My fifth grade experience was a very confusing experience for a 10 year old. I was transitioned into a better neighborhood because my parents wanted the best education with the most positive surroundings that were possible in our area of Conroe, Texas. I went to a predominately “white” area where the morals and teachings of schools were a bit more robust and structured. I was offered this chance at school because we used my uncle’s address to prove that I was in that school zone. The teachers in this area had a sense of “teaching” rather than getting the students to learn the material, as mentioned in Jean Anyon’s article “Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work”
I remember on case in point where my social studies teacher saw something in the way that I learned in a totally different manner compared to the other students. She pulled me aside one day and asked me to set up a meeting with my parents so they could discuss my level of critical thinking. Truthfully, coming from a 5th grade I thought I was in trouble or I was going to be put in a lower level class for students that were late blossomers. Fortunately she wanted to discuss putting me in a curriculum that would accelerate my style of learning much further by enrolling me in a class with higher level students.
Being a 5th grader at the time, I thought it would definitely make my parents proud of me and definitely respect me more as a student, but I was definitely in for a surprise. The curriculum was a lot more stringent and structured as far as critical thinking goes. There is a question that I remember very vividly in my mind that still helps me until this day. The question at hand was “you have 8 balls in the same shape and physical size. You have a balance weight that will help you measure the weight of the 8 balls. 7 of the balls are the same weight but one of the balls is heavier than the others. In 2 tries or less, how do you figure out which one is...
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