Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sharing the Assignment

It was 3rd period at the continuation high school. Government class. They had a two-page worksheet. About 10 minutes before the end of the period, I looked over and found a student copying his classmate's assignment.

"Do your own work," I said.

He had his excuse ready. The boy and the girl were "working together". He had done the first page, she had done the second.

Um, no.

The boy argued. It was easier for him to copy (naturally). He could read the question, see the answer, and understand what he was supposed to learn. Searching the text for the answers would only confuse him. And take too long.

I've had these sorts of discussions before. This boy was notable in that he continued to argue long after most students give up. I think he thought I would eventually relent.

Finally he returned the worksheet to his neighbor. He didn't get much done after that. The period was just about over. But then again, he didn't get much done before that. He had used the period to talk to his neighbors, mostly about braces, retainers, and such.

Some day they're going to figure out that "working together" does not mean each does half and copies the other half. I hope.

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