A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. > Time For a Coffee Break!

Middle school-is this common?

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Zilla:

--- Quote from: WillyNilly on February 10, 2013, 10:53:20 AM ---I'm not sure we, or perhaps even you, are understanding the assignment.  I say that because of the way you had to drag the info even out of your kid.  Are you saying the teacher gave the kids 3 pages of info, each page on its own topic and they have to essentially rewrite one of the pages to say what they learned from reading the one page?  That sounds just bizarre.

--- End quote ---
Sorry, it wasn't so much dragging it out of kid, but she knew how absurd it was and was drawing out the drama of it. :)
And you are correct.  A topic question was given, 3 answers to choose from to answer that topic, and only a single sheet of paper of information was given on the chosen answer.  And without plagarizing, you have to write a paper from the answer's point of view without going outside the informational sheet.

Shoo:
This sounds very much like a project my daughter had in 6th grade (first year of middle school here).  The object was to teach the kids how to draw information out of something they've read.  The info they want and need is there, they just need to learn how to glean it and summarize it, figuring out what's important to answering the question and what isn't.

Zilla:

--- Quote from: Clareish on February 10, 2013, 10:54:49 AM ---Hey,

I would say that this is not abnormal. What you are looking for from this project appears to be different from the teacher's criteria. In middle school, an important skill that is being learned is the ability to take information and summarize in your own words. In essence, this is note-taking. Not all projects are research-based, this one appears to be skill-based.

If you are questioning the activity though, please contact the teacher, or better yet, ask your DD to go to their teacher after class to clarify. If possible, your DD might be able to add on a research option ON TOP of what was assigned for higher marks, but again, that just might not be the point.

--- End quote ---
They have their notebook graded monthly on note taking so that isn't an issue.   There is no reason to approach the teacher, she appears to be a very controlled teacher with a very specific criteria in mind.  I won't presume to try and change her.  But I do this it's absurd that all her projects/assignments are like that while the rest of her teachers encourage creativity and trust their ability to research their own information.  This just once again makes me shake my head at the shame of it.  We will always have teachers/bosses that are dry and boring, it's a life lesson of course.  But it's still a shame.  And all her assignments are like this.  Other parents remarked on her narrow constraints.  There is another social studies teacher for the same grade that teaches the "other" half of dd's grade.  And to see the work posted outside that teacher's doorway indicates a very different style of learning.  All the papers are different and interesting.  Then you read dd's class and it's all uniform and the same.
 
The rubiric is simply referencing 3 points of information found from the sheet and how it answers the topic question using the information from the sheet.  No personal thoughts, or opinions and anything referenced outside the sheet will be docked.  (Some kids quoted some famous quotes from the Alexander the Great last week and was docked points off for going off the sheet)

Zilla:

--- Quote from: Shoo on February 10, 2013, 11:38:16 AM ---This sounds very much like a project my daughter had in 6th grade (first year of middle school here).  The object was to teach the kids how to draw information out of something they've read.  The info they want and need is there, they just need to learn how to glean it and summarize it, figuring out what's important to answering the question and what isn't.

--- End quote ---
See I can understand this.  But this one is one topic question, 3 answers to that topic question and only using the information sheet on that specific answer.
 
To not give it away too much here is an example of a previous assignment:
Why was Alexander the Great considered a leader?
A. Because he was inspiring and charismatic B. Because he was ruthless and determined. C. Because he was a great general.
Then you were given papers per answer on what was known about him pertaning to that answer.

m2kbug:
The only thing I can think of is ease of grading for the teacher and proper fact checking since she knows the right answers.  I know in grade school when they did their animal projects, they could only choose from a few, and this was largely because the teacher knew the answers.  This was also in 4th grade or 3rd grade, so completely different age bracket.  It seems strange that these kids can't do their own research. 

I'm not entirely sure what middle school is.  We have junior high, which is 7th and 8th grade.  Is middle school 6th, 7th, and 8th?  Or is it 7th, 8th, and 9th?  For a 6th grader I can see more restrictions and monitoring because researching and summarizing a learning process and limiting the direction they go can help the teacher and help them learn these skills, but for a 9th grader, there should not be such a high level of restriction. 

Maybe on Monday you can call the teacher and ask.  I'd love to hear the reasoning behind this.   :)

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