Friday, March 19, 2010

The Next Day

     The next class, following my deception, I wanted to teach a different lesson to my students. I thought I would focus on reading for a purpose and following the directions as adults we know the importance of doing both. Let me clarify reading for a purpose and what it means to me. By reading for a purpose I mean reading to know what the passage is truly about and not skimming because you think you know it already. I’ve seen it happen many times when people don’t read over material and ignore the fine print, they end up missing the content of the article, complicating a matter, wasting their own, or making their life more difficult. So, when my class came in on day 4, I had a little surprise for them. I had prepared a 2 question short answer quiz about the reading assignment from the previous evening. After handing out the quiz, I told the class they had 10 minutes to complete the quiz. Make sure their name is at the top and begin. The class dove into the quiz with a fury not seen before in any class I’ve ever taught. The previous class, I had given them a “quiz” that wound up being a lesson on research, lies, and fact checking the experts. This class was determined to get off on the right academic foot and anyone observing would had seen an intensity and determination to do well. Well, this was the mood for most of them except a handful of students who decided to take their time and read the directions. In the directions it stated the following:

“Directions: Answer the questions in complete sentences. Each question is worth 5 points. Look at the bottom of the paper and read what to do.”

For the handful of students who read the directions soon discovered the following extended directions at the bottom written in very small letters:

“Turn in the quiz, you are done.”

     Now I worte the above message in an 8 font so it wouldn't jump out at students when the gazed over the quiz. At that point my handful of students started to turn in their quizzes. Obviously this was much to the surprise of their classmates who had not finished the first question on the quiz.(How did they get done so quick? was on everyone’s mind). After seeing this group finish so quickly, I observed students going back and reading the directions (what a great idea!). Once students started reading the directions the erasers came out and so did the smiles, because at that moment they knew I got them, again!


Read the directions carefully. You could end up wasting a lot of time and effort; if you don’t believe me try to put an entertainment center together without directions.

Always read the fine print. The fine print is where you will see what something is really about, just look at the fine print next time you sign up for a credit card that offers 0% financing.

Next Post: Lie of the Day

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