Friday, September 3, 2010

"Guided Study" and other Rantful Things

I hated middle school. But you know that from the post that will be posted in less than an hour that by the time you read this will have been posted at least yesterday. I'm writing this on the 2nd.
Mom figured she would wait and see if 7th grade would be better than 6th grade. It wasn't, but she remained optimistic and waited another year. Halfway through 8th grade (and Nicole was in 6th grade), she started complaining to the principal about some issues.
Now I'm going to complain about (some of) them. Because things have only gotten worse since I left.

Her main concern was movies being shown in class. Not documentaries or other informative things. Movies like The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe or even Bedtime Stories  and Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa.
Nicole watched all of these and more in 6th grade. I watched different ones, but the point remains the same.
What is the excuse for this? "It's based on an AR book." AR is Accelerated Reader. Each student has AR levels that they're supposed to read within and a point goal for each quarter. You read AR books, take tests on them, and receive points. (I happened to be the AR champion all 3 years. I think. Maybe it was only 2.)

It's based on an AR book????? SO?!?! Sometimes they'd read the book in class, like LWW. But did they do any assignments afterwards comparing them? No. They just watched the movies.
Most of the movie-watching took place a) on Fridays and b) during the several weeks after EOGs (End of Grade tests) were over.

First of all, I would like to say that high school makes way more sense in that our exams are the LAST week of school. 
The 6th graders often go outside for "recess" (although they don't call it that) for almost an hour almost every Friday.

I though middle school wasn't supposed to have recess.

Those kids are going to school for those weeks after testing. They are supposed to be LEARNING. Okay, in 8th grade we did stuff. We had a poetry slam, for one thing. In Geometry, we had our exam the last week of school because it was a high school course, so we were working right up until the end (and yes, I skipped a few days of school after the exam, due to my being at the beach. Arrest me. We weren't going to be doing anything after that.)

I don't care what they say. Madagascar 2 isn't educational. WALL-E, which we watched in 8th grade...okay. Maybe. It's about climate change and the importance of living as opposed to surviving (a sentiment which I love).

Then there's this new thing they started this year called "Guided Study." What has Sarah (6th grade) been doing in GS? Playing a game called "Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down" where the teacher says "Sarah steals Amy's money. Thumbs up or thumbs down?"
Come on. They aren't three. If they steal money, they're doing it with full knowledge that they shouldn't. Otherwise they have a mental condition or had a very interesting upbringing.
And Nicole? She's been reading for half an hour every morning during Guided Study. Reading's great, yes, but that's ridiculous. I'm lucky if I get fifteen minutes of reading in during the school day, and that's INCLUDING lunch. Not that I always read at lunch. (I didn't at all last year, but that's because I was sitting with friends, as opposed to now, when I'm sitting with people I'm friendly with.)

Then there was the band issues, which have been fixed because a new director was hired at that school.

Then there's the PBS system. It has something to do with good behavior. The kids get tickets for "exhibiting character traits." Supposedly.
Sarah has EIGHTEEN of them already, and we've only been in school for a week and a day. Want to know how? From answering questions correctly in Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down. And also in regular class.

This is the part where I mention how much I love my school.

(Mists of Avalon, while still refusing to become shorter, is still very, very good. I've been using my calculator to figure out what percentage of the way done with it so I don't feel daunted by the length. I'm nearly 17% complete, and that number will be going up later tonight.)


  1. It's rather strange when you realize you know a person so well, that when you read something they write, you can hear them in your head. And yes, I completely agree! Though, I wouldn't have complained, had I been in their place. Getting out of doing work is a great thing as a kid. Though, thinking back, it seems like a waste.

  2. Haha, I HAVE INVADED YOUR MIND! How are the evil baby men coping?
    Getting out of doing work is great when you have work to do. Not having any work to do isn't any fun. Hooky isn't fun when it's already the weekend, after all.


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