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Old 06-05-2019, 05:50 PM
 
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"Busy work" can sometimes hide itself as well. For example I've never understood the Math teachers who teach a skill and then assign 100 problems for students to do to exercise the skill. Math is NOT a content subject like Science or Social Studies. It's a skills based course. Once a student has the skill who cares if they achieved it at problem #5 or #50??? It use to boggle my mind when my students in US History would complain about having to do dozens of math problems each night for homework. Math teachers may certainly disagree but assigning obscene amounts of math homework IS busy work. (to top it off i've taught with math teachers who wouldn't even grade the homework, would just look at it to see how much they did and then toss it).
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:08 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,999 posts, read 102,581,357 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMSRetired View Post
Today you would drown in worksheets in almost all classes.
When did your kids graduate HS ?
2002 and 2005.
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:10 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,999 posts, read 102,581,357 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenvillebuckeye View Post
"Busy work" can sometimes hide itself as well. For example I've never understood the Math teachers who teach a skill and then assign 100 problems for students to do to exercise the skill. Math is NOT a content subject like Science or Social Studies. It's a skills based course. Once a student has the skill who cares if they achieved it at problem #5 or #50??? It use to boggle my mind when my students in US History would complain about having to do dozens of math problems each night for homework. Math teachers may certainly disagree but assigning obscene amounts of math homework IS busy work. (to top it off i've taught with math teachers who wouldn't even grade the homework, would just look at it to see how much they did and then toss it).
Welp, the math teachers said that math is a skill that takes practice, therefore they assigned 20 (or whatever) min of homework per night. Once you learn a cartwheel in gymnastics, you do it over and over again! Same thing.
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:12 PM
 
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I'd think that, so far as public schools go, busy work is something that's easy to grade (or a participation grade) while the teacher catches up on other things. This is potentially a tactic to manage the amount of hours spent in a week, so that they're not up until midnight grading assignments.

In private schools, leaning toward the more religious institutions, busy work may be a form of practicing discipline. Regimented assignments to either instill certain knowledge or just a general work ethic and diligence to those whom it may not come naturally.

Just speculations, but plausible.
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,034 posts, read 17,348,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMSRetired View Post
Today you would drown in worksheets in almost all classes.
One of the reasons that there are so many worksheets now is that school districts individualize more lessons and do not rely as much on grade level workbooks. As an example, when I started teaching primary grade students often had six different workbooks, reading, math, spelling, language arts, science and social studies. When I retired a few years ago most primary level students, at least in my school district, only had one workbook (math). Students still needed to learn and practice skills in spelling, reading and language arts as well as in social studies and science, thus more worksheets were needed.

Last edited by germaine2626; 06-05-2019 at 06:54 PM..
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
2002 and 2005.
I would say a lot changed in 15+ years.
My son graduated in 2010 and I thought he brought home a load of worksheets.
Then I was in the schools subbing and teaching since then and it's even more now.
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
One of the reasons that there are so many worksheets now is that school districts individualize more lessons and do not relay as much on grade level workbooks. As an example, when I started teaching primary grade students often had six different workbooks, reading, math, spelling, language arts, science and social studies. When I retired a few years ago most primary level students, at least in my school district, only had one workbook (math). Students still needed to learn and practice skills in spelling, reading and language arts as well as in social studies and science, thus more worksheets were needed.
I noticed that in some classes there is one textbook and it stays in the classroom so the kids received handouts/worksheets for homework.

But now there is the movement towards digital with the kids getting issued laptops/chromebooks in 9th grade so more work is done online.
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
How do you identify that? I mean you did that a,b,c,d,e, but really. a. I don't remember my kids having anything you'd call "worksheet".
....
Consider your kids very lucky they graduated when they did. Worksheets were the bane of our existence as the kids had to grind through pages of them every night. Math, spelling, word match, fill in the blanks, true/false. Every subject. 20-50 problems/questions/etc on each sheet.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
..
b. Who decides how much repetition is *too* much?

...
The student and parents. It's not the difficult to see if the kid either "gets it" or isn't going to "get it" without going to the teacher for more help. When they hit that point, they're just wasting time because they aren't gaining.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post

c. Not this again!
....
Teachers having to spend most of their time on the bottom 20% is reality. Got to keep the others busy, so, more worksheets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
...
d. ??

...
Repetitive drafts of a paper. Someone also mentioned this. Usually the process went something like this:
1. Turn in an outline for grade. Get feedback to either repeat this step or go on to the next step of footnote cards.
2. Write all your footnote and bibliography cards and turn them in for grade, with some minimum number of different sources and footnote cards per source.
3. Draft 1. Turn in for grade and comments.
4. Draft 2. Repeat.
5. Either Draft 3 or Final Draft, depending on previous comments.
6. Final Version, with all the collected previous drafts, outlines, cards, etc, so they can make sure you made the changes from the earlier comments.

That process makes sense for a dissertation or professional publication. Doesn't make sense for an 11th grade book report on Far From The Madding Crowd.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
...??

e. Maybe it's a learning tool. We didn't have much of that, and I don't think my kids did, either.
It's a method, but not the only method. I'm surprised your kids didn't have much of that because it was common even when I went to school. We'd go through several packs of 3x5 and 4x6 cards each year.
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:58 PM
 
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Well, if it weren't illegal to group kids by ability/grade level, you could have sections of more advanced students that were learning above grade level, and not being bored out of their skulls, and sections of "behind" students who were learning below grade level, and not being bored out of their skulls because everything taught is way over their heads, and sections of "at grade level" students who were being taught at grade level, and weren't bored out of their skulls by all the constant repetition required for the "behind" students.

But that's illegal, because all students are exactly the same, and every single one can be a surgeon, or partner in a leading law firm, or start a business that makes millions, even if he reaches the age of 19 barely able to spell "cat".

So instead, we have oversized classes of kids, the smart ones bored and either checking out or causing trouble, and the dumb ones bored and either checking out or causing trouble, and the average ones trying to learn SOMETHING but having this sinking feeling that somehow they're getting shafted, without really knowing why.

Oh, and by the way, every single thing in this picture that might trouble you, is the fault of the AWFUL TEACHERS. So, the solution? PUNISH THE TEACHERS.
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Old 06-05-2019, 10:12 PM
 
9,680 posts, read 15,861,934 times
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Just my 2 cents--


In 12th grade, the week before graduation, our English teacher didn't want to be bothered with assignments, grading, etc. So, for the last week, she had us listen to a record of Beowulf--in olde English! I mean, we had to sit there and listen to that crap for five class periods, and try to stay awake. It was utterly pointless, except to give us "busy work" while the teacher graded final assignments. Oh, well, I guess it was better than a major paper or project the last week before graduation


Hey, they get away with it
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