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Thread: Not finding answers

  1. #1
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    During our study of Unit 1, our discussions were sporadic. There were times when my dc didn't know answers and said they hadn't read anything about "that". I assumed they were being negligent or not reading thoroughly because I believed that their readings would cover the questions and prepare them for discussion.

    We just started Unit 2. As I was preparing for discussion of Week 11 and looking ahead to week 12, I took a look at the questions. There are some that don't have answers in the core or in-depth readings. It made me wonder if the times they couldn't come up with answers it was because they weren't in their readings.

    For example:
    What is a humanist?-they never came across the word humanist in their readings this week.

    What do you believe the spiritual condition of Ferdinand, Isabella...to have been?-not enough about them to determine.

    Why did Isabella institute the Inquisition?-never read anything about the Inquisition.

    History usually portrays Isabella as pious.-Oh, really, not much about her in the readings.

    Which persecutions were primarily of Ferdinand's instigation? I have no idea, because we didn't read much about him.

    I realize most of these questions are thinking questions and thinking questions are not spelled out, but how are they to think deeply about them, when they haven't encountered anything about them in their reading?

    For weeks 11 & 12, the core and in-depth readings are about artists and explorers, period. Are we to read the alternate readings also? My ds has his fill of reading now-he is a very slow reader. How did your students find the answers to these questions that were not necessarily about artists or explorers? Or, are we somehow missing it?

    How many weeks are like that? Do you pre-read the questions and glance through their assigned reading to determine what questions will be answered in their reading and which ones will not?

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks,
    TammiK

  2. #2
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    I am not sure how old your children are but it sounds like they are reading the upper grammar or dialectic readings and student activity pages.

    My experience with the questions for the student activity pages has been as follows:

    On the accountability questions your student will most likely find an answer in their reading. It might in the core reading, it might be in the in-depth reading. But for the most part the answer is somewhere in the reading. Now that does not mean that my 7th grader can always find the answer. I have run across some accountability questions where the answer was inferred by the reading and not specifically spelled out. So I don't get too upset if my chid can't find the answer. Sometimes I try to lead them to the answer by giving them info from my teacher's notes...this helps them remember what they read and they can often reason out the answer this way and this good enough for me. TOG really provides the questions to help YOU the teacher employ the Socratic method of teaching.

    On the thinking questions it is unfortunately a bit muddier. My 7th graders almost never get the answers to these questions. These questions really require more thinking than they want to do and I don't really make them do it. I usually try to lead them to the answer during our discussion time. But that does not mean they always get it. Frequently I have found the answers for the thinking questions require a lot of opinion really and my kids don't care enough to form one! LOL! Also, this is a skilled that requires time. Even my 10th grader has a hard time with these questions. My kids usually want to complete the assignment and move on. They don't want to spend 10 minutes thinking about what they read so they can answer a question. I am not so rigid in my homeschool that I make them do that, so it is a personal choice. Usually it depends on what the question is asking. If I think they should be able to answer I might make them come back to me by Friday with some thoughts on it. Otherwise I work through it during discussion time.

    Remember TOG was written to meet the needs of those students that might be considered advanced as well as your regular, average student. That would be mine.

    You are not to read the alternate readings too. They are just that. Alternate.

    Sometimes the questions build on information from previous weeks. So for example when you get to the week that focuses on the northern renaissance, some of the questions refer back to the renaissance that began in the south of Europe. None of the info will be found in their reading as this was from a previous week.


    What I do is this....yes, I pre-read the questions. I only assign certain ones. I have never assigned my 7th graders all the questions. And in fact, I don't assign my high schooler ALL the questions even though I think I am supposed to for 100% credit.

    No, I do not go over their reading. If they found the answer great, but if not I simply provide it. For me I am comfortable with this because we are only using the Core history readings. I do not have the books for the in-depth history and so I realized that they would not be able to find all the answers to the questions because they have not done all the reading suggested.

