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Monday, January 31, 2011

Cheating done wrong

In no way whatsoever do I condone cheating. I think it's a horrible, dishonest thing to do -- when it counts for something. Cheating on Super Mario Brothers? Who cares. Cheating on your taxes, cheating on a test, cheating on official results? Something should be done about it.

Now having said that I find cheating reprehensible, let me go on to say however, that if you MUST cheat, at least do it right!!

I noticed last Friday that one of my kids had cheated in the stupidest, most obvious way possible. I had given a homework assignment on Thursday night that was an array of 16 clocks, and the kids had to write the time that each clock was showing. After school, as I was looking through the homeworks that the kids had turned in, I noticed that this dumb cheater had all of the correct answers, but every one of his answers was exactly one clock off from where it should be. The third clock should have been 4:02, but his FOURTH clock said 4:02. The eighth clock should have said 6:37, but his NINTH clock said 6:37.

SO BUSTED!!!

I called him into my room before class started this morning and asked him very casually, "So why did you cheat on the clock homework last week?" I then went on sorting papers as he stood there gasping like a fish out of water. I never did get a satisfactory answer from him, other than a flood of tears. He doesn't care about cheating, but it matters to him that he got caught.

So my INTERACTIVE MONDAY question this week is. . . What is the worst case of cheating that you have experienced in your career? Student-wise, I mean. We don't need to get into the Houston ISD cheating on TAKS results...

The dumber, the better!

11 comments:

Ricochet said...

I knew a girl was cheating so the next time, I had two versions. They look the same but aren't.

So, when I gave back the tests, she raised her hand and said that her buddy had the same answer and buddy's was marked correct and hers was marked wrong. I asked "you had the same answer. Did you have the same question?"

HappyChyck said...

Good job, Detective Mister!

Back in the day when I was innocent and Amazon was new, I liked to assign 1-page book reviews. Several of my students plagiarized theirs from the Internet. I was innocent, but not THAT innocent. Unfortunately, the students who all cheated were connected: half the baseball team players ended up being benched for a game. (It was unfortunate for them that their coach was another English teacher.)
Booya! Benchin' the baseball team.

I like to bring up that story to my current students to prove that they can't pull one over on me. I can go on about the fools who have plagiarized poems with Metallica songs, Bible verses, and Robert Frost poems, but the idea of a pitiful bunch of illiterate baseball players sitting on the bench really tugs the heart strings.

TeacherFromTN said...

I have a little hispanic boy, who is smart and quiet. Over Christmas, his mom had a baby, and his dad was sent to jail. (Not sure what's up, but it was NOT any time of domestic violence...I checked.) Of course, this has been tough on my little guy. He's not supposed to talk about it, but his eyes have a wounded look.

In 3rd grade, we make a really big deal out of memorizing the multiplication facts, and I give awesome prizes, so the kids work HARD to pass their timed tests. This little guy was doing great, and I kept telling him how proud I was of him. He was racking up on the prizes. Finally the day came to take his 12's - the end of the road. I caught him cheating. He had flash card with the answers. I took up his test, then pulled him out to talk privately. Turns out, he had cheated on every single test I had given.... We had a big talk, but I just didn't have it in me to make him cry. I hate cheating, but I hate the unfair life some of my kids deal with even more. So, now he is back at the beginning, trying to get those facts memorized for real this time. And I am giving him lots of hugs and encouragement along the way. Old softy......

Miss Panda said...

One time I asked my students for an essay --- and one of them printed out what she found on Wikipedia without noticing that the links were still there and the bottom page read wikipedia.com....

Anonymous said...

I knew the boys had taken the answer key when I got to the open-ended question. They wrote, "Answers will vary."

Anonymous said...

Gotta give a extra love to those little and big cheaters who copy the name of the student they are cheating off of on to own paper
Clearly we are not encouraging critical thinking.

Mister Teacher said...

Oh this is fantastic! I especially liked, "Answers may vary." HAHAHAHA!
I need to get Ed U Cater to post his story of what one of his kids did last year during the practice writing TAKS test...

lady said...

Like Anonymous @1:40, my mom's best friend growing up got caught cheating in second grade. She was only copying because she hadn't listened to the directions. Unfortunately she copied the other little girl's name too.

Of Life, Education, E-bay, Travel & Books said...

I'm at an AR school and about once a year an older sibling decides to "help" their younger sib by taking AR tests for them. "Ah yeah, little Bubba who is still on a Guided Reading level 4 managed to read Harry Potter over the weekend and pass the test with a 90%? And isn't it odd that you took a test on that same day on that same book and got a 90% too."

Anonymous said...

I've definitely had student's turn in papers with the URL from the website still at the bottom. But the one that takes the cake is the girl that did that, and when I confronted her, she tried to tell me that the URL was her "works cited" page!

Ashley said...

I had a student come in early to take a make-up vocab quiz. I couldn't put my hands on my original list to call the words out, so I asked for hers. She handed it over - with the words re-numbered in the exact order of the original test!