Saturday, December 8, 2007

1st Grade homework assignments

Okay, here is where I am going to vent/complain/gripe about home work assignments.
My son is currently in 1st grade and has a teacher that goes by DR. Has to have those 2 letters in front of her name on EVERY thing she sends home. If you are so proud of your Title, then teach at a college or something, after all the work you are sending home is not 1st grade related.
Each week, John comes home with a piece or thick art paper that has a little note attached from said DR. All projects are due in by Friday of that week. OK, here is where you are saying sounds simple, why is he complaining? Well, these projects end up having to be done by the parents due to the level of requested task. I have talked with other parents who have children in the same class and they all agree that these projects are a little much for 1st graders. Anyways these projects are mostly done by the parents and the children at most either glue things to the paper or draw at their best and color pictures.
One assignment wanted the kids to look in magazines, newspapers and the Internet for pictures showing different types of weather, example: windy, rainy, sunny etc. Well we do not have magazines sent to the house nor the newspaper. So we are stuck going online and searching for pictures for him to glue to this paper. Then he has to write under each picture what it is.. OK so this one is not that bad. It gets better.
Second assignment, has to find pictures of Bugs and Insects and then write under each one what is a bug and what is an insect. OK, last I know bugs were insects and insects were bugs right? Again , no magazines at home, so here sits dad on the computer Google searching bugs and insects. Well I'll be Damned, there are different pictures listed for bugs and insects. I still am failing to see what the difference is. They are all creepy looking and need to be sprayed with RAID in my opinion. But I printed out, cut out and then we glued. Now if you remember he is supposed to write bug/insect under each picture. ARRRGGGGHHHH forgot which was which and am ready to throw the project in the garbage. But me being the "Patient" father I am , researched the bugs and insects and we titled them appropriately.
Project number 3, Abstract art. He had to blend several colors together and make an abstract art. Here is our conversation...
Dad: Do you know what an abstract art is?
Son: A What?
Dad: AB-Stract art?
Son: No.
Dad: Did DR Blankity Blank teach you in class what Abstract art is?
Son: No
Dad: Your not learning about painting and colors?
Son: No

OK, I am ready to scream at this point. So I took a few moments to let him know they wanted him to blend colors and make this picture called an Abstract art.
OK, he said he understood and went to work at the kitchen table with the paints and the paper he was sent home with. The completed picture turned out Black with very small streaks of color here and there. Guess he really Blended the colors. My kitchen table on the other hand, looks like a wonderful abstract art. Can I just send the table in as his project?
Fourth project: POLLUTION
He had to draw a before and after picture of pollution. My conversation with him about pollution and learning about pollution was about the same as the abstract art. I finally said, OKAY !! I drew a line down the middle of the paper dividing it into 2 sides. I said on this side draw a pond with fish and plants and no garbage. On this other side draw the same pond with fish, plants and alot of garbage all over. I will take a picture of his pollution project and post it sometime tomorrow when I wake up after work.

Oh and I forgot about the very first project , here he had to write about a career choice and why he wanted it. Ummm HELLO, he is 7 years old and shouldn't be concerned about that right yet.
Maybe its just me, cause after I sit here and re-read this, they do not seem all that bad, but when its time to do them it is. Maybe this is a whole new level of 1st grade then when my other 3 kids were in first grade.


Darren said...

I'm sure those assignments are harder when you actually have to do them with a first grader. My daughter is in first grade and the homework is spelling and math. Getting her to do that is hard enough some days.

I think you're right that the doctor would rather be teaching a higher level. First graders shouldn't be calling their teacher doctor.

Thanks for the link. I'll add you too.

Johnny said...

Darren: I will be more than happy to send you the same assignment each week for you to try.. LOL
And Thanks for that add !!!

Joeprah said...

What the frig? Crazy art assignments there man. Like Adolf Picasso or something is teaching your boy. 1st? Grade? Can't wait to see what happens in the second half of the year. Abstract art...BAH!

Anonymous said...

Dear complainer....
What is the big problem with calling the teacher Dr. The teacher went to college for YEARS and did LOTS of work to EARN that title! Having your child call the teacher Dr is a respect thing...which CLEARLY the child's parent don't understand!!!! If you think it is so easy to get that title, then take your complaining butt off the computer long enough to work and obtain your own title.

Second of all, your child should be the most important thing to you. Of all the things you do in life to waste time, you should NEVER complain on the time you invest in your own child... especially when you are teaching him something! The education of a child should be a team effort!YOU SHOULD BE PART OF THE TEAM!!! Parents need to help extend their child's knowledge base...and if you don't want your child to be knowledgable, then don't put the time in with him and sit on your computer and spend hours complaining like you are doing now! It's obvious that this web site took alot of your time to set up! In reading your post, I didn't hear you complain ONE time about the amount of time you had to invest in making this web page; yet, I heard you complain MANY times about having to invest time in helping your child become a better person! Sounds to me like you really need to do a reality check and get your priorities in order!!!!!!

It is disrespetful parents like yourself that make the educational system in the United State sink lower and lower in the ranking among other nations. Go ahead and complain in front of your child. Teach him it is 'ok' to be at level with everyone one else and never extend or strive to go above and beyond. Prove to him that education is really not that important to you by whinning about every project instead of looking at them as opportunities for your child to learn new things. You can help make this country, that used to be the leader in the world when it came to new inventions and problem solving, slump lower and lower and depend on other countries (such as China...whose student by the way go to school 7 days a week and are tutored by their parents when they get home from school)for the solutions to tomorrows problems.

I can promise you if you spent half as much time helping your child with school as you do complaining on the web and trying to "rally" other parent to not value the investment of time with their own children, you would be done with home work and have spare time to do something productive instead of destructive. And yes ma'am, the actions you are displaying are damaging whether you are intelligent enought to see it or not!!!

Black Flame said...

Insects are bugs but bugs aren't always insects. Insects have 3 legs on each side.

They normally ask what you want to be in such a low grade so they could think about it as they get older.

I think the teacher expects the students to be able to use the computer ... you could teach your son how to use it if you want.

Dr. just means that she got her doctor's degree for teaching and thus it needs to be placed before her name in every thing that should have her name or else it's not grammatically correct.

This actually sounds very simple ... very, very simple but time consuming.

Angela said...

I think the teacher would enjoy teaching older students more. I don't have a doctorate degree myself, but if I did, I wouldn't make the children address me as Dr.

I think it is good to want to teach students great things, but not before they are ready. If my students go home and have to have their parents do most of the work because they don't have any idea what they are doing, then I would need to adjust the curriculum so that the students can gain some benefit from the homework.

I earned a BA in art, and abstract art is a more difficult concept for children than other forms of art (that is, if it is actually taught to them). For example, I would maybe have them draw a fish in a fishbowl, then tell them to draw it again so it doesn't look so much like a fish in a fishbowl, but more like shapes. Even then, I think older students would appreciate the concept more than the younger ones.