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Did any of you guys grow up *without* worksheets?


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I was telling my daughter today that when I was in grammar school, we had to transcribe our math out of our books and onto paper. They didn't use copy machines.

 

She sat and practiced it for a while, hated it at first, then grew a little more patient.

 

After seeing how it affected her, I'm thinking, "Ya Baby, we NEED more of this" - it seemed to create errors/frustrations, but...it evolved into a new pattern of thinking for her, she grew more patient, slower, thoughtful. (All good things to be when working on math.)

 

Does anyone else remember having to copy it all out of a book and onto a sheet of paper (using both sides- ALWAYS)

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I am in my early 40s. Copy machines did not exist yet, so we copied all of our math problems from the book and onto paper. Every once in a while we got purple "dittos" to do, but they were usually something like crossword puzzles or something else we could not easily copy by hand ourselves. They smelled weird and they were usually smeary, so that you couldn't read the little numbers in the boxes on the puzzle to figure out where anything went. And they left residue on my hand that felt gross, so I hated to touch them.

 

Forward to college in the late 80s/very early 90s....copy machines were around, but at the engineering school I attended, we were required to do all of our homework on green engineering paper, in pencil, and for each problem, we had to have the entire problem either copied by hand onto the paper, or we could photocopy it from the book, cut it out, and tape it into the space where we would have written it. I made copies of the book pages with the problems when I had time to, so I could literally cut and paste...otherwise, I rewrote them all by hand. Fun.

Edited by laundrycrisis
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Two different questions here.

 

The copy machine was not invented when I was in school. We used a mimeograph. :auto: But yeah, I"m afraid that we did have worksheets or workbooks that we filled in.

 

Is the mimeograph the thing that made everything look purple??

 

In my elementary years, some of our work was 'copy it out', some was photocopied worksheets, but some was weird purple photocopies of handwritten worksheets.

 

Not sure about the idea of writing it out yourself encouraging deliberation and a better way of thinking. I guess that might work if it's a smallish amount (a la LoF), but if it's a big lot of problems, some kids will copy horizontal number sentences vertically in columns, which means it's easy to transpose it all wrong by one line, and there's not much thought going on.

 

(I used to do this with French vocab. I'd memorize a list of 20 nouns, then I'd drill the articles into my short term memory by chanting "le le la le le la le la la la la le"). Needless to say I could reproduce the list for the test, but I couldn't remember whether any French noun is masculine or feminine now to save my life. By which I'm trying to say that being slow and thoughtful might be more about your attitude than the way your schoolwork is presented. (Or possibly I was just a more lazy student than normal.)

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I was telling my daughter today that when I was in grammar school, we had to transcribe our math out of our books and onto paper. They didn't use copy machines.

 

She sat and practiced it for a while, hated it at first, then grew a little more patient.

 

After seeing how it affected her, I'm thinking, "Ya Baby, we NEED more of this" - it seemed to create errors/frustrations, but...it evolved into a new pattern of thinking for her, she grew more patient, slower, thoughtful. (All good things to be when working on math.)

 

Does anyone else remember having to copy it all out of a book and onto a sheet of paper (using both sides- ALWAYS)

 

We had worksheets for various things, but I do remember copying out of the book for math I *think* as far back as second grade, but definitely by third. Also had to copy sentences out of the English book in third grade to do various circling and underlining, etc.

 

I pretty much loved copying out of the book, especially for math. All the neat, tidy rows and columns of numbers on the paper - especially if I got to fill the full sheet - looked great on the paper, and if I got to fill both the front and back sides of the paper, even better, because it gave the paper a different feel. It was even better with pen, because then the paper got this neat, crinkly sound and feel to it.

 

Then again, I always loved paper and writing on paper, and always loved back-to-school shopping for school supplies, because I couldn't wait to start filling that paper up with math problems and other stuff. Blank pages always had so many possibilities.

 

Which is why I'm totally perplexed at my son for not liking to write things down on paper. :tongue_smilie:

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We did a mixture. A lot of subjects had a workbook but others we copied down. I don't remember much in the way of individual worksheets. I really liked the smell of the purple duplicating machine. The school my mum worked in still used it until recently and then got a more modern version. They still use it instead of their fancy copier. Maybe it is cheaper.

