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We are trying to find out how schools have changed. This wiki was set up to give us a place to record the results of the interviews that we did with our grandparents and parents. If you went to school "in the past", let us know how schools have changed since then by clicking on the "edit this page" button above, adding your comments under the appropriate heading and then clicking "save". Please leave us a note in the "optional" box at the bottom about where you went to school.



Playgrounds


We ate lunch in our classrooms. We also had a choice to go home for lunch. There were no cafeterias or hot lunches.
We slid down the slide on waxed paper from our lunch.
We have teeter totters, swings and bouncy things.
We didn't have as much playground equipment like they do now so we played marbles or jump rope most of the time. When it was nice out we played soccer or baseball. We also played a lot of games like tag and Red Rover.
We had monkey bars and 1 very tall slide with a bump in the middle and 2 swings. We also had a hill where we could sled in the winter. We played alot of soccer, and football.
Teetertotter, swing, soccer ball, softball and bat Baseball ,hoops for basketball, and a skating rink.
Our playground was a big field, trees to climb and a creek to catch eels in.
we had swings and a slide
there was no doge ball and basketball.
There was teetter totters, swings, merry-go-rounds, slides, sand boxes, monkey bars, tether ball.
didn't have any rope in a tree for a swing and a wooden teetertotter.
Our school yard was huge with 1000 kids, one big tree in the center, and a small shelter where the older classes would not let the little ones in when it was raining. We could play with our own marbles or running games, skipping ropes, hop scotch, and song games. Quite often some boys would engage in a fist fight that had to be stopped by the teacher on guard.
it had swings and teeter totters.we did'nt have anything just monkey bars.
It had a big field with a ball diamond and a place for us to play bouncy ball and a grove af trees so we could play hide and seek.
when i was a kid there were monkey bars, a slide, skating rink, swings, tether ball, and volleyball.
no playground equipment.
Our schoolyard was a large open space of grass which that opened up into fields of a dairy farm. It had a jungle gym, lots of swings, , a set of monkey bars, a slide, and seesaws. It even had a large black top area when we played kick ball and dodge ball. A favorite game for the girls was jump rope. We did not have gym classes but had 1 generous hour in which students ate lunch and played outside. Teachers were on duty to watch over you, and might even join in.
Our schoolyard was separated by grades, 1-3 and 4-6. The younger grades had a swing set and we could all (boys and girls) play together. Grades 4-6 were separated with boys on one side, girls on the other with no equipment. We had to come up with our own activities.
Tetherball and DodgeBall were games we liked to play. We went outside for recess everyday unless it was raining. There were some pretty cold and snowy days, but we still played outside.
It was a great day when the parents paid for a basketball hoop in the playground. I used to go to school 30 minutes early so I could play basketball before school started.



Library

*It was small, but we had a lot of books.
*Our library had lots of books but we didn't have computers. We had to use a card catolog to look up the books we wanted to read. The Librarians helped us a lot. My school was a big school so we had a very large library.
*We had a very small library, but when I was in grade 6 we were given the classroom beside the library as a resource room. We took typing and reading there.
*A small cupboard with books for grade one to eight. A very small library.
*We had a 'library shelf' with a few books that were outdated in town schools already (I went to a very small rural school our library was saller can't remember one had to go down town to the libary.
*The library was quiet, no computers, big file cabinets to look up where a book was.
*We had a one room school grade one to eight and sometimes high school kids we didn't have a library we shared books.
*Usually you were not allowed to use the library until grade 3, but some were given the permission earlier if they were good readers. The opening hours were twice a week, and you could get three books at a time. I read all of the books from A to Z
it was a very small room with lots of books.we didnt have a library.
We didn't have a library but we had books in are classroom.
when i was a kid the library was small and had lots of books.
no library.

No library. We went to the town library to borrow books.
No library in our school either. I only remember SRA kits and our Dick and Jane books.
We had no library at the school I attended. I remember the Book Mobile drove up to our school and we could go inside to check out a book. Of course there were very few books to check out.
We had one library in our school district(1 HS, 1 JrH, 4 ES). We took a bus there once about a month to check out books.


