Author Topic: Question about childrens school projects.  (Read 4024 times)

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GreenEyedHawk

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #45 on: January 17, 2013, 10:22:41 PM »
The only help my parents provided was to use tools I couldn't at whatever age, like a utility knife, hot glue gun, whatever.  Also my mom provided proofreading services, though she only pointed my errors out, leaving it to me to figure it out and get it right.


And the ability to figure stuff out is an invaluable skill in life.
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CakeEater

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #46 on: January 18, 2013, 04:50:48 AM »
I taught 10-12 year-olds for 9 years, and in that time, my opinion about this changed. I originally got quite annoyed when i could see that parents had done a lot of the work, and I even went as far as banning kids from taking work home.

However, my thoughts are that school work, and homework, are for the kids to learn stuff. (See my amazing educational philosophy?)

If a parent helping a child write a title on their posterboard helps the child learn how to do that for next time, then great. That's the kind of one-on-one help that I don't have time for in the classroom, and that some kids lack talent for, and need extra help with. Same goes for learning spelling words or multiplication tables, or writing sentences or whatever.

If the parent is doing that every time, then their child isn't learning that skill, and honestly, that's the parent's and the kid's problem in the long run, not mine.

Grades in primary school are for the purpose of letting parents know how kids are going, ultimately. If the parents are doing all the work for their kids on homework or assignments, then they already know how the kids are going, and the grades are pointless anyway.

I'm now tutoring a secondary student in English. I help him structure his assignments, suggest sentence re-writes, and proofread. I help less and less with each assignment, though, because through the discussions we have about why things need to be structured in a certain way, or why this word is better than that word, he's learning to do it himself. I consider that assistance an extension of what his teacher is doing, but doesn't have time for during class.

I see no point in letting kids struggle through assignments they don't understand, when some assistance could help them learn the process for next time. Just doing the whole thing every time, however, does the child a disservice.



jaxsue

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #47 on: January 18, 2013, 06:59:32 AM »
Having taught kids who were in an inner city environment, many with single oarents or raised by people other than parents I can verify that there are a whole lot of kids doing all their work, inludinding projects with no help from any adults outside of school. Now I don't know how many kids in your son's class get no help, how many get minimal help, how many get dome help, how many get a lot of help and how many kids only sign their names.

If you are writing his title and decorating his posterboard it sounds to me like you are venthring into the "too much" territory.

I have to agree with the last sentence.

artk2002

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #48 on: January 18, 2013, 08:19:44 AM »
I would agree that at  12ish a parent shouldn't be writing things out. Maybe being there to consult on spacing but he can print, use the computet, etc. And habing taught that age - the teacher knows what his handwriting looks like so a title in somebody else's writing, while pretty, is not impressive.

Oh, I'm sure the teacher could tell that DS didn't write  the title and I  don't expect her to be impressed.

I don't expect it to matter much though, since all of the actual science stuff was done by DS. He will be able to explain everything thoroughly, so that will show that he knows his stuff.

I also don't see much of a difference between a computer printing out the title and me writing it.

It's subtle, but if I saw a parent's handwriting on a project, I'd be wondering how much else they did. While the parent could have done the computer-printed titles, at least with that I don't have in-your-face evidence of parental participation.
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siamesecat2965

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #49 on: January 18, 2013, 08:49:01 AM »
I'm 47 so my memory is a bit fuzzy, but I don't recall my parents ever helping me all that much on any project I had to do. They might have watched me do it, and perhaps made a suggestion here and there, but ultimately, it was all done by me. And it showed! 

i do recall my projects, especially dioramas which were big when I was in school, always looked like someone my age and ability had done them, and others were much nicer. I suspect those kids had more parental assistance than i did!

joraemi

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #50 on: January 18, 2013, 09:52:15 AM »
I currently have 14, 16, & 18 year olds.  Once they hit middle school (6th grade) they were pretty much on their own for projects except for things a PP poster mentioned like hot gluing and such - they still did it, but I supervised. The kids usually come to me for design input or suggestions on how to accomplish x, y, z, but then they are back to the drawing board on their own. They like it that way.  Also - I know that if they *do* come and ask me to help on a project it's becasue they really, truly, actually need some help, and then I offer it, but I don't do more than the "scut work" that others have mentioned...print off labels, glue 1000 of whatever down while they are gluing 5000 down, etc. My daughter's life sized tonsils costume is coming to mind...what a horrendous project...involved lots of sewing, which I helped out with...it was really a two person job - you had to have one person holding things while the other sewed, etc, so I *do* help out in those instances. If your project looks terrible and you need me to hold something while you glue, I'm going to hold your terrible looking project because its yours, not mine.  kwim? I dont' fix it - I might offer suggestions, but ultimately it's up to them. IF they get a bad grade then they learn they need to start earlier/plan better/whatever next time.