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Two different questions here.

 

The copy machine was not invented when I was in school. We used a mimeograph. :auto: But yeah, I"m afraid that we did have worksheets or workbooks that we filled in.

 

I remember the mimeographs were so blurry that they could hardly be read.

 

 

We copied our math from the blackboard in primary, we didn't have text books until year 7

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Absolutely. In East Germany, there were no copy machines (the government wanted to prevent the production of critical literature.)

They still use far fewer lose leaf sheets in German schools nowadays than they do here; in their German school, my kids copied their math problems from the textbook on to their notebooks- when my kids were in ps here, I was always appalled by the stacks of lose papers coming home each week. Working with notebooks is so much more organized.

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In Germany we copied, and our spelling/grammar was dictation. When I moved to the US at the end of 2nd grade (1987) it was all about dittoes.

 

Incidentally, I am here in Germany now visiting my grandparents, and I saw the sort of small half-sized exercise notebooks we used in the store, so I assume they still do something like that.

 

ETA I just saw East Germany mentioned above. I was from the West, and we didn't use copiers for school either, so perhaps that was more a school culture thing than a political thing, at least in the schools.

Edited by eloquacious
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I was about to say "of course we had worksheets"... But no. No, we had workbooks in the early grades, and some mimeo sheets (usually of handwritten / drawn stuff), then we copied from the board or book.

 

My kids have a mixture of workbooks (grammar*, spelling), worksheets (math for the boys), and printed pages they copy work to (algebra, logic, etc). *Grammar has a section review and challenge that they copy from the text book.

 

Typically we copied everything from books or from the chalkboard. Once in awhile we would get that wet, stinky worksheet. The teacher would hand those out, and we would all start sniffing it. I'm not sure what we were thinking. Well, there were some kids who ate paste. Do they even make paste still?

I think it's one of those cultural things that just happens. You're given a damp mimeo sheet and everyone sniffs it. They still make paste (with the stick in the lid). I own some. No idea what I intended to do with it (probably save glue sticks) but I was quite tickled to find it. :D

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I also had the mimiographs. I even got to run the machine in 7th grade. Way cool!!

 

But I don't remember how often they were used. I do, however, remember copying math and spelling/grammar out by hand.

 

My kids have always used a dry erase board to calculate math problems, and then transfer the answer to the workbook, if we had one. That meant always copying the problem first. Ds16 is in Trig/PreCalc and still uses the dry erase board.

 

I can't think of too many worksheets/workbooks that my children used that we actually wrote in. Oh, we diagrammed on dry erase boards too. That was fun because we used different colors too.

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Two different questions here.

 

The copy machine was not invented when I was in school. We used a mimeograph. :auto: But yeah, I"m afraid that we did have worksheets or workbooks that we filled in.

 

I went to Montessori school for elementary school, so not a big emphasis on worksheets there.

 

I remember the ditto machine. It was only used by one person by the time I got to the end of high school, the school's resident poet, who only worked with us every once in a while. He used to make one kid in the class type up everyone else's poems that he'd selected, on that special paper, and then he'd run the ditto machine for us. That was the last time I saw that, but I remember its purple ink and chemical smell. They were extremely old fashioned at that point, by the way.

 

So in short, not a big emphasis on worksheets for me.

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I did a lot of copying out. We also had mimeographs ("dittos"). No consumable workbooks.

 

I'm not a huge fan of copying out. My oldest had motor skills deficits. So, if he copied everything, "everything" would not get done. Some children have tracking issues. For them copying is painful because it involves redoing and erasing as things get out of order--and still not getting an assignment done.

 

With every assignment I try to think about the skill I want the child to get out of it. If the point is to improve handwriting and endurance for copying large amounts of material then have at it. If I really want the child to focus on the math problems or the grammar assignment, I will copy the exercises out of the text myself with enough space between the exercises to allow the child to complete the exercise.

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'When' the teacher was allowed, he/she might use the 'mimeograph' machine. That was seldom.

