How would you have graded this simple test?

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  • Tom Slick
    Veteran Member
    • May 2005
    • 2913
    • Paso Robles, Calif, USA.
    • sears BT3 clone

    #31
    Beware sometimes I can be a bit blunt:
    Maybe it should have gotten an A for participation points and gone on to make the same mistakes for the rest of your schooling because you shouldn't feel bad over something as small as math test. At some point in time the harshness of reality, the idea that sometimes it hurts to "lose", needs to set in. Maybe the fact that you did really badly on this test modivated you to do better. You should thank that teacher for not coddling you.
    Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. - Thomas Edison

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    • Black wallnut
      cycling to health
      • Jan 2003
      • 4715
      • Ellensburg, Wa, USA.
      • BT3k 1999

      #32
      Interesting topic to say the least. Alex I see your side of this. I also see that you were given a correct grade. Perhaps this is why they use S and U for lower grades. You failed the test in that you did not connect the concept of the symbols to what they represented. True story: I was never tought that the open end went towards the bigger number; that was something that I figgured out myself. For years I was confused by less than and greater than because like you I was not always sure which symbol was which. It was only after I figgured out that the open end pointed towards the larger number that I started getting the question right. I also, because of my fathers profession, attended three different grade schools and one of those twice.
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      • Alex Franke
        Veteran Member
        • Feb 2007
        • 2641
        • Chapel Hill, NC
        • Ryobi BT3100

        #33
        Originally posted by Tom Slick
        Beware sometimes I can be a bit blunt:
        Maybe it should have gotten an A for participation points and gone on to make the same mistakes for the rest of your schooling because you shouldn't feel bad over something as small as math test. At some point in time the harshness of reality, the idea that sometimes it hurts to "lose", needs to set in. Maybe the fact that you did really badly on this test modivated you to do better. You should thank that teacher for not coddling you.
        Okay, let me try to reframe this: Can we all pretend that I didn't say it was me who took this test? And can we pretend that I didn't personalize it by saying how it made me feel at the time?

        I'll put my cards on the table: I think this now anonymous student should have gotten a "see me" (which would likely have had the same impact) and the grade should have been taken down as an "A" (for Average -- remember this is a VG, G, A, ?, U scale) because the student clearly understood the concept, but clearly did not understand the symbolism.

        We have a few votes for "it's fine the way it's graded" and a couple of votes for "I would have done it differently". All votes are perfectly valid and respected, and none of them would even begin to hurt the feelings of this former student, who is certainly a big boy by now. :lol:
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        • LarryG
          The Full Monte
          • May 2004
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          #34
          Originally posted by Alex Franke
          I'm also curious to know (if there are any early math teachers out there): What is the goal/curriculum at this level?
          I'm not a math teacher, indeed not any kind of teacher at all; but it seems to me that if the symbols are brought up at all, teaching their correct usage is one of their goals, part of the curriculum. If this were not so, how can a test expect the students to use those symbols in their answers and still be a fair test?

          I don't know whether the "U" grade was appropriate. Was there a percentage-based grading scale on which a score at or below a certain level "earned" a "U"? If so, the grade was appropriate. If it was given to you arbitrarily, then perhaps not. Would you have felt better if it had been an "F"? (Not a rhetorical question ... I really can't tell.)

          One some level, I do understand your POV. I don't agree with it, but I do understand it. However, the farthest I can go toward your position would be to say that perhaps the teacher might have taken you aside and said, "Alex, your grade on this test is a 'U' and the reason is because ... [explanation here ] ... but because you DID use the symbols incorrectly, you're still getting a 'U'."
          Larry

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          • Alex Franke
            Veteran Member
            • Feb 2007
            • 2641
            • Chapel Hill, NC
            • Ryobi BT3100

            #35
            Originally posted by Tom Slick
            At some point in time the harshness of reality, the idea that sometimes it hurts to "lose", needs to set in.
            This is a good point. The more I think about it, the more I think "what I would do" would depend on the kid. If it was clearly a stupid mistake and the kid was probably ready for a dose or reality, I might have tried to take the edge off the grade with a comment like "Oops! Come see me!" or something like that.
            online at http://www.theFrankes.com
            while ( !( succeed = try() ) ) ;
            "Life is short, Art long, Occasion sudden and dangerous, Experience deceitful, and Judgment difficult." -Hippocrates

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            • Alex Franke
              Veteran Member
              • Feb 2007
              • 2641
              • Chapel Hill, NC
              • Ryobi BT3100

              #36
              Originally posted by LarryG
              If this were not so, how can a test expect the students to use those symbols in their answers and still be a fair test?
              [snip]
              Was there a percentage-based grading scale on which a score at or below a certain level "earned" a "U"? If so, the grade was appropriate. If it was given to you arbitrarily, then perhaps not. Would you have felt better if it had been an "F"?
              Good point about the "fair test" perspective.

              I really don't know about how objective or subjective grading was. Total and complete objectivity might have been the rule, for all I know. But it seems to me that at that age, and even with a "black and white" subject like math, there should be a little leeway in grading.

