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I went to school in the mid-60's and learned to read using the Initial Training Alphabet in 1st grade. It was a straight 44-character phoneme alphabet and it was phenomenal. All the students in my class remained in the highest reading groups-at least through 4th grade when I moved to another town.

 

The second half of 1st grade, my family was in Florida for my father's work and subsequently, I missed the transition to a regular alphabet. It was not an issue and I was reading 5th grade books in 2nd grade (my sister had to get books for me, as the school library only let you take out for your grade level and she was in 5th at the time).

 

Anyway, I am currently pursuing my Master's in Reading Education and am researching ITA, which is what brought me here.

 

Are any classical curriculums utilizing this method? If so, has it been effective or not? Thanks

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When I was in Elementary School we had the "Mod-Pod" system. This was early 70's in the Denver area.

 

Mod stood for Modules. I was never sure what that meant. The Pods were groups of open classroom areas for about 120 students, divided up into groups of 20 students, for various classes (English, math, science, etc). We'd rotate to different teachers in our Pod, depending on our "personal" schedule.

 

It was supposed to make everyone feel good and "equal" about learning, but even the kids knew Pod 3 had the lower achieving students in it; Pod 5 had the middle students; Pod 7 had the "smart" students.

 

Sometimes it was set up like a college schedule. I remember one semester when I had only a music class on Thursdays. The rest of the day I got to read in the Pod Study Room.

 

I thought everyone used this system until I got to college and people gave me really funny looks when I told them we had the Mod-Pod system. I sounds really weird to me too now! :001_smile:

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I didn't realise this was abnormal until reading on here. We had three breaks each day when I was at school. It seems sensible to me.

 

We had three recess breaks all through elementary school and when my oldest went to PS for K and first they had three. For elementary I would say this is very reasonable and a positive thing. If young kids are given regular breaks for physical activity I believe they are more prepared to sit still and pay attention during class time.

 

Oh, the thing I hated most about my schooling were Dick and Jane readers. I was reading real books before I started K. Our K class was broke up into reading groups and even the most advanced group was still using Dick and Jane readers. I can not stand the style of writing; it an insult to even a 5 year olds intelligence IMHO.

 

The things I hated most about the 2 years my oldest was in PS were invented spelling, as a parent volunteer it drove me crazy that I wasn't allowed to help those 5/6 olds spell a word when asked, and Whatever Math Program her first grade teacher was using. They had math journals, used calculators, and played games. The games weren't a bad thing, but there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to it and at the end of the year the only written work we saw for the whole year was her math journal with about 10 pages that contained 1-3 written math problems and rest was blank.

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Open classrooms! I distinctly remember doing a spelling test while listening to a group of kindergardeners on the other side of the room sing the alphabet. It was completely kooky! I think their reasoning was that kids need open space and that teachers could encourage one another, but it was just a plain-old bad idea.

 

After open classrooms I was moved to a school that offered electives in elementary school- for everything. Choose your math kiddo, would you like "square dancing" (yeah, they called it math) or "shapes in space?" Even with involved parents, it was hard to choose anything close to educational. Add in all the time spent wandering the halls, and you can see just how little we learned. What a waste.

 

Another terrible teaching practice - spanking in the classroom. I still remember watching a poor boy get paddled in the 1st grade because his cast was sticking out too far into the aisle. Yikes!

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Forcing 6th graders to *multiply, divide, and do decimal problems* in weird number bases that are never even used in computer science - before all of the base-10 multiplication tables have even been mastered in that class....

 

 

 

It does seem a little odd that 6th graders wouldn't have mastered the multiplication facts.

 

I personally think that teaching kids about other number bases and requiring some arithmetic to be done using them is a great way to solidify the concept of place value. I don't think that doing it for weeks on end would be helpful, but certainly a week or so could be quite beneficial. In fact, it is one technique mentioned for teaching place value in Liping Ma's book.

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I can NOT understand why schools continue to ask students to discuss things they have not yet studied in depth or do projects in areas that may be totally new and foreign to them. What on earth can be learned by this? I've also read science books that just ask kids to start randomly hypothesizing before they know a thing about the subject at hand.....

 

I think they confuse testing with learning.

 

Rosie

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I can NOT understand why schools continue to ask students to discuss things they have not yet studied in depth or do projects in areas that may be totally new and foreign to them. What on earth can be learned by this? I've also read science books that just ask kids to start randomly hypothesizing before they know a thing about the subject at hand.....

 

Did you read the article inside the cover of the Memoria Press catalog that just came out? It's about this very thing. :001_smile:

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