Choices is all about solving problems. A situation is presented monthly where readers may practice their decision-making skills. In this issue, I’m using a different format. The problem comes from a story I wrote several years ago. In this story, Malone (a young duck) faces the issue of not doing his homework on time. In addition, he’s been untruthful to his mom. If you’d like to read the entire story, click here.
I shared Malone’s story with students in Mrs. Katherine Schimke’s classroom. They were a wonderful audience and super listeners. Read below to see what they suggest for Malone to do about his homework. Enjoy!
Malone was sitting in class waiting for the school day to end. All he could think about was the baseball game after school. His team, the Tigers, was playing their first game of the year. Malone was so excited! He almost didn’t hear his teacher give the math homework assignment.
Mrs. Goodman explained, “Do all of page 117. These are story problems.”
Malone looked at the page. He wasn’t sure he understood how to do the work. But, Malone wasn’t interested in homework right now. He wanted to play baseball!
The bell rang. Malone shot out the classroom door. Then he and his friend Drake headed for the baseball field. Drake whispered, “Look at what we have to do tonight. It’s a whole page. That’s more than we’ve ever done before.”
“Oh, it’s probably really easy. That’s why there’s so much,” answered Malone.
Malone and Drake played catch to warm up for the game. “I wonder what position I’ll play today,” quacked Malone. “Let’s keep practicing so the coach can see how well I throw. I want to be pitcher today.”
Malone and Drake were having so much fun. “We’re good at throwing and catching. I think we’ll win today,” said Drake.
“I think so too,” answered Malone.
“Let’s play,” shouted the coach. “Malone, you can be pitcher.”
“Oh goody, I get to be pitcher, Drake. Goody, goody, goody.”
“Good luck,” shouted Drake. “You’ll do a super job.”
Throughout the game, the score was fairly even for the two teams. Now, it was the bottom of last inning. There was seven runs for the Tigers and six for the Rockets. The Rockers had all bases loaded and Malone was still pitching. He was so nervous. What if the Rockets made a grand slam? That would mean four runs! Even if they got two runs, they could win. Oh dear, thought Malone.
Carefully, Malone threw the next ball. “Strike one,” shouted the umpire.
Malone let go with the second pitch. He heard, “Ball one.”
Then he tried so hard to throw another strike. But, the ball went too high over the place. “Ball two.”
After the next throw, he heard, “Ball three.”
Malone was so upset. His stomach hurt. What if he walked the batter? That would be a forced run for the Rockets. Then their score would be tied with the Tigers. Oh, my! He just had to strike out this batter.
Malone wound up for the pitch. “Strike two.” Whew, thought Malone.
Now for the strike-out pitch. With great focus, Malone got ready. Then out of his hand went the ball. Swish–past the batter is zoomed. “Strike three-e-e!” Malone struck out the Rockers! The Tigers won! Hurray! Hurray!
Drake and Malone jumped up and down and slapped high fives. The whole team shouted for joy. When they had wrapped up the game with the other team and their coach, Drake and Malone left the field. Drake said, “Let’s celebrate. We can go to my house for an ice cream cone. ”
Malone said, “I’ll need to call my mom to see if it’s okay.”
“Mom, I struck out the last batter and our team won! We won! May I go to Drake’s house to have an ice cream cone. We want to celebrate.”
“Do you have any homework to do?” she asked.
Oh, that’s right–homework, thought Malone. Hmm, maybe it’s easier than I first thought when I glanced at it. In fact, I’m sure it’s really easy. I can get it done in a few minutes.”
So Malone told his mom, “It’s simple stuff. I can get it done in minutes.”
“Okay, then you may go to Drake’s,” she answered.
Drake and Malone enjoyed eating their ice cream cones. They talked and talked about the pitching Malone had done. Soon, it was time to leave.
“Good-bye, Drake. See you tomorrow.”
“Hey, Malone. Don’t forget your homework.”