              To you last question, I think anything other than a "VG" (even a "see me") would have been shocking.
              online at http://www.theFrankes.com
              while ( !( succeed = try() ) ) ;
              "Life is short, Art long, Occasion sudden and dangerous, Experience deceitful, and Judgment difficult." -Hippocrates

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              • docrowan
                Senior Member
                • Mar 2007
                • 893
                • New Albany, MS
                • BT3100

                #37
                Having teachers in the family, I think one has to give a teacher grading 30 test papers in between cooking dinner for her family, preparing lesson plans for the next week, and raising children of her own a break. Clearly a heart breaking event for the child, but in the grand scheme of things for the teacher, a moment of minor inattention. If this were a pattern for the teacher, that would be different, but if this were an isolated instance of "unfair" grading for this particular child, I'd give her a pass.

                I, too, was taught the hungry alligator, and I still use this mental device to choose the correct symbol.

                Slightly off topic, but my daughter is in first grade, still learning to read and write. One of her homework papers had several pictures with three letter blanks below for her to fill out.

                One of the pictures was of a drinking vessel usually used for coffee. Is the correct answer C U P or M U G? Both three letter words and both correct. The answer the teacher was looking for was cup, but mug would have been a more accurate description of the picture.

                Another picture was a porcine animal from which we get bacon. Is the correct answer P I G, H O G, or S O W? All three letter words and all accurate. Again, teacher was looking for pig.
                - Chris.

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                • cgallery
                  Veteran Member
                  • Sep 2004
                  • 4503
                  • Milwaukee, WI
                  • BT3K

                  #38
                  How many of you that think this grade is okay would have no problem with being pulled over for doing 31 in a 30-MPH zone.

                  <= 30 is right, 31 is wrong. Right?

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                  • LCHIEN
                    Internet Fact Checker
                    • Dec 2002
                    • 21101
                    • Katy, TX, USA.
                    • BT3000 vintage 1999

                    #39
                    i always knew the big end went to the big number.
                    if you played eine Kleine in the wrong key it might not be so bad if you were solo but if you were in an ensemble (quartet, trio, string group etc) it would be a disaster.

                    IN college (and granted college is a long way from elementary) the professor explained to me, bridges fall, planes crash. Wrong for whatever reason doesn't bring those lives back. (e.g. there was no partial credit for a good intention.)

                    So finally, for this to have been such a big deal as to bring it up after all these years it surely made an impression on you. I think now you know which > and < to use. You have surely learned the lesson well and I congratulate your teacher for marking it so strongly in your mind that you will never ever make that mistake again even if it were traumatic at the time.
                    Loring in Katy, TX USA
                    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
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                    • LCHIEN
                      Internet Fact Checker
                      • Dec 2002
                      • 21101
                      • Katy, TX, USA.
                      • BT3000 vintage 1999

                      #40
                      Originally posted by docrowan
                      Having teachers in the family, I think one has to give a teacher grading 30 test papers in between cooking dinner for her family, preparing lesson plans for the next week, and raising children of her own a break. Clearly a heart breaking event for the child, but in the grand scheme of things for the teacher, a moment of minor inattention. If this were a pattern for the teacher, that would be different, but if this were an isolated instance of "unfair" grading for this particular child, I'd give her a pass.

                      I, too, was taught the hungry alligator, and I still use this mental device to choose the correct symbol.

                      Slightly off topic, but my daughter is in first grade, still learning to read and write. One of her homework papers had several pictures with three letter blanks below for her to fill out.

                      One of the pictures was of a drinking vessel usually used for coffee. Is the correct answer C U P or M U G? Both three letter words and both correct. The answer the teacher was looking for was cup, but mug would have been a more accurate description of the picture.

                      Another picture was a porcine animal from which we get bacon. Is the correct answer P I G, H O G, or S O W? All three letter words and all accurate. Again, teacher was looking for pig.
                      Yes, Chris one thing i learned from school (Lesson 1) is that the correct answer in the classroom is the one the teacher is looking for. That may not be the right answer in the real world, though. Lesson 2 is that the classroom is not the real world, just don't tell that to the teacher.
                      Loring in Katy, TX USA
                      If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                      BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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                      • Alex Franke
                        Veteran Member
                        • Feb 2007
                        • 2641
                        • Chapel Hill, NC
                        • Ryobi BT3100

                        #41
                        Originally posted by Black wallnut
                        For years I was confused by less than and greater than because like you I was not always sure which symbol was which.
                        I have this vague memory of thinking of the symbol as a shark and then mixing it up -- Was it a shark opening his mouth to gobble the bigger number, or was it the pointy nose of a shark with a closed mouth swimming toward the bigger number? But maybe I just dreamed that... who knows!

