September 20, 2011

Different Forms of Education...

I saw online in the news that some little first grader, ever so excited about the treasures he was bringing for show and tell, had with him a crack pipe and crystal meth.

Fortunately the teacher got to it before it made the classroom. So excited was he, I suspect, he showed his teacher in advance. I'm gathering.

As for me? I actually googled crack pipe images today to see what one looked like since I didn't know. What has happened to our world that a 6 year old knows... and a 46 year old Mom... doesn't.


Mr. T has spent most of the night studying prepositions. He has all A's and... a C. His C is in Honors English, a pretty jacked up class. He has to be able to write from memory 60 prepositions.

He failed the first time, only coming up with 40. He needs to know 80, but she'll settle for 60. He has to retake it until he knows at least 60. After the third try, Mom and Dad get a phone call.

I'm trying to figure out how this is going to help him in life. When kids ask me about Math, I go into a dissertation explaining the forming of the brain, linear thinking, problem solving, independent thought, and then I give hard examples. "So, your Mom decides you can redecorate your bedroom, how do you know how much paint you need?" "You're at the store and you only have $5. You want ice cream, How do you decide how much you can get? You can get just Breyer's, but looking at the price of ice cream and doing the math, you realize you can get Publix brand AND syrup with the same money. That's math..."

I cite all sorts of examples.

I'm trying to figure out how he's going to use the knowledge of knowing 60 prepositions, identifying them as such.... The bird can only do so many things to a house before you have to expand beyond, into, out, around, through, on, etc.

And I'm helping him study and I'm trying to figure out what exactly I'm going to say if I get that phone call. How polite... MUST I be?


Posted by Boudicca at September 20, 2011 09:46 PM

You don't know what a crack pipe looks like? Obviously you're not hangin' with the right people! (I joke, I joke!)

But after reading your first part, when reading the second part, I mistook "When kids ask me about math..." for "When kids ask me about *meth!*"

*Runs away laughing*

Hey, I can hook you up though!

*runs away again!*

Posted by: DogsDontPurr at September 20, 2011 11:33 PM

Have Bones make a song up for him.

Posted by: sticks at September 21, 2011 04:56 AM

there are about 4 songs of the prepositions online (school house rock is the least helpful) as well as at least 2 preposition dances. also try drawing pictures to represent each one, or making up charades. Get the other boys involved for 15 minutes or so and have him do them all in relation to his brothers. (go around your brother, put something above them, stand between them, etc. write sentences with each one. go through a large passage and highlight every preposition you can find to see them in a context. Make up a story that uses them all. break down the list and only do a little at a time...

I know nothing else about your English teacher, but it might or might not be their grand idea- a couple of years ago my boss told me that my class should memorize all prepositions (much younger than high school!)- some state curriculum (though not all) include something about knowing them. we break it down into very small pieces and do a TON of in class practice, but I can see the "why on earth do they really need to know this" side of things quite well... and the only real answer is because some state legislature says so.

Posted by: S at September 21, 2011 05:49 AM

Oh we found all those songs, or rather I did last night. I had him writing them over and over, saying them out loud, and I was online going through preposition songs, playing them as background music as I looked for a good one. I was really surprised at how bad the SHR one sucked. Busy Ps jus wasn't going to cut it.

I think she must be old school. I get the states and capitals. It's part of our country. But knowing 60-80 prepositions is going to help him in 30 years when he has a 14 year old that has to memorize them. That's it.

Grammatically I do well. I'm not a poor writer. I've been asked to write speeches for people. I am a voracious reader. I cannot name my 60 prepositions, although I can name all the forms of Be (thank you 6th grade), which also has never come in handy, except when Bones had to memorize them this year.

BTW, as I was playing Preposition raps, dances, songs, he informed me I wasn't helping the cause. It was making him kind of nuts. He's not like Bones...

Posted by: Bou at September 21, 2011 06:00 AM

Boy howdy! A crack pipe and crystal meth for show and tell???!!! Speechless . . .

I'm a voracious reader as well. I write reports for my clients, white papers, etc. And, had outstanding teachers in elementary school. In fact 3 of them taught my father and his brothers in their one-room school way back in the day. I can tell you that they never taught, and I never knew that there were 80 prepositions floating around out there.

Who knew that I'd learn about the latest and greatest things a child takes to show and tell and the # of prepositions all in the same morning!

Thanks! ;-)

Posted by: Nina at September 21, 2011 07:25 AM

Sounds like busy work. Maybe she's lazy.

Posted by: Toluca Nole at September 21, 2011 01:41 PM

That's the thing, she's not lazy AT ALL. Very intense. Busy. She is always busy grading and when you get a paper back, it's been GRADED. Every comma, capitalization, grammar, sentence structure, content... you know it's been graded when she's done. And she does this with every paper and there is A LOT of writing in her classes.

Posted by: Bou at September 21, 2011 02:07 PM

I'm all for proper grammar and usage, not to mention legible composition. I'm sick and tired of people not able to communicate in writing any better than a second grader. But brute memorization of 60-80 prepositions does strike me as a bit ridiculous.

Posted by: diamond dave at September 21, 2011 06:20 PM

Write/Right :) I had to look up preposition to recall what they are and found a pretty silly list. Wouldn't abaft as in abaft the beam be a preposition? Broad as in broad on the beam? Nye?

I was a voracious reader but my mother assures me that I never knew the first thing about writing. I tell that for the last 4 years I spent a considerable amount of time taking research projects that went on for years and using the 2 or 3 page executive summary (the only part that anybody will ever read) and the power point slides from the briefs made to the customer over the years and turning them into 90-120 page reports that are substantial appearing so that they will fool people into thinking that real progress was made in the development of another whacky idea that will never see production.

I'm with you on thinking it is ridiculous to memorize them.

Your math arguments are so simple I'm surprised you think they are effective samples, especially for boys!

Growing up it never occurred to me to redecorate or paint a room. Before I got married it certainly never occurred to me to redecorate or paint a room. I wouldn't be there if I had not liked it when I bought it or rented it. After I got married it wasn't a problem. Everything had to be repainted and decorated but I married a math major and lady who made her living doing interior design and architecture. I have to admit houses got much more colorful after that.

Ice cream was purely bought for the taste and there was always money in or under or around the seat cushions to get hot chocolate for hers.

Posted by: Curtis at September 21, 2011 06:28 PM

All I know is that a preposition is a word that you don't end a sentence with.

I think it's much more important to know the differnce between They're there and their or your you're and ewer.

Posted by: K-Nine at September 21, 2011 10:30 PM

I think, if you get that preposition call, you should have a list of questions:

What is this about?
Who would you like to talk to?
Which subject is this on?

It won't fix anything. But you can giggle to yourself over it for a few minutes.

Posted by: Roses at September 22, 2011 08:09 AM

I am not sure I could come up with 80 prepositions. It may help to break them into categories. I think the largest portion of them would relate to position: over, above, below, around, through, via, etc.

Posted by: PeggyU at September 22, 2011 04:18 PM

Those all sound sexual. Maybe that'll help.

Posted by: Toluca Nole at September 22, 2011 09:09 PM

For math, you really need to know how to subtract any number from 2000 in your head so you know if you're getting ripped off when you get change back from your $20 at the store.

Grammar... that mostly helps when you're trying to understand a foreign language.

However, mastering English grammar shows people that you're smart, and smart people get treated more favorably in general in the business world. It's sort of the intellectual equivalent of having big boobs.

Posted by: Harvey at September 24, 2011 01:57 PM


Posted by: Curtis at September 25, 2011 02:58 AM