Not only is the tissue box assignment real, but elsewhere in her book Katharine talks about how in language classes, kids have to make posters about their family. My daughter had to do a family tree chart with photos for her Spanish class. The teacher lost the poster, and called my daughter at home to ask her to do another one, and said it was important for her grade. (!!) My daughter, who didn't like the assignment to begin with was infuriated to have to do it again, and all because the teacher had lost the first one. The sadder aspect of all this is parents get drawn in to the "this project is worth a lot of points for your grade" type thinking, and are afraid to make waves by telling the teacher that the student is NOT going to do this; please give an alternative assignment.
For English class in 8th grade, the teacher gave the students a choice of projects for Lord of the Flies. One was a standard book report. Others included designing a T shirt about the book. My daughter hated the alternatives and chose writing the book report. And she is not fond of writing!
I'm reading Katharine's book right now and have nothing but praise for it. I am going to recommend it to several teachers I know at George Mason's ed school. I really think it should be required reading.
Friday, June 11, 2010
projects we have known and loved
from Barry Garelick: