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Why do teachers make up so many projects for parents?

Gracie - Proud Conservative 2011/12/26 21:42:09
Should parental involvement reflect on a child's grades? What happens to the children's grades that have parents who either won't or can't help? As parents we've all had the science projects that cannot truly be done by the child themselves. Right now my granddaughter has a project in AP Chemistry that involves makes two moles (you know the furry little critters that tear up my yard) by SEWING them and stuffing them like a stuffed animal. One is regular and the one has to have a made up theme, like she is making her's a "Bat Mole", a mole dressed like Batman. Her friend made her's a "Hot Mole" where it's in a hotdog bun.

First, I know a mole is a unit of measure but what does this have to do with Chemistry and what if they or a parent can't sew? Since I'm the one that can sew in the family, I'll be working on the moles tonight with her.

What does a child learn when the parent is doing their project? Is it a glimpse at what they'll have to do as parents or what?

Here's where the grandma stuff comes in.....when I was in school, parents DID NOT help you! They didn't do your homework for you! The only homework we had were things we had already been instructed on in school. Seems like the parents are doing the school work and the teachers are doing the social work.....It's completely backwards!
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  • keeper 2011/12/26 23:42:46
    keeper
    +7
    I think this is all part of the indoctrination of the liberal progressive agenda.

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  • Andy 2011/12/30 15:06:16
    Andy
    +1
    Until there is reform of education... including this... parents will have to be involved.
  • Gracie ... Andy 2011/12/31 02:04:58
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    I'm not against parents being involved, I'm against parents being part of the grade and having to engage in ridiculous assignments.
  • hari 2011/12/30 07:22:10
    hari
    they have been trained to do so and also if parents do that , children will be attended close touch
  • gosia 2011/12/28 12:57:12
    gosia
    +1
    I THINK CAUSE THEY ARE DOM DOM TEACHERS
  • Icedragon1969 2011/12/28 10:42:19
    Icedragon1969
    +2
    Well, I don't know if it's been answered, but in chemistry a mole is a unit of measure where you have Avogadro's Number (6.022x10^23) of a type of unit (atom, molecule, particle, etc.). I mention this only because I don't know if you ever got an answer to that question, and being a physicist/astronomer it actually is important. I'll reserve details on that for "if asked." ;)

    As for this project, I'm in complete agreement with you. My wife and I have had no battles over this, but have emailed and/or met with some of my children's teachers in the past to make the point in no uncertain terms that our children's grades will in no way be allowed to reflect our involvement. Period. We go in moving the artillery into place though, making it clear, but not threatening, that we're immovable on this point. So far we've had no issues. In fact most teachers and principals start back pedaling quickly, making assurances that the child's grades will be based solely on their own performance.

    Having tried once to get my teacher certification though, I can tell you that such "assignments" come from the misguided idea that students whose parents are involved at the school and with the student's work are more likely to graduate. There's research to back this too. I have two problems wi...



    Well, I don't know if it's been answered, but in chemistry a mole is a unit of measure where you have Avogadro's Number (6.022x10^23) of a type of unit (atom, molecule, particle, etc.). I mention this only because I don't know if you ever got an answer to that question, and being a physicist/astronomer it actually is important. I'll reserve details on that for "if asked." ;)

    As for this project, I'm in complete agreement with you. My wife and I have had no battles over this, but have emailed and/or met with some of my children's teachers in the past to make the point in no uncertain terms that our children's grades will in no way be allowed to reflect our involvement. Period. We go in moving the artillery into place though, making it clear, but not threatening, that we're immovable on this point. So far we've had no issues. In fact most teachers and principals start back pedaling quickly, making assurances that the child's grades will be based solely on their own performance.

