" a whole new meaning, doesn't it?<br>
~unknown author~
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Wow, that was interesting, Vanna's mom. I had no idea what "fane" means, so I looked it up. It's archaic and it means temple or church.<br><br>
Kristi, I checked <i>Endangered Minds</i> out of the library, but never got a chance to read it. I'll have to get it out again.<br><br>
Ds got an A on his report, despite its being entirely written. It was interesting watching the presentations and one poster presentation was really excellent, but the girl who did it (actually it was a group of girls, but group projects are a rant for another day) but they had lots of written information stapled to poster board with pictures to illustrate. Another group did something similar, only with hand-drawn maps. But there was one boy who, reporting on gladiators, seemed unaware that Rome is in Italy.<br><br>
And, it was clear that one type of project that the teacher approved of was an "ABC Book" on a particular topic. Example: an ABC book on Napoleon--"A is for Ambitious, B is for Bold, etc." I don't think preparing an "ABC Book" really encourages a student to go into depth on his/her topic, even if you do write a few sentences after each word, explaining why you chose it.
 
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