 

 

My entire time in school (short stint in public school - very short and the rest of the time in Catholic/private school), we did not ever have worksheets.

 

We answered questions in complete questions, always copying the question/problem out of our book.

 

It was 'instant' copywork.;)

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I think the mimeographs were special- like for word search or such things. In mu first elementary school, the math was on worksheets since it was a new program where each child worked on math by themselves (IPI). But at the second elementary school and on from there, all math was copied by us- from books. English had always been copied by us from books or the blackboard.

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I also grew up in the mimeograph era but those worksheets were few and far between. And of course we sniffed them--they had a unique odor. Mostly we copied from our books. We didn't have workbooks either. Quite a contrast to nowadays. A couple years ago I tutored a young girl in math; it was all worksheets. I asked to see her textbook and asked where they were in it. They didn't actually use the textbooks, just worksheets. She had to get permission to take her book out of school. And she couldn't tell me where they were in the text because they didn't actually use the textbook! No wonder she needed help understanding. The teacher would present the lesson in class then hand out the worksheet. If you didn't get it the first time and your parents couldn't help you then you were just stuck.

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I was telling my daughter today that when I was in grammar school, we had to transcribe our math out of our books and onto paper. They didn't use copy machines.

 

She sat and practiced it for a while, hated it at first, then grew a little more patient.

 

After seeing how it affected her, I'm thinking, "Ya Baby, we NEED more of this" - it seemed to create errors/frustrations, but...it evolved into a new pattern of thinking for her, she grew more patient, slower, thoughtful. (All good things to be when working on math.)

 

Does anyone else remember having to copy it all out of a book and onto a sheet of paper (using both sides- ALWAYS)

 

In elem we had "dittos." Remember those? But by middle school we copied out of our texts exclusively.

 

We use Rod and Staff, so starting in 3rd grade for math and 2nd grade for English, and 6th grade for spelling, the work is all done w/a text and notebook paper.

 

Works fine for my dds.

 

**** ETA I didn't read these and see that everyone had the mimeograph machine memories that I did before I posted. Loved that smell :)

Edited by 2_girls_mommy
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We started copying from books in about 3rd, and from the board in 1st. I remember the multi-line primary paper and copying into manuscript notebooks. I also remember, since I have fine motor issues, my 1st grade teacher writing a copy for me so I could just fill in answers, on that same paper, usually in orange magic marker, and getting into trouble in 3rd because I couldn't write the copywork fast enough to finish it before the teacher erased the board (I have a 3-5 year fine motor delay and was the first kid fully mainstreamed in my district-so the teachers had no CLUE what to do with me-in 3rd, my mother got a copywork notebook from a student who'd had that teacher the year before and started having me copy most of it the night before, so I could just finish it the next day at school during the time the teacher allowed).

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Ditto to those who had ditto pages. :D It was an exciting day when we received dittos to work on. Oh, how I loved that smell.... :lol: I still have an old ditto from my high school days (poor-ish school, so only one or two copiers) and when I showed the kids, they looked at it like this ---> :001_huh::confused:

 

I feel there is something important in the learning process that is lost by having too many workbook pages. There is just something about writing things down that help cement them, or make them clear~~ especially with math. My ds, who hates to write by hand, admits he retains info better by writing thing out. Dd has always written (she takes copious notes!) and even refuses to use ready-made flash cards (she makes her own).

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"erasing the board"

 

Boy, does that bring back memories!

 

Does anyone remember getting tests with a chalkboard and timed sets of stuff on the boards?

 

Good times, good times. :D

 

Oh my gosh!! Yes! And if you weren't fast enough, the teacher would erase things, and we'd all be scribbling away trying to write everything down before she erased it!

 

I have to go read all the other replies now.... this is fun! :auto:

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I am in my early 40s. Copy machines did not exist yet, so we copied all of our math problems from the book and onto paper. Every once in a while we got purple "dittos" to do, but they were usually something like crossword puzzles or something else we could not easily copy by hand ourselves. They smelled weird and they were usually smeary, so that you couldn't read the little numbers in the boxes on the puzzle to figure out where anything went. And they left residue on my hand that felt gross, so I hated to touch them.