    Having tried once to get my teacher certification though, I can tell you that such "assignments" come from the misguided idea that students whose parents are involved at the school and with the student's work are more likely to graduate. There's research to back this too. I have two problems with such research though:

    1) The results of the studies are correllationary. There is a -HUGE- difference between causation and correlation. Leave it to a physical scientist to nitpick over this, but it's not a trivial point like the social scientists would have you believe. The point being is that as a correlation, is this result because the parents that are involved in the schools put a higher premium on education and therefore the result would be the same whether they were involved or not, or is it a result of the parent going through the motions of being involved, but not giving a crap about education? Until you establish causation, not just correlation, you're tying your cart to an unbroken horse.

    2) It is another example of the de-emphasis of personal responsibility. Take a look around. A society is being born where what you accomplish isn't your doing or your responsibility. If you succeed it's because of all the people who helped you do the task. If you fail it's because you weren't supported enough, so it's okay. Neither attitude is okay. One should always appreciate the help we've received in getting where we are, but in the end, win or lose, your performance at a task is all -you-.
    (more)
  • Gracie ... Icedrag... 2011/12/28 17:28:25
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    +1
    Well, that's the best informative answer that I've received, that's for sure! I do know that a mole is a unit of measurement and I guess it's the teacher's way to make it memorable? That's the only conclusion I can draw from such a ridiculous assignment.

    I also understand that it's great to get the parents involved in their children's academics but it can be done in a meaningful way that both learn something. To require a child or a parent to have a certain skill set that is totally unrelated to the subject is basically a hit or miss project. My daughter, her mother, is an engineer and certainly a great help with any homework of an academic nature. The fact that I can sew is just a product of my generation.

    Anyway, that's for such a great answer. We've completed the moles and they are very cute, as cute as a rodent with no eyes can be :)
  • Icedrag... Gracie ... 2011/12/28 22:05:59
    Icedragon1969
    +2
    Excellent, and from other teachers (a former Chemistry teacher in fact), I apologize for such a silly assignment. You are entirely correct that it was given to likely make the concept of the mole more memorable, but you are also correct that there are better ways of doing such. We had to do things like make boxes that represented one mole of a designated gas at a given temperature and/or pressure or bring in a mole of sand, or a mole of some substance. I would guess that either this teacher can sew herself and thus didn't think it was that big of a deal or she went to some teacher conference where it was suggested, she though it was a "cute" idea, and so brought it home.

    I think expectations of things like this are part of what sent me to the college level to do any teaching as opposed to staying in a high school. :/ That and all the Federal regulations (No Child Gets Ahead) and the insanity that comes with that.