It's case by case basis, really, but I'm never doing the work for them.  I would not have been lettering the poster board.  They can spend their own time doing that.

The large majority of time and effort must still come from them.  Afterall, nobody's giving me a grade or any credit at the end, are they?




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Seraphia

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #51 on: January 18, 2013, 11:15:20 AM »
The only projects I remember getting help on were a couple of science fair project ideas and an absolutely impossible shop class assignment.

The shop class assignment was to design and build a bridge. I worked on my bridge every day in class diligently, but with two days left, I had only finished one side. My teacher let me take it home, and my dad was horrified when he saw what I'd been working with - an exacto, white glue, and warped scrap. He took me out to his shop, cut some nice poplar rods off a spare piece of wood and helped me cut it into even pieces with the chop saw. (I was in seventh grade - too young to use a band saw on my own) Then he gave me the wood glue and some clamps - I was done in less than hour. But honestly? I think I learned more from Dad in that hour than I had in two weeks with an exacto and scrap.

In general though, my parents' helping was limited to driving, funding, pointing me to the supplies, and kicking my brothers off the computer when I needed to use it.
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drzim

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #52 on: January 18, 2013, 01:37:15 PM »
I will never forget my older DD's third grade experience.....and to this day I blame the teacher.

So, the class had to do dioramas for the book Charlotte's Web.  The assignment came home with a note which explicitly stated that the kids should do their own work.  Parents were to act as "guides" only.

My DD spent all weekend making figures of Wilbur, Charlotte, Templeton and geese out of clay.  She painted the box and set up the backgrounds.  The only thing I did was use a glue gun to put things specifically where she told me to put them.  When she was done, it was definitely not perfect or even, but it looked like the work of a 3rd grader.  It was also obvious that she had put a significant amount of effort into it.  She was very happy and proud of it.

She came home in tears that afternoon, because "everybody's dioramas looked so much better than hers".  When I visited the classroom and saw them on display, I was shocked.   Most of them used plastic animals or figurines that were store made, and many had buildings that were obviously from a model train shop.  One had LED lights that lit up. There was one that had a ferris wheel that actually moved! Even the ones that looked homemade were cut precisely and evenly. Anyone could see that these were not the work of the kids but their parents.

And yes, these kids got A's on their projects.  My DD got a B.  So much for doing your own work......thanks for the message teacher!


Nikko-chan

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #53 on: January 18, 2013, 02:00:15 PM »
My mom always did my work for me... because she couldn't deal with the fact that I couldn't paint inside the lines, or glue things properly, or whatever the case may be. I never ever-- well hardly ever-- got to work on a project on my own.

Amava

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #54 on: January 18, 2013, 02:13:38 PM »
I will never forget my older DD's third grade experience.....and to this day I blame the teacher.

So, the class had to do dioramas for the book Charlotte's Web.  The assignment came home with a note which explicitly stated that the kids should do their own work.  Parents were to act as "guides" only.

My DD spent all weekend making figures of Wilbur, Charlotte, Templeton and geese out of clay.  She painted the box and set up the backgrounds.  The only thing I did was use a glue gun to put things specifically where she told me to put them.  When she was done, it was definitely not perfect or even, but it looked like the work of a 3rd grader.  It was also obvious that she had put a significant amount of effort into it.  She was very happy and proud of it.

She came home in tears that afternoon, because "everybody's dioramas looked so much better than hers".  When I visited the classroom and saw them on display, I was shocked.   Most of them used plastic animals or figurines that were store made, and many had buildings that were obviously from a model train shop.  One had LED lights that lit up. There was one that had a ferris wheel that actually moved! Even the ones that looked homemade were cut precisely and evenly. Anyone could see that these were not the work of the kids but their parents.

And yes, these kids got A's on their projects.  My DD got a B.  So much for doing your own work......thanks for the message teacher!

I believe my heart just broke a little bit.  :'(
That's got to be one of the saddest things I have read on here in a while. (Probably because it really hits home, having been a teacher who values creativity very highly.)
Sad for your child but for the other children too, because you know what they learn from the fact that their parents do it all for them? That their own work would be inadequate if they tried. :(

magicdomino

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #55 on: January 18, 2013, 04:14:25 PM »
I will never forget my older DD's third grade experience.....and to this day I blame the teacher.

So, the class had to do dioramas for the book Charlotte's Web.  The assignment came home with a note which explicitly stated that the kids should do their own work.  Parents were to act as "guides" only.

My DD spent all weekend making figures of Wilbur, Charlotte, Templeton and geese out of clay.  She painted the box and set up the backgrounds.  The only thing I did was use a glue gun to put things specifically where she told me to put them.  When she was done, it was definitely not perfect or even, but it looked like the work of a 3rd grader.  It was also obvious that she had put a significant amount of effort into it.  She was very happy and proud of it.

