Monday, May 12, 2008

Low Morale?

Sometimes what they don't know surprises me.

Today I was covering U.S. history at the continuation high school. I mention the "continuation" part in case it makes a difference. They are currently studying the Civil War.

Their warm up on the board said:
  1. Approx. how many Northern troops died?
  2. Approx......".......".....Southern......."......?
Number two stumped them, but not because they couldn't find the answer. They didn't know that the marks meant repeat the above words. Once I translated they were fine.
Then number two of their worksheet asked "What is 'morale'?" They had no idea. They were pronouncing it "moral", and they could not figure out what it meant from the context of the paragraph. And unfortunately, there were no dictionaries in the classroom for them to look it up themselves.
Am I being unreasonable? Are these things that kids don't know? (They have issues telling time using the analog clocks, too, but that's for another post.)

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