Sunday, 15 July 2012

'Show your working'

I spent a couple of days on the Key Stage 2 mathematics tests review group meeting in Coventry this week. Wyn Brice told us an anecdote that made me chuckle! On one occasion a girl, answering a test paper, came to a box that said 'Show your working' and she wrote inside it: 'I am working!'

I mentioned this to Gill, a recently-retired headteacher from one of our local primary schools, this morning after church. She told me that one of the boys in her school actually drew in one of these boxes a picture of himself sitting at a table writing!

The other classic example was a maths question that asked children 'What fraction of the shape is shaded?' One child drew an arrow pointing to the shaded area and wrote: 'This bit'!

There's no end of potential ambiguity in the English language once it has entered the wonderful world that is a child's mind!

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