What is the point of this?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by wvsasha, May 15, 2006.

  1. wvsasha

    wvsasha Companion

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    May 15, 2006

    Can someone tell me what the point of this project is that my 5th grade daughter's teacher has had them working on the last 2 weeks?

    Flower reports; copying information from an overhead transparency about 10 different wildflowers; copying a poem written about them; coloring a picture of each.

    That's it.

    Why couldn't they make their own pictures? Write their own poems? Research their own information? Plant some seeds of each and watch them grow?

    I hate make work projects.....and this smacks of one. Does anyone have any saving graces that I just don't see for it?
     
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  3. wig

    wig Devotee

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    May 15, 2006

    Well, it sounds like a lot of busy work to me, although they will probably learn from it. I think they would learn more doing the things you mentioned.
     
  4. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    May 15, 2006

    It sounds like busy work to me too. When do they get out for the summer?
     
  5. dolphinswim

    dolphinswim Companion

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    May 15, 2006

    I agree with you! They would learn a lot more if they researched their own 10 flowers, drew them for pictures they have seen, and made their own poem.

    I wish I could do that with my class but they are too young for that. I do have them colabratly make a silly nursery rhyme that I write on the board and we love to make our own poems together! They just appreciate and learn so much more if it is their idea and their own work! Sounds to me like someone (teacher) is just trying to pass some time!
     
  6. wvsasha

    wvsasha Companion

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    May 15, 2006

    ok - so it's not just me....we still have 3 more weeks until summer but this week is taken by state testing.

    I guess the part that really burns my butt is the days my daughter missed because of gifted, all she had to do was get someone else's and copy their information so she didn't even have a discussion or anything remotely meaningful to go with it.

    I would have been more than happy to help with this type of project - I plant flowers, wildflowers, etc and would love to have taken in clippings of bunches of different types.

    Thanks for the feedback - I just wanted to make sure I wasn't being over the top in my thoughts here.....;)
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    May 15, 2006

    Sounds like the teacher's already on vacation.
     
  8. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    May 15, 2006

     
  9. Pecas

    Pecas Companion

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    May 16, 2006

    The only positive thing I can see from this project is:

    By copying directly the students MAY retain some of the information better than just hearing it. The poem may help them remember the flower better later, and coloring the picture could help them remember the exact shape of the flowers, petals, leaves, etc. I probably would have had the students do something a little more fun, like the ideas that have been mentioned above.

    Not that I am advocating what the teacher is doing, just trying to see it from his/her point of view.
     
  10. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    May 16, 2006

    This is how I am...not as a teacher, but as a student. I need to write down information and copy it in order to retain it better. Not every child is gifted.

    Perhaps she is so busy with testing that she needed something that wasn't so time consumming for "her"? I think it's rather boring too, but if you really need to know the answer, ask her.
     
  11. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    May 18, 2006

    As has been stated, I could understand copying the poem and coloring the pictures... this appeals to visual learners...........I think she could have jazzed it up by adding some hands on work,but I don't think it's all busy work... I agree with asking her. No harm in that.
     
  12. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    May 18, 2006

    Oh, state testing. We normally don't teach any new concepts during testing week. Still, she should try and make it a little more interesting.
     
  13. MissV

    MissV Companion

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    May 18, 2006

    I fail to see the problem. We were told not to teach any new concepts during testing week. (What was needed to be taught should have already been taught anyway.)

    One teacher in 4th grade had her students do similar activities with Tennessee History. They colored pictures of our state birds, our flags, wrote out our national anthem, our state song. They copied poems written by native Tennesseeans, and drew a portrait of Daniel Boone. At the end of the week the teacher gave them all of their stuff back in cute little portfolios that they could keep and look back on. The kids were SO proud of them!

    It's the end of the year... Testing time to be exact. Your daughter's teacher is providing factual information for them to learn, modeling some high quality poetry, as well as providing a fun coloring activity that relates to the flowers they are learning about.

    There are a wide varieties of teaching methods and strategies, and just because an assignment doesn't include the same strategies *you* would use, doesn't mean that it's automatically a "busy work" assignment.

    Children learn in many different ways. It is hardly fair to exclude activities that certain children may excel at and have confidence in, because you feel that your child would like a different activity better.

    The fact remains that not all children (even the gifted children) are going to like doing *every* planned activty. That does not decrease the importance of such activites, or imply that the teacher is not looking out for the well being of her room of students.

    If you would like to do an enrichment project with your daughter, do it. In the meantime, quit berating your daughter's teacher, in front of your child, for doing her job. I find it offensive.
     
  14. MorahMe

    MorahMe Habitué

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    May 18, 2006

    Children may learn differently but ONLY copying words and coloring pictures? That's catering to only a few.
     
  15. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    May 18, 2006

    That is true, but if it is in fact the week of testing I can understand why such an assignment was given. We're testing today, tomorrow, and 3 days next week and my two Science classes did "plants" crossword puzzles today because they spent 3 hours this morning testing and I didn't want to introduce new material or get into a big assignment.
     
  16. MrsRich219

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    May 18, 2006

    As previously stated....I don't introduce new material during tesing either. The children are tired...sometimes even stressed and need little fun activities. I teach 4th grade and I know my students would have LOVED that activity as an afternoon cool down. No...she's not pushing them to their academic potential, but who wants to be after testing for 3 hours.
     
  17. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    May 18, 2006

    I think what also needs to be remembered is that it's nearly the end of the school year.
     
  18. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    May 18, 2006

    MissV, I don't think WV said that she planned on berating the teacher in front of her child. WV was just asking what we thought about it. Some valid points have been made on both sides....but jumping all over WV isn't fair. She was merely asking for advice and I believe she was wondering if we could find some reason to justify it. I believe several posters have, including yourself. Just my two cents.;)
     
  19. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    May 18, 2006

    Just a suggestion

    wvsasha, I think it's not so bad...the kids will learn from it and it will make a nice booklet of information they can keep and be proud of. It could be spiced up a bit, but I bet she has her reasons for doing it this way. What you might want to consider is offering to bring in some of the things you mentioned. I bet she would love a hand. The end of the year can be very difficult for teachers. The kids are generally all wound up and trying to do TOO much with them doesn't always pan out very well.
     
  20. wvsasha

    wvsasha Companion

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    May 18, 2006

    GOod posts - all of them.

    Just a couple of things for clarification - no I wouldn't berate a teacher in front of my children. I would bite my tongue off and have it flopping on the floor first. Too many of my students have parents who do that for me to do it.

    And testing is this week - this project was for the 2 weeks prior to testing.

    I hadn't thought of it as a "light" or "cool down" type of assignment. Maybe I'm so stuck in "high gear" that it's difficult to see the value anymore in lighter assignments.

    I did ask my mom (who's a flower nut) to gather, press & dry some samples from the booklet DD made and we're going to give them to the teacher before the school year is out. So DD got to see them in nature while walking with my mom and learned how to press/preserve them.

    Maybe some of my bias is stemming from I have a "thing" against straight copying - I can (and probably most people can) copy and not have a clue what I've written. I think it's probably one of the weakest methods to try to convey information to someone.

    Anyway - thanks for ALL the replies - they are good and I did learn to think about this assignment in a different way. :)
     

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