gilda radner
It’s the “Judy Miller Show”! Is this creativity encouraged in Common Core?



If you remember Gilda Radner from Saturday Night Live, you know she was a very funny and creative comedienne.  She played the character of a Brownie Scout named Judy Miller in one skit where she hosted “The Judy Miller Show”.  Radner entertains herself by portraying and dressing up as:

  • A bride
  • The beautiful Queen of France
  • The wicked German queen
  • A beautiful, wonderful ballet dancer

Radner does a marvelous job capturing the emotions, actions and imagination of a 6 year old girl.  You can find the 5 minute clip here:

What does Guidance Curriculum (Common Core aligned) have to say about emotions, actions and imagination of children from K-Grade 5 in Missouri?  From and curriculum for counselors to use:

Pg. 35/1124

The Not-So Independently Working Classroom
There once was a classroom where the teacher wanted the students to
complete an assignment independently. “Who will be able to complete this
assignment on his or her own?” asked the teacher.
“Not I,” said Talkative Timmy.
“Not I,” said Bashful Betty.
“Not I,” said Wandering Wanda.
“Not I,” said Noisy Ned.
“Not I,” said Interrupting Ida.
“Not I,” said Rude Rhoda.
“Not I,” said Angry Al.
“Not I,” said Humming Harry.
“Not I,” said Mumbling Mary.
“Not I,” said Destructive Donnie.

“I will try!” said Independent Irene.
“I will try!” said Listening Larry.
“I will try!” said Focused Fred.
“I will try!” said Prepared Patty.
“I will try!” said Behaving Bonita.
“I will try!” said Hardworking Harriet.
“I will try!” said Conscientious Carla.
“I will try!” said Thinking Thad.
“I will try!” said Responsible Rudy.
“I will try!” said Respectful Ralph.
“I will try!” said Persevering Perry.
The teacher said, “I appreciate all of the students who are willing to try to
do the assignment independently. I will help others learn independent work
habits so that everyone can be successful at school and at home!”

After the lesson is covered, here are suggestions for teachers:

pg. 38/1124

Instructor Procedures/Instructional Strategies:
1. The counselor asks students to tell about the
Positive Work Habit Name they selected for
themselves; including reason for selection, how
habit is demonstrated and how applying the
habit helps him or her to do it.)
2. The counselor asks students to get out their
completed work habits progress report and
discuss their progress since the previous week.
3. In closing the counselor says, “Who was
able to complete their positive work habit sheet
this week?”
4. Counselor collects positive work habit
sheets for review.

Student Involvement/Instructional Activities:
1. Students share their name sheet and
picture and provide an explanation for why
they selected the name for themselves
(Example: My Positive Work Habit Name is:
Organized Annie. I put things where they
belong and I keep my desk clean.
2. Students share their self-assessment of
how well they felt they practiced the selected
skills throughout the week.
3. Students respond, “I did it!”
4. Students turn in positive work habit

How do you think Judy Miller would do in such an exercise?  Looking at the list of adjectives to describe Judy’s performance and creative effort, she would be described as “Jumping Judy” or “Rowdy Radner”.  These would not be good qualities for independent learning according to these Common Core aligned guidance lessons.  Instead, she would need to share with her peers on how she will become “Judicious Judy” or “Restful Radner”.  Do any of the preferred adjectives foster creativity and allow individual personality attributes?  Is it not allowable to be angry?

Do you think there just might be any peer/teacher pressure present in becoming compliant and completing an assignment that has group approval?  Why is this done in groups?  What happens to the “Humming Harry” (who might be the musical child prodigy) or the “Mumbling Mary” (who might have a speech impediment) or the “Bashful Betty” (who might be an introvert by nature) when they have to look at their behaviors as negatives?  What about “Wandering Wanda”?  Perhaps she is a kinesthetic learner and sitting in a desk all day literally drives her crazy.

What happens to that 2nd grade child who needs to go into group work with their peers and change who they are?  Why are these behaviors seen as negative and why should their peers be scrutinizing others’ behaviors in a group?  Why do these behaviors need to be changed, especially since this is geared toward working independently?  If a child is having problems with independent work, shouldn’t that child be worked with independently to determine how his/her strengths can be channeled, rather than changing the innate personality of the child in a group setting?

A Missouri principal has informed a parent that he is to use the curriculum from these guidelines in his school.  Pity the kids today and the Judy Millers of the world.





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