Friday, October 12, 2012

Grades: Strandard-based or Letter Grades.

    Grades can be what make or break you as a student. The purpose of grades is to asses how much you are learning. To  be honest I don't mind the grading system we have now. Since it is all numbers and letters the grades are based primarily on how much you understand the concept. By using the 100 point grading system a teacher can't take off 5 points because they don't like you. It is also easy to calculate how many things you got wrong by looking at your grade. If each questions worth 10 points and you get a 90% you got two questions wrong. The system we have no is easily understood and doesn't have any major problems.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Creativity Killers.

          "When I was your age I spent all my time outside", "When I was your age I rode my bike every day,", "When i was your age I had to use my imagination for fun,". I'm sure every person has heard similar statements made  by their parents. They are always complaining that we don't use our imagination as much as previous generations did. Well this point is true but it isn't our fault, schools are the ones killing our creativity. Or at least this what is believed by Sir Ken Robinson. He addressed this issue during a TED talk. Basically what he was saying was that schools create a fear of being wrong. I believe this is true. There are always the moments in class when the teacher is looking around for the answer and you think you know the answer but you aren't exactly positive. You sit there though with your hand down because you don't want  to give a completely wrong answer. This whole fear of being wrong is insane but sadly its true for me too. I went to an eye doctors appointment the other day and i was really nervous when i was asked to read the letters on the wall. I kept thinking "Oh my goodness, i can't see it. I'm wrong!" Schools are also teaching us that being wrong is like a crime. Every year the main curriculum focus making sure every student passes the NJ ASK. We take months in advance to do practice prompts, practice math packets, sample writing responses. If your answer doesn't match the New Jersey standard answer it is wrong. If you aren't allowed to use the creativity you have than it won't be there the next time you go looking Its like when you know all the words to a song but then a year passes. When you hear that song sure you might know the chorus but you don't know how it begins. If you don't use it you loose it. Schools are contributing by assigning projects with a structured outline which prohibit creativity. They also use :"the drill and kill" method. This is where you practice one skill repetitively until you are practically doing it in your sleep. This doesn't let you express new ideas. If you only know one way than all other ways seem wrong and out of place. Everyone is born with creativity but not everyone knows just how to hold on to it. It is similar to holding water in your hands. If you try hard enough you can keep it from slipping through the cracks. Creativity is dwindling but it isn't fully gone. It is our school's job to teach us to use our creativity and encourage us to incorporate our imagination into things. Creativity is like a super power that we all have and it is important that we learn to use it. Once creativity is gone its not coming back so we must hold on to every drop we have left.