Friday, December 5, 2008

Raffles and A Little (Chop Chop) Vent

Please check out the raffles on the RT side of my Blog. My friend Kris is (hopefully) getting very close to hearing about her new daughter from China. She is raising funds for the last portion of her adoption. If you have some extra moola & want a chance to win a WII, please check her Blog out. Even if you already have a WII...go check out her Blog anyways. But hurry, because her raffle ends this week. It's not too late!!

There is also a link for a very nice Canon camera package. They are raising funds to be split among a couple of things. Click on that one as well & check out how you might win. That raffle goes until Dec 14.

And now for a little vent. My first grader has a very good teacher. A strict teacher, but good. One of the weekly homework assignments is to write each spelling word in a sentence. They have to use a mixture of statements, questions, & exclamations. This is due on Thu, but we always start working on them Mon night. It is, for Lindsi, the hardest assignment of the week. She is getting better at sentence structure every week. I see her steady improvement.

So, this week one of her words is "CHOP". Her original sentence was:
I like to use chop sticks to eat.
I told her that was a good sentence, but the word CHOP in this instance was connected to the word STICK. It was a compound word, two separate words, joined together to make a whole. She has had some exposure to compound words, but not a lot yet. We looked it up in the dictionary, so that I could show her.

For grins, we looked up the definition for the word CHOP. It has three listed definitions. 1. To cut finely, as in dice. 2. To swing broadly, as in using an axe. 3. A stamp or signature on documents. Notes authenticity or good quality.

I told Lindsi that all of my papers from China were signed with a chop. I told her that people use a chop in China for business & to sign their names on documents. Lindsi loves to hear about & share things she learns about China.

She wrote a new sentence:

I can use a CHOP to sign my name.

That's a good sentence I thought. The teacher didn't think so & underlined the word & wrote a big NO across it. Lindsi couldn't wait to show it to me when she got home. I was a little mad. I know the teacher has 19 papers to grade...BUT....we had really worked on that sentence. Referenced it, looked it up, explored the meaning of the word & the teacher effectively negated the whole exercise with her big pen. Doesn't she realize the influential power she has on these young minds?

I ended up telling Lindsi that many words have more than one meaning. Everyone can't be expected to know them all. That's why we use a dictionary...we look things up when we're not sure.

It would have been so much better to write something like..."interesting use of the word CHOP"....not NO! I did write a note back to the teacher, telling her that while I realize this is an exercise, we had done a lot of work exploring the meanings of the words. The word CHOP, in a noun form had meaning for Lindsi. And, that I was disappointed in her easy dismissal of the work.

In many ways, I know it's petty. Lindsi still learned the value of looking things up. She still learned how to spell CHOP (the real & only goal). I think I need to do as Lindsi & just move on. But it still(apparently)irks me.


Sandra said...

I understand you being annoyed. I would be, too! Even if the teacher didn't know that a chop is a stamp, she could have disagreed in a better way besides slapping the word NO across the paper.

I would not let it go; for Lindsi's sake. Especially because it has cultural meaning for you both.

Lost and Found said...

It's not petty. The teacher was wrong for not knowing or looking it up herself but more importantly for dismissing L's effort to complete her assignment. Writing, "NO" across the top of her page or over her sentence is unacceptable and I'd bring it to her attention. For shame!!!!!!!!!!

Val said...

Just because she doesn't know, doesn't mean Lindsi's wrong! The best teachers never stop learning...don't let this go! It's not petty, IMO. What a cool thing the whole class could learn--some of my best remembered learning experiences in school didn't come from the textbooks!