Contest: Dismaying class assignments

It's the end of the school year and it's time for a new contest. In honor of Mike Schmoker's classic Crayola Curriculum article...

  • What's the most dismaying / inane / worthless class assignment you've seen or heard about?
  • Last October I blogged about my son's assignment to write down all the numbers between 1,000 and 2,000. Here's another dismaying class assignment:

    State Floats

    • should be the size of an inverted shoebox
    • basic box should be covered (paper, paint, tissue, etc.)
    • do not have to have wheels
    • should include state name prominently displayed
    • should represent your chosen state - should have 2 or more items of importance from your state (ex: famous landmarks, crops, products, natural resources, state flowers/birds, etc.)
    • should be colorful (may use such items as crepe paper, construction paper, giftwrap, plastic figures, silk flowers, popsicle sticks, cotton balls, foam, styrofoam, cardboard, foil, paint, clay, felt, etc.) - be creative!
    • must be accompanied by a 5 x 8 card listing
      • state name
      • student's name
      • geographic region the state is in
      • 3 important things the state is known for
      • 1 "interesting fact" about the state
      • Floats must be completed and ready for "parade" on Friday, May 23.


        Students will be presenting their floats to all of the other 4th graders. They will be shoring the information from their 5 x 8 cards (listed above), and they will need to give a brief explanation of their float.

        The floats will also be on display at the [school name] State Fair.

        Your turn. What you got? Deadline for submissions is June 10. Please either comment below or link back to this post from your own blog. Winner gets everlasting fame and a CASTLE mug!

        Update: See the winning entry!

        LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

        Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

        Getty Images
        Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

        No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

        Keep reading Show less

        Are cats jerks, or is it YOU who is the jerk?

        A new study from Oregon State University makes it clear: it's you.

        Photo: Wikipedia Commons
        Surprising Science
        • Researchers discovered that the more attention you give a cat, the more likely they are to return it.
        • Cats are territorial; being in their home environment greatly affects their attitude.
        • The common wisdom that cats are aloof is provably false.
        Keep reading Show less

        Why avoiding logical fallacies is an everyday superpower

        10 of the most sandbagging, red-herring, and effective logical fallacies.

        Photo credit: Miguel Henriques on Unsplash
        Personal Growth
        • Many an otherwise-worthwhile argument has been derailed by logical fallacies.
        • Sometimes these fallacies are deliberate tricks, and sometimes just bad reasoning.
        • Avoiding these traps makes disgreeing so much better.
        Keep reading Show less
        • Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
        • Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
        • But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
        Keep reading Show less