She came home in tears that afternoon, because "everybody's dioramas looked so much better than hers".  When I visited the classroom and saw them on display, I was shocked.   Most of them used plastic animals or figurines that were store made, and many had buildings that were obviously from a model train shop.  One had LED lights that lit up. There was one that had a ferris wheel that actually moved! Even the ones that looked homemade were cut precisely and evenly. Anyone could see that these were not the work of the kids but their parents.

And yes, these kids got A's on their projects.  My DD got a B.  So much for doing your own work......thanks for the message teacher!

You know, I could forgive the store-bought animals -- it makes sense to borrow the Fischer-Price farm animals, or buy a bag of animals from the dollar store.  I could forgive the train set building because it was probably already around the house.  But led lights and and working ferris wheel?  No third grader did that wiring.  I understand only too well how your daughter feels.  I was going to say that she should have gotten extra credit for making her own props, but am afraid that the B may already reflect that.   :(

CakeEater

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #56 on: January 18, 2013, 06:12:45 PM »
I will never forget my older DD's third grade experience.....and to this day I blame the teacher.

So, the class had to do dioramas for the book Charlotte's Web.  The assignment came home with a note which explicitly stated that the kids should do their own work.  Parents were to act as "guides" only.

My DD spent all weekend making figures of Wilbur, Charlotte, Templeton and geese out of clay.  She painted the box and set up the backgrounds.  The only thing I did was use a glue gun to put things specifically where she told me to put them.  When she was done, it was definitely not perfect or even, but it looked like the work of a 3rd grader.  It was also obvious that she had put a significant amount of effort into it.  She was very happy and proud of it.

She came home in tears that afternoon, because "everybody's dioramas looked so much better than hers".  When I visited the classroom and saw them on display, I was shocked.   Most of them used plastic animals or figurines that were store made, and many had buildings that were obviously from a model train shop.  One had LED lights that lit up. There was one that had a ferris wheel that actually moved! Even the ones that looked homemade were cut precisely and evenly. Anyone could see that these were not the work of the kids but their parents.

And yes, these kids got A's on their projects.  My DD got a B.  So much for doing your own work......thanks for the message teacher!

You know, I could forgive the store-bought animals -- it makes sense to borrow the Fischer-Price farm animals, or buy a bag of animals from the dollar store.  I could forgive the train set building because it was probably already around the house.  But led lights and and working ferris wheel?  No third grader did that wiring.  I understand only too well how your daughter feels.  I was going to say that she should have gotten extra credit for making her own props, but am afraid that the B may already reflect that.   :(

You know, the teacher had put herself into a difficult position, because having explained that parents should act as guides only, what is she to do? Give the kids a bad mark whose parents made their project? How does she decide which kids that applies to? What if there is a freakishly gifted third grader who did manage to do mos of theirs themselves, and are accused of cheating? Or more likely, parent comes in and tears strips from teacher, swearing that their child did do the work, and has been accused of cheating.

I mean, obviously, it's usually perfectly obvious which ones were done by parents, but there have been people in this thread who have said that their handwriting was excellent and would have been mistaken for an adult's.

Plus, if there's nothing written in the project criteria that lays out the consequences for a parent having done the work, then how can the teacher justify giving a bad mark for an excellent project, especially if the parent does swear that the child did it?

I think the teacher was to blame for not setting out the criteria of the project well enough/allowing the work to go home/allowing the kids to know each other's grades.

All that said, drzim, it's still awful that your DD had that experience.

Sharnita

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #57 on: January 18, 2013, 07:46:37 PM »
I once assigned  a report to my students.  One kid got a failing grade on his.  Mom was indignant and demanded to know why.  I explained that he hadn't written it - the web address from where he printed it was at the top of the page was clearly visible when he turned it in.  His mom responded that he had to done it himself - he found it online and printed it without any help from her.  I was kind of at a loss from that point on.

GreenEyedHawk

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #58 on: January 18, 2013, 07:49:39 PM »
I once assigned  a report to my students.  One kid got a failing grade on his.  Mom was indignant and demanded to know why.  I explained that he hadn't written it - the web address from where he printed it was at the top of the page was clearly visible when he turned it in.  His mom responded that he had to done it himself - he found it online and printed it without any help from her.  I was kind of at a loss from that point on.

*headdesk*
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Slartibartfast

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Re: Question about childrens school projects.
« Reply #59 on: January 18, 2013, 08:09:09 PM »
I once assigned  a report to my students.  One kid got a failing grade on his.  Mom was indignant and demanded to know why.  I explained that he hadn't written it - the web address from where he printed it was at the top of the page was clearly visible when he turned it in.  His mom responded that he had to done it himself - he found it online and printed it without any help from her.  I was kind of at a loss from that point on.

I saw this all the time when I was at my little rural library.  Some of the kids at least copy and pasted the web page into Word, but some left the hyperlinks in and the web address in the header and footer.  It was always the same kids, which makes me think the teachers never called them on it  :-\