Friday, March 25, 2011

Busy + Work ≠ Learning


  1. My pleasure -- Maybe it will catch on! I just wish I could have figured out how to make the "does not equal" sign in the comment . . .

  2. Chris, you need to Google "HTML entities".

    Or look here:

    HTML 4.0 Entities for Symbols and Greek Letters

    I ♥ entities!

  3. Wow -- those are great. Thanks!

  4. This worksheet is just so...typical. Virtually no educational value at all and so much potential for sucking up time.

    Here's how I would do it (because I'm a lazy SOB and intensely dislike rules): 5 lines of blue, three lines of red, one line of yellow, nine orange squares and a green--just enough to meet the requirement. It would take me two minutes.

    Here's how my kids would do it because they are both bright and perfectionists: a pattern of blue, and then count them, add some red, some yellow...recount. Decide they don't like the appearance, so see if the colored pencil can be erased and move some things around. Add more colors, recount. It would take 90 minutes.

  5. Here's how the smartest kid would do it: first, they would realise that the worksheet says "no more than 50 blue, 30 red etc." which implies that they can use less. Then they'd colour in only five squares, one of each colour.

    Really, it's closer to being a fine reading comprehension question than a math one!

  6. Hienuri, it is absolutely typical of this curriculum that the homework is more about reading comprehension than about math.

    Matthew, here's how it would work out in our household:

    Older Daughter (as fifth grader): put it off until bedtime, then spend a half-hour staring at the paper, then burst into tears.

    Older Daughter (today): put it off until bedtime, then exclaim "this is stupid!", then spend 10 minutes on it. She's learning!

    Younger Daughter: rip up the paper and throw the pencils at the cat.

    Mom: get completely steamed and fire off an e-mail to the teacher.

  7. @Hienuri Kayleuetski - well played! I didn't even think of leaving most of it white!

  8. PsychMom says:

    FedUpMom, you could create a post about kids' reaction to homework.

    My 9 year old would leave this in her backpack or her cubby at school, until the teacher says something to me about it needing to be done. Then it would come home, daughter would say, "I have to do my math homework, can you help me?"
    I get steam blowing out my ears while I say, "Sure, let's get it done"
    DD: I don't get it.
    PsychMom: Just write down what I tell you.
    DD: Thanks Mom.

    Before anyone says that all that is, is a cop out...believe me, far more occurs before we bolied down to the above exchange. Many tears have been shed, much cojoling, harassing and procrastination has gone on. The bottom line is that the expectation is all wrong and misplaced.

  9. PsychMom corrects herself:
    Boiled and cajoling.....not bolied and cojoling

  10. I award Hienuri's solution the Occam's razor prize for simplicity and elegance.

    Hienuri -- are you a mathematician, by any chance?

  11. No, I'm just a high school student who happens to enjoy math. I'm not sure what I want to be when I leave school- who knows, I might just become a mathematician.

  12. Epically done, Kayleuetski! Just goes to show that us kids and teens are smarter than some adults give us credit for. It's not so bad now that we're in our mid teens, but there must be some ten year olds out there that are so frustrated that they might actually complete the worksheet in that manner, then have to explain to the teacher why they filled it out like that, and probably get punished for being a smart-aleck.
    This is why we didn't enjoy primary school, 'Etski. They either treat us like incompetent fools, or they are incompetent fools.