Help!, Weird History question

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by yarnwoman, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. yarnwoman

    yarnwoman Cohort

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    Feb 2, 2009

    O.K., I am new to 8th grade this year. I have a Prentice Hall book titled The History of the United States. I am beginning a unit on the Frontier. The books test for this section has the following question:

    Thinking Critically: Which of the following is not an example of sample reasoning? Write your answer on a seperate sheet of paper and support your answer with a paragraph explaining why you chose it.
    a. William Larimer was born adn raised in Pennsylvania.
    b. Very few miners got rich in the Cherry Creek gold rush.
    c. The mining towns were wild, but they were not without law.
    d. To survive and raise a family on the Great Plains, a woman had to be many things.

    So how do you answer a question like this?????
    Thanks for your help.
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 2, 2009

    You're probably thinking that this question has to be about the frontier. It doesn't, and I'm pretty sure it isn't: this is about getting kids to think about how the study of history works.

    So think about what the word sample means. In terms of history, how could sample make sense? Does it make sense to talk about a sample that consists of one? Now look at the possible answers. You should find - since this is a "not" question - that three of the answers fit some feature of the meaning of sample and one doesn't.

    That's a fairly useful way to approach questions of this kind.
     
  4. yarnwoman

    yarnwoman Cohort

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    Feb 2, 2009

    TeacherGroupie,
    Thank you, That helps a lot!!! You are a lifesaver!
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    My pleasure, yarnwoman.
     
  6. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Another reason I wouldn't ever use a book test...
     
  7. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    Frankly, I'd think about whether "sample reasoning" is something my kids have to know before bothering with this question...

    But what I'm thinking is that maybe the question followed some story about a typical frontier life, and sample reasoning might involve making inferences about frontier life in general (e.g.) based on the sample. I guess this based on the answer choices, because A seems different since it is a fact about a specific person, whereas the others appear to be generalizations that one could make based on a sample.

    (Is there an answer guide? Is that it?)
     
  8. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Feb 3, 2009

    It could also be pointed out that one of these is not reasoning at all.
     
  9. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    NONE of them immediately appear to demonstrate any kind of reasoning. You'd need more background to know.
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Perhaps, but I rather think not.
     
  11. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    Huh? Where did TG say it's C?
    OK, Yarn, we need the answer key! What was it?!
     
  12. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    That's why I deleted Bored. I read both the question and the replies wrong...
     
  13. yarnwoman

    yarnwoman Cohort

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    Feb 3, 2009

    Ok, The question was in a book test listed immediately after the multiple choice questions. That's where it confused me. The correct answer according to the answer book is "A"

    I am going to do what I have done with every other test so far and write my own test. I cannot use alot of the support material as I work at a Classical Education Prep School and the book I have for 8th grade is a high school level textbook that includes AP questions. I do however look at what the book has for questions out of curiosity.

    Thank you for all your responses.
     
  14. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Thank God. At first I thought you had every intention of using that test, I saved you the lecture, lol. If you need any help with test questions be sure to let us know!
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    "A" makes sense, yes.
     
  16. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    Honestly now: How many of you are patting yourselves on the back right now for getting the right answer to an 8th grade quiz? :D
     
  17. sciencewrestler

    sciencewrestler Rookie

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    Feb 6, 2009

    You know, I have never heard of "sample reasoning". Is this some new learning technique?
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Likelier that it's getting kids to reason about what "sample reasoning" could plausibly mean, given the field and the context. Sampling, as for opinion polls, can certainly be taught about under the cover of one or another of the social sciences.
     
  19. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    I think it's probably just the vocabulary of the company who produced the quiz. I've seen different books use all kinds of terms for the same ideas, and I've seen teachers get caught up in trying to teach it all according to that year's book... unless it's something districtwide that will show up in high-stakes tests, I wouldn't bother with it at all.

    TG, I highly doubt that an 8th-grade question would be so sneaky as to use this style to get kids to think about what it could mean.
     
  20. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Well, yarnwoman did say in post 12 that the book in question is a high school book. It's possible that the terminology is specific to the textbook company - but all the more reason to teach, not the term, but the knack of reasoning out what the term is likeliest to mean. One can dismiss this as merely a test skill, though in fact I think it shows a learned ability to sort through data and find patterns.

    Then again, that's how my mind works.
     
  21. Lindsay.Lou

    Lindsay.Lou Companion

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    Feb 6, 2009

    I've never used a book test, either. My students would be failing miserably if I did. Their questions are worded so strange. Also, they try to intentionally *trick* students into picking certain answers. I hate them! :down:
    I spend sooooo much time developing test questions.
     
  22. yarnwoman

    yarnwoman Cohort

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    I am not sure whether it is old or new.
    This is the book we use (Text: Boorstin, Daniel & Kelley, Brooks Mather. A History of the United States. New York: Prentice Hall, 1996; 2000.)
     
  23. sciencewrestler

    sciencewrestler Rookie

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    ^ thanks yarnwoman!
     
  24. Doug_HSTeach_07

    Doug_HSTeach_07 Comrade

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    Feb 8, 2009

    Good for you. I do the same thing too, and it's worth the time and effort that you spend. I don't want some outside third party- who has no idea what my classroom is all about - being one of the main assessers of my kids! No, I know what they've learned, so I'll go and make a fair test with no trick questions...it's more personal that way.
     
  25. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Feb 9, 2009

    YAY! And guess what if you use a book test ENTIRELY without any addition, you are LAZY. Yup, I said it lazy. (Well unless you are forced to do so.) At no time should the textbook based tests reflect 100% of your course so therefore why should it reflect 100% of your assessments.
     

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