Volume 3, Number 6, October 14, 1997
A Story Starter:
the question was coming. His mother asked him the same question every
day when he came home from school.
xxxx“Do you have any homework today?” she inquired.
xxxx“Yes and no,” Chris responded.
xxxx“What do you mean by yes and no?”
xxxx“The teacher said that homework is optional tonight. That means we don’t have to do it!”
xxxxMrs. Arnez’s expression was not as gleeful as her son’s. “It also means that you may do the homework. What’s the assignment?”
xxxx“Oh, just to study our multiplication facts for tomorrow’s math game. And get this,” Chris beamed, “We can use calculators if we want! They’re optional too.”
xxxx“I’m not sure I like it, but I guess optional means it’s your option. I wonder what your choice will be?” she added sarcastically.
xxxx“Homework no, calculator yes!” Chris answered immediately.
xxxxThe next day seemed to arrive almost as immediately. The teacher, Mr. El, stood before the class. “OK, you guys,” he said to his fourth graders, “it’s time for the big game!
xxxx“We’ve played this game once before, but I’ll review the rules. We’ll divide the class into two teams. Each team will stand in a straight line facing the board. I’ll say an incomplete fact, like two times nine. The two people in the front of each line call out the answer. Whoever says eighteen first, in this example, wins a point for his or her team. If someone calls out a wrong answer first, the other team gets the point. Then those two people walk to the back of the line and I have a new fact for the next two people. If anyone talks or fools around, the other team gets a point. The first team to get thirty points wins.
xxxx“One more thing: This time you may use your calculators if you wish.”
xxxxChris clutched his calculator in his hand and smiled.
1. Did Chris like doing homework? How do you know?
2. Did Mrs. Arnez care whether or not Chris did his homework? How can you tell?
3. Do you think that Chris expected to do well in the game? Why?
4. Do you believe that using a calculator in this kind of game is a good idea? Explain.
5. Write the conclusion to this story and give it a title.
Copyright 1997 RHL
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