    I really wish we were in a co-op because I think my girls would try harder. There is no doubt being in a classroom with your peers makes a big difference in student performance. But here at home around the dinner table, well, let's just say I often am disappointed but I console myself with the fact that if nothing else, my girls are getting a solid, outstanding Christian Worldview from their studies and that was the most important component of their school work for me.

    HTH...let me know if you have any more ques.

    Lisa in AZ

  3. #3
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    Actually, my dc I'm referring to are rhetoric. I do occasionally assign dialectic for my ds. I read the readings and didn't find the answer. The core reading is Famous Men of the Ren & Ref, nothing about humanism, Isabella or Ferdinand, just artists. The in-depth reading is Historical atlas of Exploration-again, nothing about humanism-not even a hint, just explorers. I just skimmed this reading and found nothing on the Spanish Inquisition or Ferdinand's instigation of persecutions. Now, there may have been a little on Isabella and Ferdinand for possibly form an opinion on their spirituality, I don't know. But, there was nothing on the Spanish Inquisition or other persecutions.

    Actually, I didn't even find anything in the teacher's notes, either. So, it seems like a set of questions that are out of place. But, I want my students to read about the Spanish Inquisition and such, but more reading? And, I'm wondering if it happens in other weeks. I'm not sure I want to skim all their readings every week to determine whether they can answer the questions by their reading. I guess most of the time, though, they can find answers. But, can I grade them on discussions when they honestly haven't found the answers because they weren't there.

    Please, if someone has done these weeks and found the answers in the core/in-depth reading, please tell me where, or at least, how they found the answers.

    thanks,
    Tammi

  4. #4
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    Tammi
    I also have a student in the rhetoric stage.

    Let's see if I can help you.

    In week 11 I looked over the reading and the questions. Then I got my Famous Men book. The word humanist is defined on page one of that book so that matches up. As I recall humanism is discussed in week 11 whereas Ferdinand and Isabella are discussed in week 12. I also recall that there is much in the discussion outline for week 11 about humanism.

    I recall in my intro notes from TOG that as far as finding the answers in the teacher's notes, sometime the answers are in the dialectic discussion outline....because both dialectic and rhetoric students are sometimes covering similar material. I have often found the answers to my rhetoric students ques. in the dialectic section.

    In addition sometimes the information and answers to the questions are found in other parts of the teacher's notes or other readings such Fine Arts or Church history. I do not have the In-depth book Historical Atlas of Exploration so I cannot check it, but I did check all of the other books I have and I also did not find anything about the inquisition. Wish I could help you more here. Maybe someone else??

    As far as finding the info in the teacher's notes though, it is there. On page 39 of week 12 TOG gives the answers to these questions and further information is given on page 55 of the teacher's notes in the church history section. I also assigned this ques. to my daughter and she had a hard time finding an answer, so I just covered it myself in the discussion time.

    I have found that our discussion time is our classroom time. There are frequently discussions where I am filling in the holes with information my student either did not find or simply missed. I don't worry about it, I just cover it myself.

    I do not grade discussion times, but I am using the Evaluations. So I check the quizzes and whatever questions are asked on the quiz I make sure we cover it in class. I expect my dd to take notes. Now she does not do well, but she is getting better.

    I can appreciate how frustrating it is sometimes to not find the information you are looking for. I have not really had this experience in our study so far this year. I did last year when I was using the classic version, but this year, I feel the redesign is much tighter. But as I said I do not have my children do ALL the reading, so when they can't find an answer I just figure the information was in the reading they did not do. I usually tell them to use the internet to find the information if they did not read it mostly because as I said, I don't have all the books, so we use the links found on TOG to find it. I have also had my rhetoric dd read the teacher's notes sometimes if we are falling behind or she has a hard time finding info.

    I seem to remember in reading the introductory information for TOG that the authors did not necessarily specifically give answers to all the questions each week. I seem to remember that since their intention is to use the information to lead a discussion and get kids thinking, they did not want to have pat answers to everything. I am sure I saying this wrong, but, I remember now....on the loom there is a document titled Accountability Questions and Thinking Questions. This document addresses this issue. You should read this is have not, and if you have read it, maybe you remember some of what it says about these questions?

