Published at Tuesday, November 24th, 2020 - 16:07:00 PM. 5th Grade Math. By Delia Mathews.
Several years ago educators tried to launch national standards in education. Knowing that families move, some of them multiple times, it seemed invaluable to have some commonalities state to state. Otherwise kids in California learned about life science in the 5th grade and earth science in the 6th. After the student finished 5th his family moved to Idaho where students studied earth science in the 5th grade and life science in the 6th. While this offered the student a double-whammy in life science, this also meant that there was no formal earth science instruction so that when test time rolled around, the student was left with large learning gaps. National standards were intended to alleviate this stressful situation by ensuring that all students are taught what they need to know and understand with grade level expectations in mind. The biggest problem with the first go-round on national standards was the word "national". States rights folks determined that the federal government was interfering yet again with demands of what to teach, when, and how. While there was a "what to teach" foundation, these "whats" were items that students need to know and be able to do to be successful. The when was by grade level. These seem rather important and valuable for efficiency and continuity.
I will not talk in class. Write this sentence 100 times; it is due tomorrow! The homework assignment punishing my entire 5th grade class angered me. The teachers stern words pierced my heart. I remember thinking, "This is ridiculous to spend time after school writing a useless sentence." I realize now why I dreaded school; today its called attention deficit disorder. I spent many hours each night laboring over homework assignments. "How am I going to complete this stupid assignment in addition to my daily homework?" Internally, I protested the boondoggle assignment. Little did I know that punishment in 5th grade would transform into a gift. After writing those 6 words 100 times, I learned how to memorize anything, although unapparent to that 5th grader.
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