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Think and do workbooks and more

March 3, 2012
Sue Eckhoff - Grundy County Heritage Museum , Reinbeck Courier

My daughter is an elementary teacher, as is my son-in-law, and most of their friends. All of them are good teachers, but when I take them back to the days of "yesteryear," the "I remember." I can really get the eye rolls. For starters all I have to do is mention the think and do workbooks!

When I was in elementary school we had workbook after workbook, all of them think and do. Okay, I know there are think and do workbooks out there in schools today, but trust me on this, they are not like the originals. The think and do workbooks were designed to go along with the Dick and Jane series of readers which were used in schools from roughly the 1930s to 1970s. The books relied on the whole word or sight word reading method and repetition, "Oh see, oh see Jane. Funny, funny Jane."

As I've mentioned before, I'm a product of the 60s, and I learned to read this way. It must have worked, because to this day I read about two books a week! Oh, and I did find a set of four Dick and Jane books at Christmas time that I bought for my 4-year old granddaughter. She loves reading, time to introduce her to Dick and Jane!

As long as we're talking about the 60s, here's a few expressions guaranteed to make your children or grandchildren roll their eyes for sure!

"Today we'll practice our penmanship." (Not a bad idea, I don't know if it's offered in schools anymore, but it should be. Most peoples' (and not just doctors) writing is not readable!

"Operator I want to make a long distance call."

Most kids would now say, "What's an operator?"

"Leave a note for the milkman."

Again, "What's the milkman?"

"Hit the carriage return."

"Carriage return?"

"Turn on the television and let it warm up."

"Warm up for what?

"If you turn the TV antenna, you can get better reception." (Of course if you're like me and have a satellite, I'd rather have an antenna, it at least doesn't go bye-bye in a storm, or wind, or snow, etc.)

"Go stand in the corner and face the wall." Now it's go to time out, but a nose to the wall worked wonders too!



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