    I do know that TOG has said (somewhere...either in a doc or on the forum) that they did not think that students should be graded based on discussions. If you read Using Tapestry's Rhetoric Level Literature appendix C has a section explaining why TOG did not include SAP's and discussions to their grading schemes. Now, Marcia said that does not mean you can't but they give some very good reasoning as to why it is not helpful.

    Well, I don't think I have been a great deal of help Tammi as far as helping you find the answers regarding questions and reading material. Maybe someone else can post about this.

    Lisa in AZ

  5. #5
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    I was just reviewing unit two and in week 11 on page 27, TOG explains some of the changes in the Rhetoric discussion outline. This may help you.

    Lisa

  6. #6
    Hi everyone,
    Your comments on the history questions and discussions are so helpful to me! My daughter is at the dialectic level and we participate in a small combined dialectic/rhetoric discussion group. She is required to have all the questions done before class, and yes, sometimes we have to spend much time to find all the answers.
    Usually the accountablity ones are in the reading or can be easily found with internet links, etc. She's getting much better with those. The thinking ones are harder. They usually require additional "lecture" from me from info in the teacher's notes or from me sort of pulling the reading assignments together. Sometimes we have to dig through other books, etc.
    I do appreciate though that the questions do guide our reading. I have learned to take a look at the questions early in the week so that I know where my daughter is heading and what other readings we may need to do. Sometimes the question is just not something that we've covered much or that I deem imperative to cover - so I briefly give her a nugget of info and we go on.
    Mostly she is prepared for the discussions. There are usually areas she doesn't know as much about, but that's ok. Although she receives a grade for the discussion, we don't factor that into her history grade. Our goal for the discussion is to be able to recall facts and begin to make connections, as well as to simply learn HOW to do a discussion. There is a lot of value in just being responsible (completing the assignments, rounding up all the materials for class, and being prepared) and in participation (learning to share, find info to support your opinion, and take notes).
    Thanks everyone to helping me feel like I really was making the right decision for my daughter's history discussions!
    Blessings,
    deb

  7. #7
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    Hi Tammi,
    The answers are on p. 16-17 of the Historical Atlas of Exploration. Let's look through the questions together.

    What is a humanist?
    Whether a question like this is in the reading or not, the student can easily look up a word in the dictionary. (Someone above pointed out that it is in week 11 reading though.)

    What do you believe the spiritual condition of Ferdinand, Isabella...to have been?
    This one takes some extrapolation. Page 17 of the Historical Atlas of Exploration says "Isabella was a devout and strong woman, who felt it her duty to cleanse her territory of non-Christians. Muslims and Jews were driven from Ferdinand and Isabella's territory..."

    History usually portrays Isabella as pious.
    This isn't necessarily in their readings. The statement is "history usually portrays" and the student is to think about what he's read and come to his own conclusion.

    Which persecutions were primarily of Ferdinand's instigation?
    I don't think this one is answered well in the reading. Page 17 does say that Muslims and Jews were driven from Ferdinand and Isabella's territory, but doesn't say that the Jews were specifically driven out by Ferdinand.
    Personally, when this happens, I simply consider it a lecture point and go on.

    In Redesign, we have gone to great lengths to make sure that answers are in text and *somewhere* in the Teacher's Notes. Please note that not all questions are discussed, although most of the time they are.

    I hope this helps...please let me know if I can help further.

    Blessings,



    The question about which of the persecutions were primarily of Ferdinand's instigation...the book doesn't say it was Ferdinand, but the rest of the information is certainly there.It's certainly not easy to extrapolate these from the text, but if you combine the time line at the bottom with the text, you'll be able to see them more easily.
    Dana C. in TN
    Vice President
    Lampstand Press

    "Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew,
    like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.
    I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!"
    Deut. 32:2-4

  8. #8
    This thread has been very helpful to me.
    Angela, mama to ds18, ds11, dd9, ds6, dd4, dd21 months, and newborn born 2/3/11

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