kitchen table math, the sequel: home and health

Sunday, May 20, 2007

home and health

from Lynn G --

If we're going to kvetch for awhile about inane projects, how about the high school health teacher assigning a ten line poem on inhalants!

The health teacher is about as unqualified to teach poetry as anyone I know.

And don't get me started on the subject matter. . .okay, INHALANTS? Give me a freaking break. This is how my son is supposed to take ownership of his learning, right?

My spouse, the physician, asked if his study of drugs and inhalants included any mention of how the blood/brain barrier is effected by drugs? My son answers, what is a blood/brain barrier?

This is high school folks. Write a poem on inhalants. See how multi-disciplinary we are?

My 5th grader is doing another paper bag book report (decorate a paper bag on the theme of some book you've read). She did the exact same book report project in 2nd grade.

We've written skits on the evils of smoking, we've done coloring books on allergies (again in the high school), we are now making a poster for spanish on global warming and constructing a car powered by rubber bands.

This needs to stop.

Christopher (7th grade) has done his last arts and crafts project.

Of course, I haven't told the Spanish Department yet.

10 comments:

Nicksmama said...

I don't see how these arts and crafts projects are preparing the student for college or the real world.

Oh, perhaps they are preparing all students to be ed majors....?

Catherine Johnson said...

Oh, perhaps they are preparing all students to be ed majors....?

Many's the time I've had to FORCE myself not to make this observation here in Irvington.

Catherine Johnson said...

HEY NICK'S MAMA!

DO YOU WANT TO JOIN KTM-2??

I DON'T HAVE YOUR EMAIL, OR I WOULD HAVE SENT AN INVITATION!

Nicksmama said...

Catherine,

I will send you my email. As a homeschooler from DAY 1, I'm not sure how much I can contribute to the conversation.

Our district adopted EM a few years back and will be implementing IMP shortly. Therefore, I will be homeschooling at least through middle school.

I've got friends with kids in the local ps, I warn them about EM - but all they seem to care about is grades and so far, their kids are getting A/B's. (sigh)

However, the EM-babies haven't hit middle school yet....

Catherine Johnson said...

However, the EM-babies haven't hit middle school yet....

Next fall is going to be INTENSE.

The administration moved heaven and earth to get rid of the accelerated math option in 6th grade.

That would have "masked" the TRAILBLAZERS problem, as one parent put it.

Didn't work.

It's still going to be there.

TRAILBLAZERS kids going into one of the worst, most irresponsible, most insanely spiralled "accelerated" math course in the known universe.

Not going to be pretty.

Catherine Johnson said...

In the meantime, Christopher is suddenly saying "math is easy."

Pride goeth before a fall.

Catherine Johnson said...

I don't mean that.

Math is easy for him at the moment. They are adding & subtracting polynomials; I've been pretty much having him do that for weeks.

At some point the spiral curriculum (Phase 4 math here is an old-fashioned spiral, not a constructivist spiral) becomes your friend - if you more or less learned the topics to something like mastery in earlier years.

This is C's second full school year spiraling prealgebra & algebra 1.

Throughout all that time I've been frantically trying to give him enough practice to hold onto the concepts.... and I probably managed to pull it off to a significant degree.

SusanS said...

The administration moved heaven and earth to get rid of the accelerated math option in 6th grade.

I'm hearing rumors that the same thing might be happening around here. There appears to be more kids not able to be in accelerated pre-algebra for 6th grade. I don't know if it's true, but rather than looking at Trailblazers, I hear they are talking about how many more disadvantaged kids they're dealing with.

I'll be interested in seeing how this pans out. I'm just glad my kids escaped the mess that is about to unfold.

Catherine Johnson said...

I'm hearing rumors that the same thing might be happening around here. There appears to be more kids not able to be in accelerated pre-algebra for 6th grade. I don't know if it's true, but rather than looking at Trailblazers, I hear they are talking about how many more disadvantaged kids they're dealing with.

Somebody needs to call them on this, loud and clear.

I say just keep sending them links to posts here.

Anonymously.

SusanS said...

I have been doing that, but mostly I have been talking more to activist type parents who are just now seeing a problem.

One parent is very mathematically proficient and wants to meet to see all of the Singapore stuff I have.

I'm just workin' it one parent at a time.

I do send links, but I have to be careful not to overwhelm people who are new to questioning their schools. If I can send a NYT or Trib link, it seems to be better.

We've all been discussing and researching this for a while now. I've had more than a few parents eyes glaze over if I cover too much ground too fast.