 

 

:iagree: This is what we had, also. I'm 43.

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"erasing the board"

 

Boy, does that bring back memories!

 

Does anyone remember getting tests with a chalkboard and timed sets of stuff on the boards?

 

Good times, good times. :D

 

I just remembered this and was going to post. I remember the teacher would have the projector screen and maps pulled down to cover the blackboard where the test was written. Good times. Remember how it was a privilege to wipe down the blackboard? :rolleyes:

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No workbooks. Occasional mimeographed pages, but those were more in high school, and for tests, than for classwork.

 

One of the reasons I like R&S's English series so much is that it is NOT a workbook; ditto with the math series (3rd and above). It is also why I'm not a fan of ACE/Alpha Omega/CLE for all subjects: there *needs* to be actual writing on actual paper.

 

ETA: Usually spirit duplicated pages, not usually mimeographed pages. See my comments above. :-)

Edited by Ellie
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We had multiple ability groups in one classroom all through my elementary school days. I never had a write in workbook or even worksheets even though I remember that some of my classmates did.

Even in 1st grade, I remember copying math problems and spelling words.

 

I love the comments about people not remembering the mimeograph machines. I last used one in 1993 when I was teaching middle school!

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Is the mimeograph the thing that made everything look purple??

 

In my elementary years, some of our work was 'copy it out', some was photocopied worksheets, but some was weird purple photocopies of handwritten worksheets.

 

Technically, mimeograph is not the purple stuff. The purple stuff is a spirit duplicator. The process of preparing mimeograph stencil and printing it are different from the spirit duplicator. The spirit duplicator uses an actual liquid--which is what you smell--instead of displacing the wax on a mimeograph stencil.

 

Way too much information, lol.

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Started school in the mid-80s. We used worksheets (photocopy and ditto - I remember making copies on the ditto machine for my mom, who was a teacher) and workbooks in the early grades, but at some point switched to copying the problems.

 

I have no idea at what point the switch occurred, but I think 3rd or 4th grade. I specifically remember daily math worksheets in 1st grade, but nothing much after that.

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Two different questions here.

 

The copy machine was not invented when I was in school. We used a mimeograph. :auto: But yeah, I"m afraid that we did have worksheets or workbooks that we filled in.

 

We had the mimeograph in the early years and the copy machine later (8th grade or so onward). As I recall, we had some worksheets and also did some copying out of the book onto our own paper. To this day I prefer copying onto my own paper then I can use all the space I need to do the problem.

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I realized after reading other people's replies that we didn't copy much from the book but we did copy lots from the blackboard (and yes, it was a blackboard back then and not a chalkboard).

 

What is the difference between blackboard and chalkboard? I'd have guessed those were two words for the same thing.

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We had to copy math problems out of the book onto paper.

 

We had to copy sentences from our English book. The. entire. sentence.

 

We had to answer all questions from social studies and science books that were at the end of the chapter on notebook paper as well. All answers had to be in complete sentences.

 

We did have some worksheets, but the bulk of our work was done as above.

 

Just for reference I graduated high school in 1996.

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No. I filled out literally hundreds of those awful ACE paces starting around 5th grade. :tongue_smilie: I became excellent at scanning a page full of text for the two pertinent pieces of information to spit back out on the blanks, and memorizing patterns.

 

(I was homeschooled at a time when there were about three publishers who would sell to homeschoolers, with guardians who were doing the best they could with what they knew.)

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We had to copy math problems out of the book onto paper.

 

We had to copy sentences from our English book. The. entire. sentence.

 

We had to answer all questions from social studies and science books that were at the end of the chapter on notebook paper as well. All answers had to be in complete sentences.

 

We did have some worksheets, but the bulk of our work was done as above.

 

Just for reference I graduated high school in 1996.

 

Oh how I hated the complete sentence, just for one word of information.

 

1) In the third chapter, what did Veronica find in the locked box?

And then you had to write out: In the third chapter, Veronica found a doll in the locked box.

 

Why couldn't you just write "a doll"? It took so long and hurt my hand to write out all those unnecessary words that were in the question!

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