December 4th, 2007

baratron again

Surreal links of the day

This video is EXTREMELY WRONG on many levels: Hello Kitty Mortal Kombat. It's video from the Hello Kitty animated series set to the theme music from the game Mortal Kombat.

Postmodern Image Macros from the guy who draws Questionable Content. I HAS A FLAVOR and INVISIBLE BICYCLE had me in fits of laughter, though *facepalm* and INVISIBLE GEORGE W. BUSH came close. Helps if you are at all familiar with surrealism or postmodernism, otherwise I can see them making very little sense.

I have other links to post, but they're not surreal, so I'll save them for a future post.


Hrm. So, I finally stopped procrastinating the marking I've been putting off for 2 hours. This post is not an attempt to procrastinate things further, but a genuine question to dyslexics and other teachers. How do you go about dealing with problems such as the following - a question on the Contact process for making sulphuric acid - where the student has blatantly misread the question so missed the point? The bold text in the question is how it appears on the exam paper, and the blue is her answer.

i) State the temperature used in this process. [1 mark]
440 °C

ii) State and explain the effect on the rate of reaction of using a higher temperature than you suggested in (i). [4 marks]
As the forward reaction is exothermic high temperatures favour the backwards reaction as it is endothermic & equilibriums seek to reverse change. therfore raising the temperature would decrease the yeild of SO3(g) Equilibrium will move to the left.

iii) State, with a reason, the effect on the yield of sulphur trioxide of using a higher temperature than you suggested in (i). [2 marks]
Higher Pressure would increase the yeild as their are less moles on the products side so the equilibrium will move to the right.

I suspect that the exam board would give her 1/7 marks, though there's a possibility she may get the 2 marks for part (iii) for her answer to (ii). However, I don't want to bank on that, as even with those 2 marks, the student has thrown away marks by careless misreading. There must be some way I can teach her to take the time to read the questions carefully before starting?

But this gets onto another issue, which is that all of my students always have trouble reading for content. Dyslexia makes that worse, as does having English as an Additional Language, but even the native-born British students with no apparent disabilities seem to have reading difficulties. I think they panic about running out of time and rush their way through the paper, when they would do so much better reading it carefully before starting. Most of them also have trouble with the idea of active checking and the way the brain caches what it thinks is there, so will happily read out loud what they thought they wrote on the exam paper rather than what they've actually written.

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