No Direction

March 16, 2007 1 min read

Blogger Mei Flower was pretty sure her 9th grade students couldn’t follow directions, and with standardized tests looming, such a skill gap could spell disaster. So she designed some worksheets to test them:

Circle the noun in each sentence that begins with a vowel.
This is where it would become very important for them to read the directions, you see. And the last sentence was always this:
Then, go on to the next section.
Well, except the last section, in which I wrote this:
Turn your paper over and draw a picture of a dog. Raise your hand when you are finished.

Her results?

My first period class is not very good at reading directions. Half of them did not catch the thing about vowels, and fully three-quarters of them didn't even catch the difference between circle and underline. Almost all of them drew the dog, though. I thought that was weird.

If dog-drawing is on the state standardized exam, her students will be all set.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.