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Funny misconceptions students have

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by tsarina, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. tsarina

    tsarina Occasional commenter

    This week I was attempting to explain adaptations of camels.
    My student said "there is no water in the desert"
    I replied "there is some water, think about oases"
    blank look from student...
    "do you know what an oasis is?"
    his classic response "do you mean the drink?"

    cue search on google for pictures of desert oasis
    second classic response: "but that's fake...they just added the stream to the picture of the desert!"
  2. gainly

    gainly Established commenter

    I was once telling a student about the blast furnace and that the raw materials are iron ore, coke and limestone.
    My student's response, "Is that coke the drink or coke the drug?"
  3. gainly

    gainly Established commenter

    Another student couldn't understand what "jewels" have to do with measurement of energy.
    sebedina and tsarina like this.
  4. tsarina

    tsarina Occasional commenter

    we expend a lot of energy working hard to obtain jewels?
    sebedina likes this.
  5. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    After a discussion on the topic of 'producing a specification for a computer system', one student wrote 'the amount of data your system can hold, is limited by the size of your hard d**k'. He meant 'disk'. A wonderful thing, predictive text.
    bevdex and sebedina like this.
  6. gainly

    gainly Established commenter

    I hadn't thought of that, although it would require much more than 1 Joule to obtain a jewel.
    bevdex likes this.
  7. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

  8. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    I've just covered the poem 'War Photographer' with a student. Couldn't wrap their head around the imagery of a camera with a film that would need developing in a dark room....
  9. RuthTom

    RuthTom Occasional commenter

    The phrase 'present arms!' In a story about the Tower of London had my students utterly puzzled and thinking it meant soldiers holding out their arms.

    Another student who thought island and Ireland were two interchangeable words.
  10. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    I had a pupil who could not be persuaded that a member of the group who planned the Gunpowder Plot was NOT known as a Fawk. He wrote, "Guy Fawk and all the other Fawkes wanted to blow up the king".
  11. Jolly_Roger12

    Jolly_Roger12 Occasional commenter

    I remember reading an article written by a woman who had watched the repeat of the Alec Guinness version of 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy', made in the late Seventies, in the company of her teenage children. In the first ten minutes of the programme, she had to explain to them: telephone boxes, telephones with dials, milkmen and milk floats, and the Cold War. She said that the teenagers just could not get their heads around the fact that before mobiles, if you wanted to phone someone, you had to find a phone!
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
    bevdex and frangipani123 like this.
  12. alsoamum

    alsoamum New commenter

    Verbal reasoning with a key stage 2 pupil.

    Me: well what are novels and hardback types of?

    Student: erm dragons?
    bevdex and tsarina like this.
  13. simonCOAL

    simonCOAL Occasional commenter

    Colleague who does an hour tutoring a week with a neighbour’s son.

    “What is an opposite of ‘large’?”
    “Yeah, like in Burger King”
    bevdex, tsarina and neddyfonk like this.
  14. gainly

    gainly Established commenter

    I was doing a GCSE maths paper with a student. One questions was: "What is the reciprocal of seven?". I explained that the reciprocal means one over the number. She responded, "Oh so it's eight then".
  15. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    In 1982 teaching O level Computing at night class I was demonstrating a Pet Commodore running Basic. One sixth former started typing without any tuition or prompting and was perplexed that the computer did not seem to understand his questions e.g. "What is the capital of England ". i tried to explain that the computer could not translate or understand natural language and he would need to learn to write in Basic but he decided he could get the computer to answer his questions and simply ignored me !
  16. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    I was helping a seven year old read a book and asking questions about the pictures. We stopped at one page where I said " thats a nice chocolate labrador", he looked at me and said " don't be stupid, thats a DOG ". Such confidence in one so young !
  17. gainly

    gainly Established commenter

    He was just ahead of his time, anticipating the arrival of Alexa.
    bevdex likes this.
  18. gainly

    gainly Established commenter

    How about funny misconceptions we may have? A few years ago a student told me she was doing the AQA Bacc. I assumed this was some activity done at the swimming pool like aquacise.
    tsarina likes this.

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