Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Friday, March 22, 2013

Third grade

As I mentioned in the second grade BLOG, I was warned that I didn't want to get, if I could help it, Mrs. Barr.  She was the terror (of teachers) in Bingham school.  And this was before I knew I would be transferred to Bingham a few days after school started.

Mrs. Barr was NOT a terror, I liked her a lot.  And she was very pretty.  I guess the person who told me about her was getting bad reports about her first child, and hoped her second child wouldn't get her, but he did.

Third grade for me was a review of everything I already knew.  I wasn't bothered by this and I went with the flow.  I finished lessons before everyone else, and I was permitted to help Mrs. Barr with housekeeping chores and some the menial tasks teachers are asked to do.


Second grade.

My second grade teacher was Mrs. Gledhill.  She was an older teacher.  And she was the third grade teacher.  So all the teaching I received that year was third grade material.  I was using second grade books, but doing third grade work and reading in a third grade reading group.  The Red group, again.

Mrs. Gledhill was a very nice lady.  Her was the south side of the building because it was sunny all day and she kept the shades up so that all that sunlight could come into the room.  Even on rainy and cloudy days her room was bright.  It must have been her cheery bulletin boards.

I don't have much to say about second grade, because I don't remember much.  But coming up was a real third grade and I had been warned about the teacher I was about to get.


Principal's office

In first/second grade, Mrs. Marantonio, mentioned in previous BLOG, was the only teacher to ever send me to the Principal's office.

Here's what happened. 

We had to color a picture in our reading workbook.  I was never a good colorer, but I complied with the request.  When I turned in my paper, I had colored the house and picket fence white.  Well, my white crayon didn't show up very well, and Mrs. M said I didn't color those parts of the picture. 

I told her I did, and I used a white crayon, I even used my fingernail to pick our some of the white crayon.  It didn't matter.  She didn't want that house and picket fence white.

Well, she and I had a discussion wherein I explained in my best first grade debating terms that the clapboard and picket fence should be white and I had colored them white.  She told me to color them.  I said they should be white.  She told me again to color them  and again I said the house and picket fence should be white.  I even took her hand and pulled her to the window and told her to look outside.  What did she see?  White houses and a white picket fence. 

Well, my "one-upsmanship" was met with, "I think you should go see Mrs. French."  Mrs. French was the principal.  So she took me to the principal and the principal called my father.  Daddy didn't see the problem.  He sort of agreed with me, but told me if the teacher wanted black siding on a house and a black picket fence, then I should comply and color them that horrid color.

The next "coloring" day, I did just that.  And, yes, I got into trouble again for coloring them black!


Friday, March 15, 2013

First Grade

In first grade, I was assigned to Miss Welch's class.  A week later I, and several others, was assigned to Mrs. Marcantonio's class, which was a second grade, and in which we did both first and second grade work.  I know this, because by the end of first grade I was adding up all the attendance figures for Mrs. M and they were double digets, 30 lines long.  Quite a bit of addition.

I also know we did second grade social studies and science, but I'm sure we did first grade reading, perhaps a little advanced and maybe catching up with the second graders by mid-year.

Mrs. M is the teacher who taught us Huckle-buckle-beanstalk,  a neat game of closer/farther.  The prize was an eraser and then the next person would get a chance.  I think we all tried to outdo the other by finding the eraser in less time than our classmates.

Mrs. M is the only teacher that ever sent me to the principal's office.  I'll let you know about that in the next BLOG.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Greer Garson

This is Greer Garson month on TMC.  Since I didn't find out about it until last Saturday, that meant I missed the first group of movies.  I was sure I missed my favorites.

You see, when I was a teenager, there was a program on TV (in black and white) called The Late Night Show.  It started after the late night news.  11:30 p.m.  That was pretty late for me especially since I had to be up at 6:00 a.m. in the morning, but there were some "old" movies that my mom and I loved.  Dad enjoyed them also.

And...several of my favorites were all on last night (Monday).  The movies were Mrs. Miniver, Random Harvest, Mrs. Parkington, and Madame Curie.  Now, these were my mom's and my favorites, but there are a couple of other Greer Garson movies we also enjoyed.  Pride and Prejudice and one my father especially enjoyed -- Mr. Chips.  All these movies require a box of Kleenexes.

Now, I was thinking, we watched these OLD movies when I was a teenager.  They were all filmed in the early 40s.  I watched them in the late 50s, early 60s.  Today they would be really old pictures -- at least 70 years old, just like me.

Older is much better.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Kindergarten - last

I've mentioned before that in the morning on Mondays we listened to "At the Zoo", a school program put on by the Philadelphia Zoo.  I loved that program which each week would give us all kinds of information about one of the zoo animals.  We would then go outside and run off some of our excess energy, and return for the rest of our morning learning activities.

In the afternoons, we mostly did reading and practiced our writing (printing).  I wasn't particularly fond of printing, but I wanted to do it perfectly, so I practiced a lot.  I asked my dad to get me one of those tablets that had the lines on it for printing, and he did, and I practiced at home.

We had no homework given us by our teacher, Mrs. Gardner so I could practice as much or little as I wanted.

After kindergarten, of course, came first grade.  I'll start there next.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Kindergarten 6 - Reading groupos

In Kindergarten we had reading groups.  The class was divided into three groups -- Red, Green, and Blue.  The Red group contained the best readers, the Green group contained the readers who read fairly well, but they stumbled when they read out loud once in a while, and the blue group had the poorest readers.  They stumbled a lot.

I wanted to help the children in the Blue group so badly, but, of course, that wasn't my job and none of my classmates asked me for help.

The task of wanting to help my classmates learn to read, became something that stuck with me and I became a teacher of dyslexic children and loved it.  I even developed a reading program for adults who couldn't read, and the adults I taught using the method I had developed learned very quickly how to read.  The program was called Reading Bootcamp.

The desire to teach reading began in kindergarten.  Imagine that.



When I was in grammar school, that would be grades 1-8 these days -- we had no middle school, I was popular.  I loved being popular.  It all came crashing down around me when I got to high school.

When I was under 14 I was popular because my father was one of three town pastors.  Everybody knew me, and I hope, liked me.  I tried not to put on "airs", but I probably didn't always succeed.  I was hindered in my popularity by two small things:  a father who didn't like to have children running around the house, and this included neighbor children; and a household that had very little money, which meant no birthday parties.  And, to get invited to a birthday party you had to invite to a birthday party.

When I was over 14  in high school I really didn't have time in my freshman year to try to become popular.  The only talent I had was playing the piano or violin, and there were other freshman who could play the piano better than I, and worst of all I had to actually study to get As and Bs.  In grammar school it came to me naturally. 

My after-school time in high school was spent on homework so getting together with classmates was out of the question.  Even on Sunday afternoons I had to do homework and/or study.  Telephone time dwinddled to a mere trickle.

Bye-bye popularity.  Hard pill to swallow without choking.  Since I'm still alive, I obviously didn't choke, and swallowed the pill.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Kindergarten 5-Holidays

When I said I was going to write "one-a-day" entries to my BLOG, I didn't realize how household events and health issues would interfere, but I'm doing my best.

The title of "Holidays" isn't a long description of all the Holidays we enjoyed when I was a child.

I would rather mention the "Holidays" we enjoyed then that are now celebrated now.

There was Columbus Day, October 12; Voting day - the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November; State Teacher Convention -- the second weekend in November which included Thursday and Friday; Abraham Lincoln's birthday - February 12; George Washington's birthday  - February 22; and Easter Monday.  I think that is about it.

If you know of any others, let me know.  Remember they are not celebrated any more.