Saturday, September 17, 2011

Find 3 Things Wrong With This Picture, Part 1

From "My Second Grade Reading Records", sent home with Younger Daughter:


OK, I'll go first.

1.)  Giving rewards for an activity that should be enjoyed for its own sake is demotivating.

2.)  The rewards listed are trivial.  It's downright insulting to ask a group of kids to read 250 books just to get a sticker.

3.)  Giving a "No Homework Coupon" as a prize is a terrific way to cause all kids to hate homework and perceive it as pointless, even if they previously liked it.

12 comments:

  1. 4. Emphasizing competition and quantity encourages kids to read quickly and unthoughtfully, and defeats the whole point of book-reading.

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  3. Is recess something we give the kids because it's good for them? If so, why should how much recess they get depend on whether they've read enough books (or on whether they're misbehaving in class, or on whether they've done their homework, etc.)?

    Or is it just something we give them so we can threaten to take it away if they don't do as we say?

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  4. I hate things like this. Why should kids take on longer, more challenging books if they can just easy books and pile on the rewards? Although as you pointed out, the rewards are trivial and may not be much of a motivator anyway.

    I wonder if each child's individual book count is displayed or mentioned in any way? That'd be a good way to make a slow reader feel like crap.

    Finally, like you said, when you give a reward for reading, it sends the message to kids that reading isn't something enjoyable. It's the same reason why you're not supposed make dessert dependent on whether she's finished her veggies.

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  5. Oh, and since when is it OK to use two exclamation points? It really irks me when I see teachers repeatedly making grammar/spelling/punctuation mistakes in the information they give students.

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  6. Suburban Chicken FarmerSeptember 17, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    Were you mathematicians pondering the time spent per book to achieve 3500 books and somehow missed this glaring shot in the foot?

    "Choose personal spaces for the day." Does the teacher think she chooses the students' personal spaces normally?



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_space

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  7. They are doing dorky stuff like this in the middle school here, too. Elf uses his time to read Calvin and Hobbes comics. That is a book... I guess...

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  8. @Suburban Chicken Farmer, I have no idea what "choose personal spaces for the day" means. Do the kids get to switch desks, maybe?

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  9. So true. My 5th grade class has already finished 160+ books in first 4 wks of school. No reward necessary. They love to read and I love to let them!

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  10. Megan says:

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    That'd be a good way to make a slow reader feel like crap.
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    Megan, good point. I have two kids: one was quick to learn to read, the other is struggling. Neither one is well served by projects like this.

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  11. So funny! But, if that is actually what you got home from your child, that is really sad...

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