Thursday, November 01, 2012

Seriously? And Halloween Pictures

I have a rant. A serious one that started building years ago. There is this teacher at the boys' school that makes me crazy.  She isn't a classroom teacher but teaches a couple of subjects to give the classroom teacher prep time.  Jack had her in grade 3 and low and behold, here she is again now that Kamden is in grade 3.

I was utterly elated when Kamden came home in September with the news.

And last week, he brought home is first grade from her.  Smoke may have come out of my ears as I saw the same ridiculous grading she used 3 years ago with Jack.

The subject is health, more specifically the four food groups.  To demonstrate their knowledge of the unit, they had to prepare a poster and draw meals for each of breakfast, lunch and supper.

Kamden's comment and I quote word for word was: "She gave me a horrible mark!"
Are you kidding me?
The first two categories are Graphics and Use of Time in Class.

Let me go though each in detail because are you kidding me?

"Graphics are in focus and easily viewed from 6ft away" is worth 4 out of 16 of the available marks.  That's 25%.

Let's ponder this for a second considering two things.  This is health.  HEALTH.  Not art, not media relations, not graphic design but health.

And they are in grade 3.

In no way does this evaluate their knowledge of the topic at hand.

And the second one, use of class time.  This is important but is part of an area in each report card where the student is assessed on the term as a whole, not on one specific project.

I don't think I need to say it but how in the name of Pete does this evaluate the students knowledge of this particular topic? 

Right, it doesn't.

By my estimation, the first 50% of the grade is completely irrelevant to the purpose of the project. 


Let's move on to the other 50% of the grade, shall we?

For the love of....

"Required Elements" is up next. This one might actually be a fair assessment but let's not hold our breath.  The poster needs to include required elements.  Not that she indicates what those are.  For all we know, one of them was to draw a broccoli floret like Picasso.
I am going to assume that was the one element Kamden missed and call it a day.
Next up is "Attractiveness".  This one doesn't have a hope in being relevant for a health project.  So Kamden lost 2 marks because the poster was, in her opinion, "a bit messy".  At least it was still attractive, I mean thank goodness for that.
I don't want to sound like a broken record but THAT DOESN'T EVALUATE THEIR KNOWLEDGE.
To summarize, at best 4 of the 16 marks were relevant. 
This is exactly the same crap we saw with each project Jack brought home from this teacher. I never bothered to discuss the issues with her for two reasons.  One, it's health.  In the grand scheme of things, it's not a critical subject.  And two, I have a feeling it would be futile.  I leave the above discussion as Exhibit A.
Now that I got that off my chest, here are the obligatory Halloween snaps for the Grandparents.

Kamden's pumkins
Mario with his two pumpkins.  He designed and drew them, I carved.  I love love love.
Captain Rex
And Captain Rex of The Clone Wars fame with his two.  The one on the left is his trademark face - going on 3 years I think.  The other is MineCraft themed.  Love love love.  This is the first year Jack both drew and carved his own.  He's growing up.

 Hope you had a happy Halloween free from teachers who clearly wish they taught at a post secondary art school.


Anonymous said...

Wow, that does seem like a very strange method of grading an assignment! I can see why you (and Kamden) were not happy!

But hey. CUTE costumes! Love them.

Angella said...

LOVE the costumes. Love.

Do you have any kind of rapport with his full-time teacher, or the principal? We email frequently with our kids teachers and principal for every day stuff, and also any concerns. :)

Elaine A. said...

Those Jack O' Lanterns totally rock! As do the costumes.

And I'm not going to even say anything about that other stuff because, WHATEVER (to her, not you!!)