What we have here is a failure to think.

Sometimes, words have different meanings depending on the part of speech and their usage in a sentence.  To avoid confusion, I try to let students know which meaning of the word I will be expecting on the test.  Most of the time this works out, and most of my students define the word correctly based on the part of speech I asked.  Sometimes, students define the word correctly, but using the incorrect part of speech.  Other times, this happens:

 

Me: “So, for the word patent, make sure you find the definition of the adjective.”

Student: “So I find the definition of the word adjective?”

Me: “No, the word patent can be more than one part of speech.  For this test, you only need to know the definition of patent when used as an adjective.”

Student: “Oh, okay.”

A FEW DAYS LATER

(Student Test Result)-

Patent- a word that modifies a noun.

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3 thoughts on “What we have here is a failure to think.

  1. Possibly, you could have reworded it as follows:

    “Make sure you find the definition of the word patent, when used as an adjective.”

    In relation to the level of your teaching, it seems that some of the students have no idea what is going on. It’s as if you are teaching calculus, when they haven’t even heard about algebra.

    I am amazed that these students were able to pass the previous grade.

    • wickyd,

      As far as wondering how some of these children passed the previous grade, I have to say I agree with you. I don’t think I would laugh about these things if it were me they were happening to, I’d be ready to pull out my hair. With that said, I’ll just add–I WORK with people who say things like this. It kind of concerns me…

  2. Oh.. Jesus. I’ve been reading back from the most recent entry and my faith in humanity is at an all-time low. I’m 20 and I, for some reason, do not remember the kids I went to school with being QUITE this unintelligent. Pretty close, but not quite. It’s almost painful. M’sorry, but if I was ever in your class I would find myself slamming my head into my desk and then needing to excuse myself before I knocked some brains into them by some amazing magical means. |:

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