Thursday, May 15, 2008

Twenty Questions: The Full Quiz

Here's a copy of the 20-question "common-sense" quiz I give students at the beginning of the school year. For entertainment purposes only:

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[For questions 1-4, "late bell" means the actual time the class period is scheduled to begin, regardless of whether there is an actual ringing bell in the school building.]

1. When the late bell rings, you should
a. walk to class from wherever you are in the building.
b. walk into the classroom from the hallway outside the door.
c. sit down in your seat and begin working.
d. already be in your seat and working.
e. wait for the teacher to instruct you to sit down, stop talking and begin work.
f. continue talking, socializing, or doing whatever you're doing regardless of what the teacher does or says.
g. immediately ask for a room pass.

2. You are late to class if
a. you come into the room several minutes after the late bell, with no excuse.
b. you come into the room any time after the late bell, with no excuse.
c. you come into the room any time after the late bell, regardless of why.
d. you come into the room after the late bell, but only if it's a really long time.
e. you come into the room after the late bell, but only if you did it on purpose.

3. Assuming you arrive after the late bell, you are not late to class if
a. you have an excuse.
b. you have a written, signed note from guidance, dean, SPARK, principal, etc.
c. you are coming from gym.
d. you are coming from your arts studio.
e. your previous class ran long or let out late.
f. you come into the room less than a minute after the late bell.
g. you were in the room before the late bell and then left.
h. your belongings are at your seat, even though you are not in the room.
i. you are standing just outside the doorway when the late bell rings.
j. any of the above.
k. none of the above.

4. If you have something you need to do right at the beginning of class, such as retrieving an item from your locker or asking another teacher a question; assuming you can't do it later in the day, the best thing to do is
a. come in, sit down, begin work, then immediately ask to leave.
b. come in and immediately ask to leave before sitting down.
c. take care of it before you come in, and as soon as you enter the room tell the teacher what you were doing so you won't be marked late.
d. take care of it before you come in, but expect to be marked late if you arrive after the late bell.

5. If you are late to class regularly because you are coming from gym or studio, and you really can't help it, you should
a. expect to be excused fo your lateness and not marked late, because it's not your fault.
b. take your time getting to class, because if it's not your fault you're late and you will be excused, then it doesn't matter how late you are.
c. get to class as soon as you can, but expect to be marked late, and understand that you will need to make up for it in other ways (behavior and participation) to prevent it from affecting your grade.
d. come in late and act as if class hasn't started yet, such as by talking to other students or making comments out loud, and taking your time settling in.

6. If you have a first-period class but find yourself arriving late to school because of traffic or transit delays, the correct thing to do is
a. leave home earlier so as to arrive earlier.
b. expect to be excused for your lateness, since the delays were not your fault.
c. expect to be excused for your lateness, since you can't leave home any earlier because you would have to get up earlier, and you need your sleep.
d. expect to be excused for your lateness, because if you leave earlier you might get to school too early and have nothing to do.

7. If you are absent from class, then you should
a. do nothing, because you're not responsible for that day's work.
b. provide an excuse, because if you have an excuse you're not responsible for that day's work.
c. do that day's work in class the next day.
d. make up the work outside of class, either during the extra period at the end of the day, or on your own time.
e. expect to receive a lower grade on your notebook if entries are missing.
f. d and e.

8. When submitting a permission form for a school trip to the teacher, you should expect
a. that the teacher will approve (check "A") and sign it.
b. that the teacher will approve (check "A") and sign it, but only if you are currently passing the class; if you are failing, the teacher will deny permission (check "D").
c. to be allowed to go on the trip even if you are failing, because it's really important and you really want to go.
d. to be allowed to go on the trip even if you are failing, but only if you promise to do all your work from now on.

9. If you are absent on the day a final essay is written in class, such as for a writing project or midterm exam, the correct thing to do is
a. nothing; if you're absent, you don't have to write the essay.
b. nothing; it's not that important and it won't affect your grade very much.
c. wait for the teacher to tell you what to do, but don't ask about it and don't mention it.
d. write the essay, have it with you the next time you come to class, and offer to submit it to the teacher even though he may not accept it.
e. provide an excuse for your absence but don't write the essay, because if it wasn't your fault you were absent, you don't have to do it.
f. provide an excuse for your absence but don't write the essay, because the teacher might not accept it.
g. provide an excuse for your absence but don't write the essay, because it has to be written on the printed form given out in class.
h. provide an excuse for your absence but don't write the essay, because it's the teacher's job to tell you when and how to make it up, and until he does you don't have to do anything.
i. wait until the marking period ends and you get your grade, then act indignant and insist that you were in class that day and the teacher must have lost your essay.

