Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Critical Octopus Thinking


A couple of weeks ago, Q-ster was telling us about a tree octopus, which sounded familiar in an urban myth-y sort of way, so I questioned it. "It's true, I read it!" he said.

We looked at his National Geographic Kids magazine (which was an awesome gift from his great aunt,) and read the article a bit more carefully.  See the headline?



"REAL OR FAKE?"

 We read each sub-article together, made our guess on which ones were true and checked the answers.

So indeed, the Pacific Northwest tree octopus is a hoax.  The wikipedia entry is pretty funny, mentioning that its alleged primary predator is the legendary Sasquatch.  Presumably, it's friends with the Loch Ness Monster as well.

~~~

Topics related only highly tangentially related (education! critical thinking!):

Lots of school events now, towards the end of the year. One of the benefits of working long and odd hours at my job is that it's easy to spend an hour each week in the classroom, doing some filing (alphabetizing skills!) and getting to see Q-ster in his school environment. This morning, the elementary school had a thank-you tea for all the volunteers.  It was lovely - food and company, but most of all, seeing how many parents come to help out.

This evening, the school district held a session explaining the new Common Core State Standards for teaching math. The professor giving the talk gave an extended example about how fractions are very poorly taught in traditional math textbooks and made several references to how the parents in the audience probably had bad memories about fractions.  I scanned the people around me and made a sweeping racial generalization. With so many Chinese parents, I doubt it. Do you really think that many would have struggled or their own parents would have let them?  Ah, stereotypes.


2 comments:

Bob said...

A head start learning about hoaxes on the internet and printed matters.

Asianmommy said...

Aww...I totally fell for it! I'm such a sucker--would've been so cool, though.