Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Check marks

I learned a very important thing Monday. Check marks do not mean the same thing here as what I am used to everywhere else I've lived!

Each day the kids bring home planners. Basically it's a spiral bound calendar that is a communication tool for the parents, teachers and students. The kids write down assignments or important things that are happening at school. It's a neat thing. We used them in Bismarck too, but not until they enter 3rd grade. So I like that Emma now has a planner as well. Each day they are supposed to bring them home from school and the parents are to sign it and send it back. Showing that you have read the information and know what's going on. There's no excuse (if it's written in the planner) for not knowing about assignments or what's going on at school.

Monday when Gage gave me his planner, I saw a note written by Gage in the planner for that day to have math paper signed, then return to school. So, I found some papers in Gage's planner and nearly had a heart attack when I saw Gage's math paper! EVERY PROBLEM was marked wrong! Then, at the top of the paper, it said, "Way to go!" I thought, what kind of smartass writes "Way to go!" on the top of a paper that has everything checked wrong!? Upon further inspection, I realized that checkmarks actually mean the problem is correct. WHEW! An "X" means it's wrong. That doesn't seem right? Maybe they just like to waste red ink? I don't know, but that is just plain weird. I have seen teachers use a "C" before, just to signify that they looked at the work and it was correct. However, they just put one big "C" at the top of the paper typically, not a "C" on every problem! It really only makes it more difficult to find the problems that are wrong. You have to look through every problem to find either the check or the x. Just a waste of red ink in my opinion. BUT......they didn't ask me, did they?

Another thing I am seeing is that the kids do not bring papers home. I have yet to see a paper of Emma's. I guess I do see little 1/3 sheets of paper with math problems on it from Emma, but that has been it. I also saw Gage's one math paper, which about gave me a coronary. They have spelling tests every week and I haven't seen any of Emma's, and I've only seen one of Gage's, and that's only because I threw a little fit about not seeing these papers. Gage brought one home and said he had to take it back. I wasn't very happy when I saw it either. Gage is an awesome speller. (Takes after his mother! ;-)) He rarely misses a word. We typically only go over the words once, and he knows them, so I don't really worry about quizzing him on spelling words each week. PLUS, when we got his first list of spelling words, we discovered that they are words he's already had before, so are very easy for him. When he did finally bring home that first graded spelling test, he missed 4 words. HUH?!?!? Well, he didn't actually miss the words, he just writes his cursive o's without the little loop at the top. They counted his wrong because he is supposed to have that loop at the top. Gage says that's how they learned to write it in cursive in Bismarck. He could have missed ALL of the words if they wanted to be difficult, since the spelling list was a list of long o words, but thankfully they didn't. The teacher just told Gage to be sure to put the loop on the o's. I haven't seen another spelling test come home, so I have no idea how he's doing. I'm not sure how they do things here, so I'm going to have to ask. I'm not sure why you would wait until Parent/Teacher conferences to show any of the school work. I mean, if there's a problem, isn't it a little late to be telling the parents?

I guess I'm going to have to do a little investigation work!


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Michele said...

I would think their teachers would understand that there are differences between the school systems, and understand if you have more questions than the average parent. Ask away!