Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?

Published February 8, 2013 by inanortherntown

A new assignment came home this week – I heard about it as soon as the car door opened. “MOM, I HAVE to make a math game for the GRADE ONE’s!!!!” She was shaking with outrage.

“Why?” I asked. I always forget that I need to ask very specific and very direct questions. All I really wanted to know was how much of her grade would be wrapped up in the assignment. However this was the question she was looking to answer. “I KNOW!! Can you believe it? They* are just so cheap and won’t buy the Grade One’s any games!!” The fury was palpable.

Apparently the assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to build a single circuit math game to finish the chapter on electricity for Grade 5 Science. The last hour of the day had been spent in quiet work sketching out the idea for the game. I would show you her sketch however I do believe it’s my ticket to fame and riches so elaborate a design and so clever in execution.

On the drive home, a cunning plan was hatched:
1. Talk to Dad to see how much time he can spend on the assignment.
2. Make a phone call to her beloved uncle who cleverly “KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT COMPUTERS”.

Thankfully, her uncle talked her down from building a computerized advanced level math game (apparently it takes longer than 2 weeks to build one and the assignment can’t be late). Also, very thankfully, she re-worked the design with her Dad to come up with an acceptable model of single circuit math game. She did mourn the loss of the “fun element” in this pared down version. My suggestion of each child receiving a shock for every wrong answer was deemed “Not Helpful”.

This girl of mine fills me with delight. The longer I think about her sitting at her desk growing more and more outraged by the idea that Grade 5’s would build games for the younger grades as an approved cost saving measure, the funnier it becomes. I am so thankful that her generous heart is larger than her sense of injustice, otherwise she would have designed and built a weapon of math destruction and mailed it to them*.

*They/Them – we are unsure as to WHO they are – it’s a working theory that they are direct descendants of the “Child Catcher” from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

**Oh! And to answer my own question: No, most assuredly I am NOT smarter than a 5th Grader. I consider my marriage as one the crowning achievements of my life. Not only can Mr. Northern-Town do anything he puts his mind to doing – he also comes from a family with more than their fair share of the “smarts”.


6 comments on “Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?

  • Poor Z: what kind of school do you have her in?! One that condones child labour obviously! 🙂 I’d be ultra daunted by that assignment – Good thing she’s got the brains!

  • Logan’s scinece project this year had to be on simple machines or forces. She chose simple machines and is building two mouse trap cars to show how she can “control speed and distance with simple mechanics” (her sentence not mine; i am bursting with pride!).

    …at least until i felt the need to explain to every stranger in the store, and the cashier, that i was buying mouse traps for a science project and NOT because there are mice in my house.

    The truth is she wanted a rat trap so her car had more power but buying a rat trap from a public store was more than i could handle.

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