Is this excessive?

Is this excessive?

This is a picture of part of my son's math test. This is the second test where he receives a D grade even if all his answers were correct. He forgets to put the thing the test is asking about. For example 10 "apples" - he forgets the "apples" part and she takes off so many points that he gets horrible test scores eventhough all the math part is correct. He feels sad because he thinks he is bad at math when he is actually very good at it. This is so frustrating. Any ideas on what I should do. I am discussing it with the principal. Thank you.

14 Replies

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  • You should ask for a 504 plan. You will need to ask for it in writing so the school will be required to assess and possibly approve accomodations that would help your child

  • We are in the process now and the teacher is aware of that too.

  • Good. If your child qualifies then the teachers will be required to adjust to what works best for your child. If your child doesnt qualify you will have more information from the school psychologist to share with your Dr.

  • Thank you.

  • This is terrible the teacher should know his/her students and have some understanding of he individuals they are!

  • Make sure he knows how great he is at math, but it’s the little details that he’s missing (which is totally normal for any kid, but especially an ADHD kid).

  • Teacher and test writer should get an F. Was this a math test or test of following verbal instructions because there appears no instructions on format other than to show work. If the question is how many millimeters, you do not need to respond redundantly with millimeters in the answer. What about the ther units of measure? Number of friends? Muffins, why is millimeters important. Number of questions is pretty unfair test of aptitude. All sorts of negativity here. I'd try to switch to a competent teacher.

  • Your son's teacher has decided to hold his progress in math hostage to his ability to remember minor details, which is an executive function skill. She was taught that these harsh and punitive methods were the best way to help children learn to remember details, but, while it might work for average children, it will never work for ADHD children. Right now, his brain simply cannot hold as many details as most other children his age. He can solve the problem correctly, or he can remember the peripheral details like writing down the unit, but he literally cannot do both any more than he can lift a car, it doesn't matter how often the teacher punishes him with undeserved bad grades.

    As for #5, I really like his solution. Multiplication and division are the same thing in opposite directions, and he just saw the problem in a different direction than the teacher did. He's developing the skills necessary to learn algebra here.

    I agree with the suggestion to set up a 504, and I'll offer one more: Math enrichment. See if you can find some kind of program in your area where children his age can learn more advanced math, one with a teacher who isn't obsessed with triviality. He's good at math, and he deserves to have someone show him that.

    By the way, I'm a professor of mathematics, severely ADHD. I adored math as a small child, but all the way through school I despised it, thanks to teachers like this. College teachers who were a bit less fussy helped me remember how much I loved it, and the rest was history.

  • Thank you so much. This really helped. I will look into math programs near us.

  • Unfortunately I see a lot of different sides to this. You absolutely do need to get accommodations because the score shouldn't be that low. However, if the teacher is pushing the class to remember to always show their work, answer word questions with words, and to always include the unit measurement then it would make sense that they would threaten to grade the entire class by these standards. Working as a sub and getting put in several math classes as support, this is a common thing that I see/hear teachers really pushing as being important. And it is, since it shows that the kids are thinking about the whole of the problem rather than just the numbers. But this teacher should also be able to see that the problem isn't a lack of effort or ability but simple inattentiveness. They are probably a new teacher, an old one, or simply an authoritarian trying to prove a point. Accommodations need to be made. That is clear. Because sometimes these types of teachers feel like they can't treat any kid any differently than any others without documentation. And legally they can't, but some bend those rules a little bit when they see a need. My point is to first get the help that is needed. But also to not assume malice or ill will on the part of the teacher. My hunch is that they feel like they have no other choice (although they do - they just don't see it).

  • Although I teach high school, I am a teacher, and I find this absolutely excessive. While I see the value of making sure students see the whole picture in a word problem, to take off that many points for not remembering a detail that is not even related to the math itself is excessive and punitive. When my students miss a detail from my directions but get the answer correct, I take off a portion of the point, not the entire thing. I agree that it might be a new teacher—or a very old one that needs to retire. This can unnecessarily damage a child’s self-efficacy in a subject, and in my opinion, it’s excessive. I hope your meeting goes well with the principal. I would stress the importance of his feelings about his own ability, and things like this just crush that.

  • I think the teacher was a bit harsh. And the comment about it being "excessive" is rude and doesn't even make sense. I am a teacher (post secondary) and I only take off small marks for things like spelling errors or missed units. To me... it is more important for a student to prove to me that they understand the concepts. Your sons teacher is trying to prove a point, attention to detail etc, which yes, is important, but he/she shoulnd't be taking off so many points.

    I would talk to your teacher. I find the comment offensive. If I was trying my hardest and someone wrote that on my test, I would feel so bad about myself.

  • Hello Leticia,

    I agree with you it's is excessive. Unfortunately, the Common Core is very literacy based. However, you child is left feeling like he has a deficit. I would discuss it with the principal. Do you have a 504 Plan or IEP?

  • We are in the process of setting up an IEP.

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