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Amparo Bertram

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09:12 pm: Midterms: Day 1 and counting
The first day of midterms went all right today. This week's schedule is crazy. For most of the time, I have absolutely nothing to do. But then for two hours (one today, one Wednesday) they scheduled me with two exams apiece. So I have to go in, read the listening portion for one class, then head up/down the stairs to the other class and read their listening portion.

I also help on the grading, which always drives me bonkers. I was told today, "The students said the test was easy...so grade strictly!" They mean it, too. At one point a teacher asked me whether she should take off one point or two for a student who said "I have pain in my stomach" rather than "I have a pain in my stomach." (It didn't sound worth taking off anything to me, since I can't imagine it ever making a difference in real life whether that "a" is in there or not.) They are really serious about trying to keep the average score low so it won't seem they're being too easy on the students.

I also worked more on my next sewing project, which is melf42's present. So far it's coming along quite nicely. I hope the rest of it goes as well as the part I got done today.

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[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:June 13th, 2005 08:32 am (UTC)

Oh, to have that problem!

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It didn't sound worth taking off anything to me, since I can't imagine it ever making a difference in real life whether that "a" is in there or not.

Were you able to say that to the teacher? I agree with you.

One of the issues I hear from teachers who have been around awhile is their regret about having "dumbed down" the curriculum over the years. In particular, teachers retiring feel free enough to say something about it. So, I completely understand your faculty's diligence and vigilance in not wanting to make the work seem too easy. On the other hand, if the students actually know the material that is being tested, I say, "More power to them!" and "Congratulations!"

Unfortunately, my problem is having to deal with so many low scores when, I believe, the assignments/tests are not difficult enough to warrant them.

One of my students actually said that there are very few teachers left who challenge them. I worry about what will happen to them when they get to college.

I'm glad your students are doing well, despite their anxiety about the school transitioning. By they way, I liked your attitude about the situation. I wonder if the students have considered it.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:June 13th, 2005 01:27 pm (UTC)

Re: Oh, to have that problem!

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On the other hand, if the students actually know the material that is being tested, I say, "More power to them!" and "Congratulations!"

That's what I think. That is, after all, the whole point of the test, to find out whether or not they know what you were hoping they'd learn. It's NOT intended to sort students into a bell curve, no matter how much people assume that it is.

Unfortunately, my problem is having to deal with so many low scores when, I believe, the assignments/tests are not difficult enough to warrant them.

That's another problem. I fear for my Listening class students, because they simply don't try. Well, some do, but most of them just decide "it's too hard!" and mentally shut down. They spend the whole class chatting or napping...and then complain to their homeroom teacher that the class is too hard.

(Their complaining has already gotten my team teacher to go through all the trouble of typing out all the instructions in the book in Japanese for them and handing out copies. For one thing, the instructions are generally "connect the picture to the correct caption" kinds of things that are intuitive. For another, they're supposed to be able to do this in English. They're just using the Japanese as a crutch.)

This year we warned them that attitude and daily participation counts as 30% of their grade. Some are not going to be very happy when they see the results...
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:June 13th, 2005 07:58 pm (UTC)

Re: Oh, to have that problem!

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This year we warned them that attitude and daily participation counts as 30% of their grade. Some are not going to be very happy when they see the results...

That is *so* true. Sometimes when my students see the difference their participation grade makes in, say, an interim progress report, some of the students who care about their grade take it more seriously. I can notice the difference in their class participation. When I could do it, I would try to give them a grade update maybe on every other Monday. Those who don't care, don't change.
[User Picture]
From:mvrdrk
Date:June 13th, 2005 12:52 pm (UTC)
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I would have thought that both 'I have a pain in my stomach.' and 'I have pain in my stomach.' were grammatically correct, though slightly different in meaning.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:June 13th, 2005 01:16 pm (UTC)
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I would have thought that both 'I have a pain in my stomach.' and 'I have pain in my stomach.' were grammatically correct, though slightly different in meaning.

I think so, too. Unfortunately, there are two teachers each grading half the exams, and one teacher automatically took two points off for it without stopping to ask me first. So the other felt that she ought to take off something as well. (I managed to convince her that the answer was correct either way. Now I just have to tell the other teacher.)
[User Picture]
From:melf42
Date:June 14th, 2005 04:21 am (UTC)
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So far it's coming along quite nicely.

Yay!

(dying of curiosity!)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:June 14th, 2005 05:06 am (UTC)
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dying of curiosity!

Let's just say mellifluosity is involved. <g> If all goes well, I should be done tomorrow.
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