As Malone walked home, he remembered that the Super Ducks were on TV tonight. This was his favorite baseball team and it was an important game. Hmm, he thought, I know I can easily do my homework in the morning. I just have to see this game.
Dinner was ready when Malone got home. After eating, he asked his mom if he could watch the Super Ducks’ game.
“Is your homework done?”
“It only takes minutes to do. I can do it in the morning,” answered Malone.
“Are you sure?”
“Of course. I just can’t miss this game. It’s a big one.”
“Well, okay,” answered his mom. “You may watch the Super Ducks. I know they’re your favorite team. Then it’s bed time.”
The next morning, Malone slept in late. He hadn’t heard his mother call. Now, it was eight o’clock and he had to get ready for school–and quickly! What about his homework? It wasn’t done!
Readers, what would you suggest for Malone to do?
Stay in for recess to do your math. Or, you could have done your homework after the baseball game.
I think when Mrs. Goodman (the teacher) turns to write on the board, you can slip your book on your desk and do the homework.
(This entry shows a picture of Malone thinking: “I should do my homework.”)
You should get up and do your homework. Then get dressed and see if you have time to eat.
(This picture shows Malone getting up and going to his desk to do his homework.)
I think you should wake up or your homework isn’t going to be done. Also, you could double up on your homework tonight.
Idea 1: Probably, you shouldn’t have watched the Super Ducks or you could have done your homework while watching them.
Idea 2: You could have waited until your homework was done, then you could do all the fun things.
Idea 3: Do your homework while you are going to school.
Idea 4: You could have done your homework after the ball game.
I think that you should do your homework when you get up. Then while waiting for the bus, you could do it or on the bus.
You could ask Drake for the answers and write them while on the school bus. Also, you could do all the things you need to do and get the answers on the bus from Drake. Another idea is to hurry up and do the things that you should do and then do your homework fast. When you get off the bus, check your answers with Drake’s answers.
You should not talk about your homework so you don’t get into trouble.
I suggest that you should tell your teacher, Mrs. Goodman, that you wanted to watch the Super Ducks really bad. Or, you should just do your homework really quick and then get ready for school.
You could go to Mrs. Goodman and promise to do double homework or say that you forgot your homework.
Do the homework and then get dressed and then get your teeth done and last, get your backpack on.
1. You should have done your homework yesterday.
2. Or, you could have done it before the baseball game.
You should tell the truth to your teacher that you didn’t do your homework.
(This is a picture of Malone telling his teacher the truth that he didn’t want to do his homework.)
I suggest that you should do your homework at school. Or, you can also get up and get dressed FAST! Do your homework so fast that it looks like you’re writing cursive. (An example is given.)
You can do your homework on the bus on the way to school so you don’t get into trouble.
Go to daycare and do it there or get a tutor to help before doing anything else. Get an alarm clock!
TALKING IT OVER
Thanks, students, for your suggestions to Malone. Not getting homework done is a common problem with many kids, even college kids. Some of us take years to learn that homework needs to be done on time. I enjoyed reading the many ideas submitted. I especially appreciated the solution about asking Drake for help. I did that as a young student, but soon found out that I didn’t learn anything when I asked a friend for answers. I would get behind and be really confused. The idea submitted here is far ahead of where I was at this age. The suggestion moves from asking Drake for answers to having Malone do the homework by himself. Good for this student! She’s on the path to independent thinking.
Readers, I hope you take time to discuss the homework problem with someone you know. When you need to face this situation, you’ll know better what to do. See you next month.
Copyright 2008 Doris Hudson
To read more about Choices and its author, click here.
To read past columns:
‚Ä¢ Being made fun of, or not performing well
‚Ä¢ Having a friend cheat off your test
‚Ä¢ Arguing with a friend
‚Ä¢ Name calling
‚Ä¢ Not getting along
‚Ä¢ I spoke up, but nothing happened