10. At the end of the period, you may stop work, put your belongings away and prepare to leave when
a. you decide that the class is over.
b. you decide that you are finished with your work.
c. you see the time approaching the end of the period.
d. you feel like it.
e. the time reaches the end of the period, and the teacher indicates that the lesson is over.
f. the time reaches the end of the period, whether the lesson is over or not.

11. If you ask for a room pass and are denied permission because it would exceed the limits of the room pass rules, the correct thing to do is
a. wait until after class.
b. politely respond with "Please, it's an emergency," or words to that effect, with the understanding that any exceptions to the room pass limits are duly recorded and may affect your grade if they become unreasonable.
c. argue about it with the teacher, and keep arguing about it until you get permission.
d. get up and walk out, because you're entitled to go if you need to.
e. a or b.

12. On the first day of school in September, before the course begins, before any assignments or grades are given, your grade average is
a. 100.
b. 65.
c. 55.
d. Zero (0).
e. whatever your grade in English was last year.
f. whatever you think it should be.

13. If you do just enough work in your notebook to meet the requirement, and the quality of the work is adequate, typical, average, etc., the grade you should expect to receive is
a. A.
b. B.
c. C.
d. D.

14. When you leave entries in your notebook blank, or don't use the writing time to write, or only copy things off the board without writing any responses or notes of your own, the grade you should expect to receive for your notebook is
a. A.
b. B.
c. C.
d. D.
e. Zero (0)
f. F.

15. If you find yourself disappointed or dissatisfied with a grade you receive on a notebook, essay, project, or other assignment, the appropriate thing to do is
a. complain to the teacher.
b. complain to your guidance counselor.
c. complain to the principal.
d. complain to an assistant principal.
e. complain to a parent.
f. complain to a friend.
g. nothing.
h. cut class the next day.
i. try to get the grade increased by claiming the work was too hard.
j. try to get the grade increased by claiming you didn't know what to do.
k. try to get the grade increased by claiming that you were absent.
l. try to get transferred out of that teacher's class into another teacher's class.
m. give up, because you're just going to fail again next time.
n. give up, because the teacher obviously hates you.
o. consult the assessment rubrics, standards, work samples, online resources, classmates who received higher grades, and/or the teacher to thelp you understand why you received the low grade, and discover how you can do better next time.

16. If you find yourself having difficulty understanding the material discussed in class, sich as quotations, readings and Regents writing tasks, the proper thing to do is
a. nothing.
b. put your head down and go to sleep.
c. start a conversation with another student about something else.
d. do whatever you feel like doing, such as drawing, reading a magazine, looking through photos, playing with electronic devices, or homework for other classes.
e. expect to be given a passing grade for the class, because the work is too hard for you, so you can't do it, and that's not your fault.
f. announce to the teacher and the class that you "don't get it."
g. raise your hand and tell the teacher that you "don't get it."
h. demand that the teacher explain it to you and refuse to do any work until he does.
i. think about it, form an idea, then raise your hand and ask a question which indicates that you've thought about it but need some help developing the idea.

17. When you're confronted with a difficult, challenging project assignment, where you find yourself having difficulty doing it or even understanding what to do, the best way to handle the situation is
a. don't do the project at all, because if you don't know what you're supposed to do, you can't be expected to do it and it won't affect your grade.
b. don't do the project at all, because if an assignment is too difficult for you, you can't be expected to do it and it won't affect your grade.
c. don't do the project at all, because it won't be any good anyway, and if you're just going to get a bad grade there's no point in doing it in the first place.
d. don't do the project at all, because it might not be exactly what the teacher wants, so it's better not to hand in anything than to hand in something that's wrong.
e. don't do the project at all, then when they're handed back or when you get your report card, act indignant and claim that you did do it, and the teacher must have lost it.
f. don't do the project at all, then when they're handed back or when you get your report card, and the teacher mentions the missing project, say you didn't know about the project and have no idea what he's talking about.
g. wait until after the project is due, then tell the teacher you're having trouble understanding what to do, and ask for help and more time.
h. wait until after the project is due, then complain to the teacher about how hard it is, so the teacher will make it easier, give you more time, or tell you that you don't have to do it.
i. wait until after the project is due, then complain to a parent or administrator about how hard it is, so that person will force the teacher to make it easier, give you more time, or tell you that you don't have to do it.
j. do the best you can to come up with a really good reason why you couldn't do it, because if you have a really good reason, you'll either be excused or get another chance.
k. do the best you can to avoid mention of the project for as long as possible, and hope the teacher will forget about it.
l. do the best you can to complete the project based on what you know, making educated guesses and decisions on what you don't know, ask questions and come in for extra help well before the project is due, and get it done either on time or as soon as you possibly can.

