As much as I hate to admit it, I "teach to the test" all the time. As an AP English Language teacher, I must cram all kinds of knowledge into my hapless high school cherubs' craniums between early September and mid-May. And, as a teacher of 11th-graders, same kind of drill, only in a much more basic, state-mandated-standardized-test kinda way.
This morning I happened upon a display at my local coffee shop that impressed upon me just how dire the circumstances are in today's classrooms. Across the country, kids as young as 6 are learning the fine art of regurgitating information just so the pencil-pushers who preside over our most precious commodities - our children - can quantify the amount they "learn" each year.
The above snap comes from a display of first grade students. The kids had obviously visited the coffee shop to learn the fine art of customizing a Cup o' Joe. Then they'd practiced the rapidly disappearing art of penning a thank you note, always a good thing.
I'm guessing that the teacher wrote key words and sentences on the board, in order to prompt her class on composing cute missives. I believe, however, that this student's note emphasizes more about the crisis we face in education, rather than his/her penmanship skills or attempts at bonhomie.
Appears that the cherub took a look at the board, then carefully copied at least part of what the teacher had written. No context, no complete sentences, no thoughts rendered. Much like today's American education system, don't you think?