    Anyway, I ramble. Sorry.
  • Gracie ... Icedrag... 2011/12/29 00:55:23
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    But.....what if great teachers like you permeated high schools? Then again, how rare are you in a college?
  • Icedrag... Gracie ... 2011/12/29 01:10:51
    Icedragon1969
    +1
    Sadly, pretty rare because most professors are hired to be researchers first and instructors second. It's why their title is "professor" as opposed to "teacher" and why there needs to be a change in our higher education system too. Not that I think they should become "Thirteenth Grade," but there should be at least some faculty whose primary duty is teaching and instruction and they should hold a lesser position within the colliegate structure as they do now. Again, another soapbox.
  • TruBluTopaz 2011/12/27 22:04:09
    TruBluTopaz
    +2
    Here's the deal, most projects should be student initiated and student produced. I think the maddest I ever got was when my oldest son was in middle school. He made a project on his own on oil viscosity. He had hockey pucks slide down a metal sheet and timed them. He did it on his own. Yet the teacher failed him for failing to type up his work on the computer. At the time, we didn't have a computer and neither did the school. The second maddest was when my youngest son did a science model on his own and then the model that was done by parents got the highest grade and my son was failed on the project even though he fulfilled all the criteria. Believe it or not, most good teachers can tell when someone else is doing a student's work. If a project cannot be done by a student on their own, I don't think it's valid learning, but busy work.
  • Gracie ... TruBluT... 2011/12/28 00:05:41
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    +1
    I think it's the teacher's way of retaliating on the parents. I say if they can't do it themselves, it shouldn't be a requirement. I just feel sorry for the students who don't have parental assistance and the money to buy the supplies. No one seems to care about whether the student has the money!
  • The Birdman ~ PWCM~JLA 2011/12/27 08:44:05
    The Birdman ~ PWCM~JLA
    +1
    Maybe our son is lucky in that mom helps him with several subjects, and I cover the rest. He won't get to do a damned thing until we're satisfied all subjects have been completed to our satisfaction! The few times we've seen something from a teacher that involves parental involvement usually has to do with help for the school itself, not the students curriculum.
  • Stoney 2011/12/27 07:20:18
    Stoney
    +2
    Oh no, my dear, al contrare'.......this was Fabian Socialist Dewey's goal from the beginning...By it, the parents are diverted from interfering &.then the kids are easier to BrainWash in the well-planned Psyco-Babel - Touchie-Feelie Socialist Indoctrination Course of Instruction. Animal Farm
  • Gracie ... Stoney 2011/12/28 00:07:28
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    +1
    Yeah, good old Dewey! The guy that was duped by the Communists and still didn't get back to the mainland! People don't understand how these historical miscreants are still destroying education in America! Great point and oh so valid!
  • Stoney Gracie ... 2011/12/28 05:48:23
    Stoney
    +1
    Yea......he was a Real Wiener!........... Yep
  • Always Right 2011/12/27 04:53:43
    Always Right
    +1
    If nothing else, it brings the kids to the parents, then it's up to the parents to capitalize!
  • Gracie ... Always ... 2011/12/28 00:08:06
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    What if there are no parents that give a crap? Then what?
  • Always ... Gracie ... 2011/12/28 04:54:07
    Always Right
    +1
    Sad, but true some should not procreate! Back when I was much younger, I did not conceive getting married until I was established, let a lone having children!
  • BubbaHoTep 2011/12/27 03:28:29
    BubbaHoTep
    +2
    Parent involvement in schools is important...but I am with you on this. Assignments are for the students, not the student's parents.
  • Jackie O 2011/12/27 03:04:30
    Jackie O
    Why do parents make up so many complaints about teachers?
  • BubbaHoTep Jackie O 2011/12/27 03:27:18
    BubbaHoTep
    +2
    When they can't spell basic words, can't enforce the same standards for all students, get annoyed when you point out they don't follow and enforce the rules and standards they set for their own class, and assign mess that has no basis in what they are teaching, then you have valid complaints.
  • Jackie O BubbaHoTep 2011/12/27 04:08:32
    Jackie O
    So you are telling me that ALL teachers in the US can't spell, have different standards for different students, get annoyed when really stupid parents have the audacity to know more about educating their students than really bad GE parents and assign HOMEWORK that requires PARENTAL supervision? How dare they interrupt your "me" time with asking you to have an interest in your child?
  • BubbaHoTep Jackie O 2011/12/27 04:50:38
    BubbaHoTep
    +3
    No I am not suggesting that ALL teachers cannot spell, or are bad at their jobs. I AM suggesting that there are valid complaints against teachers out there...in answer to your commented question -"Why do parents make up so many complaints about teachers?". You got to get your little rant in, but you didn't address the issue many people have.

    Not only are there valid complaints out there, it is made worse by a system that protects people that shouldn't be in the job. It is also made worse by viewpoints pushed by rabid supporters that demonize anyone who doesn't treat teachers with the idolization and deference that they apparently think should be accorded to teachers.