                        Originally posted by docrowan
                        Having teachers in the family, I think one has to give a teacher grading 30 test papers in between cooking dinner for her family, preparing lesson plans for the next week, and raising children of her own a break.
                        I couldn't agree with this more. Teachers (and stay-at-home mothers/fathers) are probably the most undervalued professions in the country. It's a shame that it has to be solely "for the love of the game" for just about every teacher and stay-at-home parent I know. For teachers specifically -- so much work, so few resources, so few hours in the day.
                        online at http://www.theFrankes.com
                        while ( !( succeed = try() ) ) ;
                        "Life is short, Art long, Occasion sudden and dangerous, Experience deceitful, and Judgment difficult." -Hippocrates

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                        • LarryG
                          The Full Monte
                          • May 2004
                          • 6693
                          • Off The Back
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                          #42
                          Originally posted by cgallery
                          How many of you that think this grade is okay would have no problem with being pulled over for doing 31 in a 30-MPH zone.

                          <= 30 is right, 31 is wrong. Right?
                          We will have to begin by assuming that the speed-measuring equipment was not faulty, that I was in fact driving at a true 31 mph.

                          I wouldn't be happy about the ticket, I would grumble that the cop was just being a hardass and surely had better things to do with his time than write me up for being one MPH over the limit, I might even scream about selective law enforcement ... but I would never try to argue that, strictly speaking, I was not in violation of the law. Because if I was doing 31 in a 30 zone, I was violating the law.

                          So in that sense ... yes, <= 30 is right, 31 is wrong. A lot of the lines we draw in life are somewhat arbitrary but you do have to draw the line somewhere.
                          Larry

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                          • jking
                            Senior Member
                            • May 2003
                            • 972
                            • Des Moines, IA.
                            • BT3100

                            #43
                            Originally posted by Alex Franke
                            This is where I disagree. To me this would not at all indicate that the student is confused about the concept. In fact, it would show me that the student is quite clear on the concept of adding and subtracting one quantity from another -- just that he has the glyphs that symbolize those concepts reversed.
                            I used "confusion about the concept" in a general sense. To me, if there's confusion about the symbols (even as simple as reversing them), there is confusion that needs to be corrected. Perhaps my wording isn't as accurate as it could be.

                            Originally posted by Alex Franke
                            If someone asked me to play it, I would probably recognize it as major and play it in C. I'm pretty sure it was originally written in G. I don't think I (or a kid) would be actively and consciously transposing it unless they were truly advanced (and then they'd be a smartass for doing it!)

                            But in the music example (like I would argue for the math examples), the student is showing, "I get the concept and the mechanics of this -- the intervals, how long the notes are, the rests, etc., even if I don't know the key it's in."

                            It would be interesting to know if (at this grade level) teachers are trying to teach the concepts or just the symbols...
                            The grade level was part of my point about the music analogy. The analogy is out of place because because of the level of the students involved. Understanding the difference between keys seems like a different level of education that the math question posed.

                            It sounds to me like your question really has two parts. Was the test graded fairly? Assuming no malice of the teacher, yes, it was. The answers were wrong & marked as wrong. Could the teacher have handled it differently? Yes, absolutely. The teacher could have recognized the pattern & given you another chance to answer the questions.

                            The second chance opens a can of worms about where to draw the line, though. At what point does the child get a second chance? The teacher has to us judgement here & may likely err on the side of being "mean" to avoid the appearance of favoritism.

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                            • cgallery
                              Veteran Member
                              • Sep 2004
                              • 4503
                              • Milwaukee, WI
                              • BT3K

                              #44
                              Originally posted by LarryG
                              I wouldn't be happy about the ticket, I would grumble that the cop was just being a hardass and surely had better things to do with his time than write me up for being one MPH over the limit, I might even scream about selective law enforcement ... but I would never try to argue that, strictly speaking, I was not in violation of the law. Because if I was doing 31 in a 30 zone, I was violating the law.
                              Would you ask (at at least hope) for a warning instead of a ticket?

                              And if you received a warning, would the lesson of exceeding the speed limit have been lost on you?

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                              • Alex Franke
                                Veteran Member
                                • Feb 2007
                                • 2641
                                • Chapel Hill, NC
                                • Ryobi BT3100

                                #45
                                Originally posted by LCHIEN
                                IN college (and granted college is a long way from elementary) the professor explained to me, bridges fall, planes crash. Wrong for whatever reason doesn't bring those lives back. (e.g. there was no partial credit for a good intention.)
                                I had a similar one -- one of those chemistry questions with three pages worth of calculations for the answer. I was off by a factor of ten, shifting the decimal point somewhere along the way. You don't make mistakes like that in chemistry or you could blow yourself up!

                                Originally posted by LCHIEN
                                So finally, for this to have been such a big deal as to bring it up after all these years it surely made an impression on you.
                                Well, it's not as if it's been hanging on my wall all this time. I came across it when cleaning house just before I left home for college. I remembered it at the time and stuck it in a "memories" box, where it remained until this weekend. I came across it again and thought, "Hmm... I would have handled this differently. I wonder what the fine folks as BT3Central would say..."

                                I also realized how many of my "memories" I've completely forgotten over the years!
                                online at http://www.theFrankes.com
                                while ( !( succeed = try() ) ) ;
                                "Life is short, Art long, Occasion sudden and dangerous, Experience deceitful, and Judgment difficult." -Hippocrates

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