Number of students in class


I had sixteen students in my class.
I don't remember exactly but I think it was about twenty to thirty students.
We had 12 students in our class, sometimes we had a split class. The grade higher than mine had 9 and the next grade younger had 11. It was a pretty small school with only 200 students from K-12.
4 or 5 in grade 2. 25 children in the whole one room. Grade 1 to 8 in one room with one teacher. 28 children in the class.
There were 12 students at my first school (and two of them were my sisters!)
we had about 18 kids about 15 children.
My dad had about 25 kids and my mom had around 35 kids in their classes.
most of the time 1 in my grade maybe 10 or 12 in the whole school.
Our suburban school was crowded and each class had 30 students. I started grade 1 in 1956, together with 149 other beginners in 5 classes. What a noisy place to be! I often missed my kindergarten with only 32 kids, with many slmaller rooms and a large garden for playground.10 to 12 kids.we had thirtey kids
we had grads 1-2-3 and 4 and there was 40 poepel in my class when i was a kid there was thirty kids
three.
We always had about 30 students in a class - seated in tidy rows.
Back in the 70's we never had more than 25 children in a class. I did live in a small community, though.
In the 50's in Western Pennsylvania, classes had about 30 students. One year we had 3rd and 4th grades (about 60 students) in the same large room, and the teacher would take turns with each grade.


What was studied?

When I was in high school, we actually got to pick which English/Reading classes we wanted to take. I remember one on Greek & Roman mythology.
Phonics, typing but not computers.
Math, Reading, Writing, Social Studies, Language Arts, Art, Music, Phys. Ed., Health, Current Events
We had to learn to spell all of our words correctly or the teacher would circle the word with her red pen and make you write it out 5 or 10 times on the chalk board.
Social studies, science, reading, we learned about the animals around us, about our province. Dick and Jane books for reading. Math, reading, spelling, siens, helth, histery and music.
Whatever was around us, for example a whale when it came to the bay one day or a seagull when we trapped one. Reading and writing and maths and physical education as well.
In grade 2 we studied the same math spelling reding art and drawing and we did'nt have a gym we went outside on fridays and had gym.
We did pretty much the same math, spelling, reading but NO computers!
no field trips no calculators computers or tv's.
Our class was divided into five smaller groups, as some of us did not yet know the alphabet while others could read on their own. Nice hand writing was taught daily, and so was math. We also had Christian bible class with verses to learn and recite by heart, one for every day. Many lessons started with one or two songs, so we always had to carry our song book.
No! computers. we had spelling tests and reading
we just had reading,writing,arithetic,social studies and art.we learnd things that you study now.
things were the same.
Math, Reading, Science, and Social Studies. Teachers provided us mimeographed worksheets. Dick and Jane were our beginning reading books. No calculators! A string teacher was available one year which meant walking to school with the violin in its wooden case once a week for a lesson. Almost all families had one car - it was rare for parents to drop us off or pick us up from school.
I remember studying a lot of facts and vocabulary.
Girls had to take 'home ec' in ehich we sewed aprons and everyone made a dress--mine didn't fit. We also cooked things I never cooked at home such as biscuits and white sauce. The boys had wood shop. Now I wish boys and girls could take both--I would love to teach/take cooking,knitting and would love to study woodworking.


School Rules

We didn't have very many rules, but if we broke them we would have to go to the principal's office or have detention.
We weren't allowed to chew gum in class, nor talk to our neighbor and we were always supposed to be respectful to our teachers. If we broke the rules, we had to write lines or stay in after school doing extra work or cleaning the classroom. Some of the really bad kids had to go to the principal's office or stand with their noses in the corner.
Only the teacher, no principal or vice-principal. Respect your teacher and others, we were glad to have other kids to play with, everyone got alone. They are some different.
Do as the teacher tells you, do not hurt others.I think they were about the same. Yes back then they had the strap for when you were bad. And we also had cloak room for our coats.
The teachers we allowed to hit our knukles with rulers if they felt the needed to and if you really misbehaved, the principal could strap you.
yes, misbe havior cou get you the strap no goofing aroud there was only 1 teacher and what she said was law if you got in troubule at school you were in more truobule at home.
*Latecomers were given a warning that had to be signed by your parent. Our teachers were no longer allowed to punish physically, but you could be sent outside the door, or stand up against the wall. I was often acting as the class clown, provoking my poor stressed teacher, so I spent many hours in the corridor, meditating about how to avoid being naughty.
the rulse were the same . put up your hand to tak. if we disraspeck the teacher would get a belt and get wiped by the belt. if we are very bad we would go to the princeapals office.
we had to wear dresses and we couldnt talk in school, boy's and girls lined up seperately.
yes they were very strict.
less rules.
Girls wore dresses every day except field day. In the winter snow pants were worn under the outfit which meant pulling them off when your came in and pulling them back on before you left school. This was all done in the common classroom coat area. Students did not speak unless spoken to in class - calling out was considered a major disruption. The principal did have a paddle which was used sparingly. It was acceptable to be rapped on the back of the hand with a ruler by the teacher and stood in the corner for any unruliness.
Fire drills were monthly and air raid drills were practiced due to the Cold War and our proximity to a submarine base. This meant crouching under desks or against the cafeteria wall.
I really don't remember rules being listed. If we behaved, we were never rewarded. Good behavior was expected and was the norm. If you misbehaved, you saw the principal and usually received a few licks.
Lunchtime was silent. We were segregated by gender, ate and cleaned up in silence, then filed out for recess.


