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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 07-11-2006, 07:31 AM
mousebyte's Avatar
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Yea I bet they were. My great-grandmother use to go to a one room school house cause when I was a little kid she use to tell me stories about it and how she use to take a biscuit for her lunch in this tin lunch pail, not like our lunch boxes.
Wow we have been away from those for a long time to now be deciding they must of been pretty good. I don't know that any of the schools in GA have the no walls classes but guess it wouldn't be a whole lot different from a parent that homeschools 3 or 4 kids.
What I like about the GA schools is their high school, they do 4 subjects for an 1 1/2 for 18 weeks and then switch and do 4 other subjects for the next 18 weeks. Not as many books to carry, not 8 subjects of homework everynight. It is easier to concentrate on just the 4 subjects and get all your work done.
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Old 07-11-2006, 07:42 AM
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Tami, let us know how things work out in your decision with your DSs school. I agree, if he doesn't have an attention problem, then I don't see a problem with it, especially if you have checked it out. I too do better when there is background noise. Maybe it will be a good thing.
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Old 07-11-2006, 11:12 PM
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mousebyte, that sounds good, is the homework load any less, our school can give up to 4 to 6 hours a night!! weekends, and holidays too get homework, I think it is very wrong.
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Old 07-12-2006, 01:03 PM
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I had open classrooms in elementary school and my son does now too. Its not that hard. Yes if one classroom gets really noisy then it can bother the others, but for the most part the teachers know how to keep everything in control. Instead of walls they use other things so that there are dividers like bookshelves, cabinets, cubbies, portable bulletin boards. There's nothing wrong with open classrooms and the entire grade is all together. It makes it really nice for the whole grade to do a movie or large project all at once.
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Old 07-12-2006, 01:29 PM
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We registered him yesterday. I think that the set up is strange--not bad, just very different from anything that we were used to.

Kindergarten and 5th grade are seperated from grades 2-4.

Picture a huge room--more rectangle than square. In the middle of the room is the library. It is squared off by book shelves w/ tables in the middle. To one side of the room, outside the library "walls" is a reading pit--a stadium style bleacher set up where the kids can read, do plays and skits ....etc. They also have a projection screen that drops from the ceiling for movies. It is built in to the floor and all carpeted. I wouldv'e loved this when I was in school!

On 2 other sides are the classrooms. They are either divided by portable bulletin boards or moveable walls. Starting on the left, there is 2nd grade (5 classes)--they are lined up in 2's...class 1 in front, 2 in back, next class 3 in front, 4 in back. Move on to 3rd grade (5 classes)--same pattern. Grade 4 is smaller.

To get around the place, you actually have to walk through classrooms. (Not sure if I would like this or not but it's not my classroom).

There is a cafeteria on the other side in another room---the 3 graders take their food back to their rooms. Again, I'm not sure how complete messes don't occur but I'm sure I will find out.

The gym is really big and divided to make it a multi-purpose room. It has a stage in it where they hold meetings and concerts...etc... The art room is on the one side of they gym, again divided by a moving wall.


The lady in the office assured me that although it sounds strange, it really does work. Personally, I think that this is a great learning experience for my son. He took one look at it and said that he didn't want to go there but as the night wore on, he was coming around to the idea. They must be doing something right because they are an award-winning school.

He is excited about riding the bus again.

I am hoping to be called to volunteer at his school this year too.

They are the "Roadrunners" Too cute!



Many thanks to everyone for all of the info. here!! I will update from time to time in the coming year!


Tami
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Old 07-14-2006, 10:17 PM
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ajrsmom good luck to son and do let us know how he is doing and how this type of classroom works.

ellenmelon, the boys have hardly ever had homework. They got most of theirs done in class or during lunch. Some of the teachers never even gave homework. I do believe this system works though cause Michael graduated last year and his high school graduation test scores were really high. Matt will graduate in 07 but his scores were even higher than Michaels. He scored in the 90 something percentile on nearly every subject. In middle school up here they just pile the homework on like crazy saying they are getting them ready for high school but then high school isn't anything like all the homework in middle school. My youngest starts high school this year and I am so happy she is done with middle school.
I agree with you 4-6 hours of homework is insane. I mean people don't come home from their jobs and then do work from their jobs for 4-6 hours in the evening (or most people don't) so why should kids have to go to school all day and then come home and do 4-6 more hours of it. I think that burns some kids out to early on school. Hopefully this next school year there won't be so much homework for your child. I would really like to know do the teachers actually grade that much homework or do they just put a check on it if it is done? To me that would be like the teacher cheating, she wants the kids to do 4-6 hours a night but doesn't want to spend that much time checking the homework.
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Old 07-15-2006, 05:20 AM
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Homework Overload:
You are exactly right on target. The students learn very quickly which homework gets a cursory check. The math teachers usually allow the students to go over their homework in class so at least that is a good feedback system.

When quick feedback is one of the hallmarks of good learning, getting an essay or exam back weeks later is hardly right.

What it does teach is to be efficient or die. A student learns where it is important to put their time and which subjects warrant their attention either through their desire or need to get a higher cumulative average to get in the college of their choice.

Open Environments:
I sat in on a talk about a university that has physically set up their lab space for collaboration. The professors are evaluated on how well they do their jobs according to a rubric that judges how willingly and effectively they have collaborated with other departments.

The lab space had an open hallway the whole length of the building. There were 4 'buildings' connected by a central hub. Equipment is shared and serviced by an inhouse group. It is an almost self sufficient operation.

In an environment traditionally characterized by each professor doing their own dynasty building both in research, personnel, and physical space, this setup stands in contrast.

It has been in operation for two years at least with success.
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Old 07-15-2006, 06:13 AM
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Tami, I'll be interested in hearing how this all works once school starts.

I've taught on many levels (grades 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, high school and college) and I think that approach has to be very challenging for the teacher! A lot of planning has to go into this way of schooling. It would drive me nuts since I know I don't deal well with multi-stimulation (I can't listen to the radio somewhere in the house if the TV is on somewhere else, and have a conversation on top of that) but I think that if kids start young in that kind of environment it will work well for them.

Someone mentioned "block scheduling." My DS who is starting high school in September will have that NEXT year. They're doing it for the 2007 school year. I think it's great for things like lab science, history, even literature--but for math and foreign language I think they'd do better to have shorter classes all year. Those subjects need the daily attention. He could finish his year of German in January and not have any more German until the following January. That's a whole year to lose what he's not using!
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Old 07-15-2006, 08:34 AM
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barbszy I agree with you about the foreign language needing to be a shorter class that last all year long. On the math I think for some kids that would be important. My friends and I were all concerned when our first child entered the block system, how would they remember the math because actually you could take the math in 9th grade in Aug. 06 and then not have it again until 10th grade Jan. 08. But all our kids have done well in math except one friends son and he has always struggled with math. My oldest and his girlfriend both took Trig. as an elective because they really like math so the times in between math classes they didn't seem to lose anything.
I think this system works well for some students, only having to concentrate on 4 subjects they don't feel overloaded and can pay more attention to the 4 and learn them better. Where for some students this plan doesn't work. I'm not sure how well it would work for me if I was a student, I don't retain as well if I don't use it so if I didn't use the math for nearly a year after I learned it I would forget how to do it.
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