18. When the end of the marking period or semester is approaching, and you find yourself with a failing average, what you should do is
a. ask to do "extra credit" to make up for the work you didn't do.
b. promise the teacher that you will do your work from now on if he will give you a 65 for this marking period.
c. claim that you didn't understand what's going on in class and/or don't understand the material, so you shouldn't fail.
d. claim that you were absent for an extended period, so you shouldn't fail.
e. give up and stop coming to class, because you're just going to fail anyway.
f. try to get transferred out of that teacher's class into another teacher's class.
g. wait until after the report cards come out, then complain to a parent, guidance counselor and/or administrator that the grade is "unfair."
h. accept the result, acknowledge and understand why it happened, and resolve to do better in the next marking period.

19. Some of the arts studios do not allow students to participate in end-of-term performances if they are failing any of their academic classes. If this happens to you, the only thing you can do about it is
a. ask the teacher whose class you are failing to let you perform anyway, because it's very important to you.
b. ask the teacher whose class you are failing to raise your grade so you can perform, because it's very important to you.
c. ask the teacher whose class you are failing if there is anything you can do now, such as "extra credit," to raise your grade and be allowed to perform, because it's very important to you.
d. promise the teacher whose class you are failing that you will do all of your work from now on if he will let you perform, because it's very important to you.
e. ask the studio teacher to talk to the academic teacher and convince him to let you perform.
f. ask a parent to talk to the academic teacher and convince him to let you perform.
g. tell the studio teacher that you are actually passing and the academic teacher must have made a mistake.
h. nothing; you should have taken this into consideration during the school year when making day-to-day decisions about whether to do your academic work.

20. Which of the following statements is true?
a. A failing grade (F) is better than a zero (0).
b. A zero (0) is better than a failing grade (F).
c. There is no difference between a failing grade (F) and a zero (0).
d. If you think you're going to fail, you might as well not do the work at all.
e. The first marking period does not count toward your final grade for the course.
f. It makes no difference when an assignment is done, as long as it's done.
g. If you didn't mean to do it, or if you didn't mean for the outcome to happen, then it's not your fault.
h. All of the above.
i. None of the above.


4 comments:

f.x. said...

was "rofl" until the reality set in.... the most humorous (read: most absurd) choices seem to reflect that fact that many of today's students refuse to take ownership or responsibility for their own academic/personal growth...because i'm special and unique, rules and consequences just seem only to apply to others...how ironic that a "silver bullet" solution (NCLB)holds teachers and institutions responsible while ignoring a key element in the equation, student responsibility??? btw, can i get CLIFF NOTES for this quiz???

Jay Braiman said...

A very astute observation. One of the first things one learns in law school is the principle of res judicata, meaning that once a case is decided, the outcome of that case becomes the law which will govern similar cases in the future. In the school context, parents and kids will often demand an outcome in a particular situation which they feel is best for them, for that individual student at that moment, but which if it were to be applied as a general rule in all like situations would be completely absurd and counter-intuitive.

The "wrong" choices in each question are not only meant to be the most entertaining part. They are also, obviously, meant to illustrate all the various and sundry wrong things students do, and that I've seen students do, in these situations, where the correct thing to do is so simple and should be so obvious.

Sometimes kids don't get it even when I try to explain it to them. Last September I went 15 rounds with one class over Question 4 (what to do if you need to get something at the beginning of class). The correct answer is to just go get it and then come to class, even though you may be marked late. They insisted that it was better to avoid being marked late and come to class first, then immediately ask to leave.

I attempted to explain that it would take less time, be more efficient, and far less annoying to me, if they did the former. All I have to do in that instance is mark them late. The problem with their way is that (a.) it takes longer and is less efficient to come over to my room, ask to leave, go to the other room, and come back than it does to just go to the other room first; (b.) the student will actually miss more class time that way; (c.) school rules prohibit passes in the first and last 10 minutes of the period; (d.) it requires slightly more clerical recordkeeping work on my part; (e.) it is more disruptive to the class to interrupt the beginning of a lesson by asking for a pass than to walk in late.

Most importantly, and most bafflingly, I prefer that you come in late than immediately ask for a pass as soon as you arrive. The former annoys me far less than the latter, meaning that the latter is more likely to get you in trouble or cost you points than the former. I made that very clear, that this is what I wanted them to do. Yet this group still insisted that their way was better.

Jay Braiman said...

Answer key (most common student response in parentheses):

1. d (b or c)
2. c (b)
3. K (a or b)
4. d (a or b)
5. c (a)
6. a (b)
7. f (b)
8. b (a)
9. d (any)
10. e (c)
11. e (c or d)
12. d (a)
13. c (a)
14. e (f)
15. o (any)
16. i (any)
17. l (any)
18. h (any)
19. h (any)
20. a (any)

f.x. said...

thanks ever so much for the answer key!!! now i don't have to buy those hard-to-read CLIFF NOTES (lol)...continue to "fight the good fight"...slainte...