The Lydster, Part 86: Homework

I wrote a letter to the teacher pointing out the ambiguities, and hoping the students wouldn’t be marked as wrong when when grading the assignment.

As I’ve noted, I tend to be the one who works on the homework with the Daughter. She even had an assignment during the week off from school for Passover/Easter. Only 7 of the 24 students actually did the assignment, and Lydia was the ONLY one to color it, as requested, albeit on a Monday morning she was returning to class.

On the weekly homework, there are 10 spelling words to copy plus a bonus word. She’s quite good at this; I don’t think she’s gotten worse than a 95 on her weekly test. The homework also includes writing sentences and some math.

Occasionally, I find the exercises with the graphics to be a bit obtuse, but never more so than earlier this month.
The exercise:

“When y is at the end of a word, it can stand for the long sound of I as in dry, or the long sound of e, as in pony. Say each picture name. Circle long E or long I to show the sound of y in each picture name.”
You may not be able to see the graphic clearly, but I was having difficulty discerning what was being asked for:
2. city or sky?
5. cry or baby?
6. why (that’s a REALLY subtle concept for a first grader)
8. sunny or sky?
9. shy or boy (shy is REALLY subtle here)
10. heavy? (pry is the answer, again not a concept my daughter knew)
15. cloudy or sky?


And the next page
4. sleepy or yawn?
So I wrote a letter to the teacher pointing out the ambiguities and hoping the students wouldn’t be marked as wrong when grading the assignment.

That very evening, I got a note back from the teacher, in which she, working 1-to-1 with another student on the homework “realized the difficulty and confusion with this worksheet page.” She promised to remove the assignment for next year’s homework, and that the Daughter wouldn’t be penalized for any errors.

I think it’s very comforting that her teacher, who I’ve met with a couple of times, was so responsive.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

3 thoughts on “The Lydster, Part 86: Homework”

  1. I wonder why this didn’t occur to her sooner? I’m sure students have had difficulty every year. But you won’t really know if she removes the assignment or not. Hopefully she will. I shake my head at teachers sometimes. I’ve found typos in things that came home with the kids. TYPOS! From the SCHOOL! And then the kids get marked down for spelling mistakes. Go figure.

  2. Just checking this one out because you linked to it on your ABC Wednesday post today. Egad, that assignment was for Grade 1 children? I’m glad you let the teacher know, and I’m glad she even figured it out on her own with another student. But she should have studied the assignment herself before passing it on to poor unsuspecting children.
    Good for you, Roger. Some parents grumble and snarl, but never do anything about it.
    My 9-year-old niece is in French Immersion school, and I was helping her with her end of the year assignment in June. It was long and complicated and she just didn’t “get it” so I sat down with her, showed her how to look at it from a different angle, and she got it. She finished the assignment, and was very pleased about it.
    Sometimes that’s all it takes, a different perspective, but I think the teacher, not the parents or the aunt, should be the one to help students see what the assignment is all about, then send them home to do their homework happily.
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

  3. Like Kay, dropping in to see what the problem was. And I see it! I’m a teacher and stared at those pictures for some time trying to figure them out. I’m glad you went in to discuss it with the teacher – maybe she was new, maybe she was simply following the curriculum and didn’t realize it’s possible to omit things that don’t make sense (even if those “higher ups” designed them).

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