Was there anything else that was different?


The school was small and only went up to grade six.
When I was in school we started everyday with prayer and the teacher read from the Bible. I don't think that's allowed anymore but we did it everyday. Once a week we had assembly. I loved assembly days because we sang lots and lots of really fun songs and I loved to hear the gym filled with that music. I still remember some of those songs and I taught them to my kids.
When I went to school, we only had 1 computer and we, the students had to raise the money to buy it. It was a Commodore 64. It sure didn't do much. Also we didn't have MP3's or cell phones, sometimes if you were quite rich you might have had a walk-man to play cassette tapes of music, so we could listen to music on school trips. Usually we listened to music off of records. The sound was very bad and if the record got scratched it would play the same word over amd over.
Much smaller country school. We knew all the kids at school. No computers, videos, we performed 2 hour Christmas concerts with plays, carols, drills and recitations.A little school , in a little town.My grapa wolk ed me to school.
The teacher lit the fire in the morning and the children were only allowed inside after she rang the hand bell, children lined up and then stood at hteir desks when let inside
Dads grades went the same as us but my mom went from grade one till six and seven till 9 then 10 till 12.
no school buses either parents drove you or you walked or rode the horse to got there had a handbell the teacher rang no electricity in the school wood furnace in the corner of the school room and lanterns for light.
*There was no busing and only very few parents would have their own car. There was not room enough for all of our bikes; Children living less than 2 kilometers were not given access to the bike stands. We were supposed to walk, rain or snow.
Girls had to wear dresses only. No pants allowed. We had different desks. and a small school and no computers and typewriters.
Boys and girls were on different sides of the school but we could play together.
country school with 30 kids in the whole school.
Time was set aside once a week to collect actual passbook savings. Most of us banked 25 cents each week. There were various shortcuts through fields and woods which were favored routes to school. Students were allowed to walk home for lunch - there was enough time in that hour to get back in time to play outside. The lunch ladies did prepare a hot mail daily - dishes, plates, and silverware were not disposable.
We brought our lunch to school every day. We could purchase milk and if you were a sixth grader you could be the milk person. Our music and art were taught in the classroom with a portable piano. Our teacher taught us gym.
When I was in school I had to clean tables in exchange for my lunch being free. Today we would never single out a student like that just because they don't have money for a lunch. I hated cleaning those tables because it made me feel so poor and I felt the other students looked down on me.

Hi, my name is Miss. Wilson and I have created a wiki myself for grades 2-5; however, the lessons can be incorporated into any grade. I'm giving you the link because there are links, information websites, pictures, and everything you guys may need to know about schools in the past. In my wiki, you would get the information in lesson 1, and I hope you enjoy my other lessons, i included in the unit wiki. Just to let you know, within the next few days my wiki, will consist of at least about 20 lesson, so I hope you keep in touch. You guys seem to to be doing great and I love this topic that you guys did! Keep up the great work...Miss Wilson.

Alexis Wilson says:
"school is very different today then what you'd think about in the past, you mite think it's all ways been the same, but you'd be wrong, in prehistoric times it was very different, because cave kids had no idea what animals were deadly and which ones were safe, and imagine your in native american times and you just speared a wild buffalo, you'd probably get an A +. and did you know that in the past students were incarge of, and you may not be leave me, teachers, yes teachers. Also in the past it was crazy what mite happen in the school like: only having one room, one teacher vs. lots of kids just like you and me, and even the desks were different in the past smooth wood and some mettle but now it's mettle and what ever the top's maid of.
6th grader Alexis Wilson

Here is a link to a museum in Savannah, GA Massie School that operates a one-room school house with separate staircases for boys and girls. Very interesting look at school in the past!