Monday, September 20, 2010

Makes My Monday: Enlightened

Both of my twins have been awarded these buttons at school for solving particularly gnarly math problems.  If they wear these buttons on test days, and get 100% on the math test, they get extra credit.  Interesting approach.  Is it really the best students who need extra credit?  I think if I were a teacher, I would devise a way to reward credit to students who struggle valiantly. 

Nevertheless, I'm incredibly proud of my kids for earning these.  I'd be interested in hearing your take on it.

Makes My Monday is hosted by Cheryl at Twinfatuation.

9 people stopped folding laundry to write:

Burbank Babe said...

When I struggled in math, something like this was meant to give me something to strive for, but, alas, I would just shrink back more because I'd never get such a distinction. I believe I truly gave up on math in 9th grade.

I did really well in Geometry, however. It wasn't math and was much more suited to my brain.

Congrats, though, on the badges. I bet you *I* couldn't solve what they solved so good for them.

But, what is the extra credit for? Is there an A plus, plus plus to get?

Double the Giggles said...

I like the way you're looking at it. I once had a high school teacher who caught some slack from the school board for writing "Excellent Work!" on a student with a barely passing grade and a "You can do better" on a decent grade. Same kind of concept... That teacher gained my resepct almost immdiately for recognizing individual accomplishments, and not just assuming a good grade was good. He knew, and expected better from certain students, and could tell that those struggling were trying their best.

Olivia said...

Ha! I really should be folding laundry right now. : )
That is a very interesting award idea. I think you're right, but I was an overachiever in school and always LOVED it when teachers gave me a chance to make over 100 percent!

Edith said...

Interesting approach. I think all students should be given the opportunity to earn extra credit. (and as a parent I push my boys to take any opportunity to earn extra credit they have). Not sure the button is worth more than "be proud of me...I solved a gnarly math problem" but still something to be proud of. I was never good in math...did good to get a B. My boys on the other hand are capable of getting A+'s...and two of them do. I totally do tell them "you can do better" if I think they are not doing their best.

Laura said...

I can definitely see why you might question the extra credit piece, but I know that our school has recently taken the position that we need to find ways to help the academically talented students to feel challenged and keep them engaged. Your kids seem to dig it, so I would say for now- it's working.

Cheryl Lage said...

You know, while I adore (and encourage) demonstrating support for the struggling, I do think too often it happens at the expense of killing the motivation and continued support of the succeeding.

Maybe some different equations for the "growing?"

Our kids school has started giving "BUG" awards...Bringing Up a Grade at the scholar roll ceremonies for those who've demonstrated upward movement. Like that idea. :)

And kudos to your little calculators...they and you Make My Monday!

The Mother said...

I think anything that makes math more fun is a plan--especially for girls, who are innately good at math but often societally conditioned to not like it.

But, yes, the strugglers should have some program going, too. They may very well, but you don't see the strugglers.

Michelle said...

Maybe I'm the only one, but I think it's a little weird. I get having some extra credit or a small award for solving a difficult problem, but what is with the button? It seems like anyone getting 100% on a test should be given props, not just the button wearers. And I agree on the individualism of congratulating or saying 'you can do better' to students at all levels.


I love to hear about your kiddos' accomplishments. I think you are a great mom and doing an awesome job raising incredible kids.

Growing up, I was one of those kids that did well in everything and was in the 'smart' group that got reading and math awards. It made us feel superior to the 'dumb' kids.

My child attends a school that is anti-competition. They would not give out awards for smartness. They don't want anyone to feel less than anyone else.

I think there has to be a middle ground. I believe competition is good and healthy and that there is a place in schools for competition. There should be realistic incentives for the kids who work their butts off to get 4/10 on a spelling test. I guarantee you, that 4/10 person worked harder than 10/10 me for whom school came easy.

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