    Also, taking an interest in your kid's teacher IS taking an interest in your child. It's not blindly following whatever the Saintly teacher does, so it is not seen as such by people who think teachers can do no wrong. It is much easier for those people to make the assumption that dumb, selfish parents want to be left alone and not bothered by the downtrodden, diligent teachers only trying to do the best they can.
  • Jackie O BubbaHoTep 2011/12/27 12:19:30
    Jackie O
    First sign of an ignorant person is one that generalizes! I was a single mom, worked to support my family and every night I sat down, after supper, and made sure the homework was done, bath taken and night time reading accomplished. My child has a ph'd, lives independently and is financially successful. Did I agree with all the his teachers...no! I picked my battles, kept my comments to myself and put in the time. My advice......do the same!
  • Gracie ... Jackie O 2011/12/28 00:14:47
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    So, what does a stuffed mole have to do with Chemistry and how does a child go about sewing one up by themselves?
  • Jackie O Gracie ... 2011/12/28 11:50:03
    Jackie O
    Learning to sew is something everyone should be able to do and as far as what a mole has to do with chemistry is beyond me. But my point, which as always you fail to comprehend, is to pick your battles and this isn't one of them!
  • Gracie ... Jackie O 2011/12/28 17:33:36
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    Well, Jackie O, you'll be pleased to realize that posting an annoyance on SH is not commensurate with taking the battle to school. I would not and should not, as a grandmother, take any battle to school. That would be her parents job, and luckily she does have two capable ones. But, neither can sew and I seriously doubt the intent was to teach sewing because it was hardly a beginner project.

    I'm just sorry that you had to come with the intent of making our political differences the key issue. Then there is always that slight, or in the case of calling someone ignorant, personal insult that you never fail to impart.
  • Jackie O Gracie ... 2011/12/28 20:56:34
    Jackie O
    Like most postings on SH.....this is a non-issue. Parents will always complain about teachers because teachers have standards and most parents do not.
  • Gracie ... Jackie O 2011/12/29 00:56:00
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    Yeah, but I can spell and when I was in school that was expected.
  • Gracie ... BubbaHoTep 2011/12/28 00:10:26
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    Well stated, scout!
  • Gracie ... Jackie O 2011/12/28 00:08:57
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    Typical, you won't answer a valid question, you can only question the poster's intention. I hope you have to sew a couple of moles!
  • Jackie O Gracie ... 2011/12/28 11:52:47
    Jackie O
    Postings like this are ridiculous. I'm merely pointing out the banality of it all.
  • Gracie ... Jackie O 2011/12/28 17:34:30
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    Why do you always have to be so rude? If it's ridiculous, please feel free to pass on by without comment. Go answer the questions about what your favorite color might be.
  • Jackie O Gracie ... 2011/12/28 20:57:47
    Jackie O
    My favorite color is blue and my least favorite terrier is yours. Why don't you trade up to an airedale?
  • Gracie ... Jackie O 2011/12/29 00:56:39
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    Airedales are stupid....very cute, but stupid. Wire Fox Terriers are brilliant and too smart for some people.
  • Leasheryn/Lady Willpower 2011/12/27 02:41:18
    Leasheryn/Lady Willpower
    +3
    Sounds like a silly project to me. I don't have anything against a parent supervising their child's homework but they shouldn't have to do it for the child. A child won't learn anything if the parent is doing all the work.
  • Gracie ... Leasher... 2011/12/28 00:13:56
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    +1
    Well, the moles are really cute! I still don't have a clue what sewing a stuffed mole has to do with Chemistry! I'm a very experienced seamstress and I assure you this was no beginner project! I first had to give her a primary lesson on the sewing machine and how to cut out a pattern, then I let her sew it as much as I possibly could while guiding it. Then we had to make two, not just one! I didn't learn a darn thing about Chemistry though!
  • Leasher... Gracie ... 2011/12/28 01:56:29
    Leasheryn/Lady Willpower
    +1
    I can't find the chemistry in it either. Measuring, yes. Chemistry, no.
  • Gracie ... Leasher... 2011/12/28 01:58:10
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    +1
    The only thing I can think of is that it makes the word "mole" memorable. Apparently there is a contest involved.....gee, I hope we win! Wooppee!
  • Leasher... Gracie ... 2011/12/28 02:05:48
    Leasheryn/Lady Willpower
    +1
    Isn't that a different kind of mole?

    My nephew won the coloring contest at Publix once. I helped him pick out the colors but he did all the coloring himself. I had him put it in a manila envelope and showed him how to present it professionally. Luckily the employee who accepted it was the contest judge and he won. He was pleased as punch.

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