Sunday, March 1, 2009

In good company.

My daughter has a different type of book report due each quarter in her Language Arts class (that would be English Class to all of us who went to school in the dark ages) So far we she has made a board game, a diorama, and a cereal box. I don't understand what happened to writing a book report, it is a Language Arts class, right?

The board game turned out pretty good and she turned it in early and received full credit plus extra for turning it early. The grading seemed rather lenient. The second project report was the diorama which was a sad depiction of Peter Pan using all the Disney character figurines we had in the house redressed to represent Peter Pan characters. A lose representation at best. Also turned in early, also received full credit plus extra.

Friday she brought home her cereal box. It was a box covered in some fashion and then was to to be filled with facts from an autobiography/biography. She got in the car and tossed it at me. " I would've gotten an 80% on this if I hadn't turned it in early." My response was "What?....On the cereal box that really seemed like your best effort so far, that project?"

So we sat and talked about it for a few minutes and she got me up to speed on the whole situation. So I suggested she that she talk to the teacher about it. You know actually use her language art skills. So we decided to see if we can catch up with her before she leaves.

We catch up her as she's leaving the building and Jenna did a great job asking her what she should have done differently to make a better grade. She gave us a few suggestions and then I had to step in. She got points taken off in the creativity section but not for creativity, for lack of information. What?? Now, I'm trying to practice diplomacy, because after all she did get an 90%, but I did calmly point out that if she wanted a certain amount of information than that should have been what was on the criteria sheet, because she met all the requirements that were on her information sheet, just like she had on the previous two. She followed the checklist, we checked it twice. Trying not to push too hard, because I really have a fly under the radar kinda kid, we walked satisfied that she will make clearer criteria for the next one and that she probably should have for this one, you think? Case closed.....

Until I got to small group tonight and the other moms there with kids in her class had exact same problem, points off for creativity. Nobody is quite sure what to do? I think if you are reading this and your sixth grader at Bethany Middle School had the same thing happen you should know you are in good company and let the teacher know that the criteria was not clear or a fair representation of her expectations. Of course all of this could just be that control freak in me rearing its ugly head. Take it for what it's worth.

Edit 3/2/09
The language arts teacher decided to give everyone 10 points on the book cereal box because the instructions were not clear. Yeah her!!! It doesn't fix the overall problem of the project. She should've graded them again on the criteria she handed out. But....


  1. hmmm I was just thinking about this very thing- Jay and I spent some time talking about "judging creativity" for an English class this weekend. I went to bed not ready to write an email to the teacher but formulating one in my head. Then I got up this morning and grabbed the piece of paper to come downstairs with the intent of writing an email. Still not sure what I am going to write- but I don't take lightly telling someone that they are not creative enough and taking off 20 points for it. Glad to know that we are in good company on this one ... but then again I am not.

  2. Well, Brayden came home early on Friday so I assume we'll get the cereal box grade today ... I'll be curious to see what happens. I'm assuming, probably the same thing that happened to everyone else. Which doesn't sound quite right.