A few thoughts from a 64-year-old grandma remembering grades K-6

General memories from elementary school
  1. I began my public school education six weeks before my 5th birthday in 1957.
  2. Back then specific immunizations were mandatory.
    All of us were immunized for smallpox, diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus. I remember eating a sugar cube laced with polio vaccine.
  3. We developed immunity that worked even better than vaccines by catching the actual disease from other kids.
    So I had the childhood illnesses chicken pox, rubella (we called it German measles), measles, and mumps.
  4. Each school day began with saluting the American flag and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
    In the early grades the teachers led us through the words, meaning, and expectations. Then we were good to go.
  5. The teacher or a student read from the Bible before we began our studies. First we pledged, then we prayed.
  6. Kindergarten was only a half-day session (9-11:30 or 12:30-3).
    We brought a snack for the middle of the day, took a nap and there were toys to play with. That's about all I recall from kindergarten.
  7. School was in session from 9:00AM-3:00PM each day.
    The school bell rang at 8:45 and 8:55 AM. At the time of the second bell we lined up according to class in front of our teacher who would lead us in. In bad weather we lined up inside in the hall. We all went home for lunch. Virtually all mothers stayed out of the workforce at least until their youngest went to junior high school (middle school today). Lunch was from 12-1 PM and the dismissal bell rang at 3. Recess went from 10:15-10:30 AM each morning.
  8. I lived across the street from the school. I would wait for the second bell and then run fast to get on line.
  9. We went on great field trips to museums in NYC - art, history, natural history, planetarium. We also went to the Bronx zoo.
  10. In 3rd grade we were matched with third-graders from Ohio as pen pals.
  11. Also in 3rd grade we hatched chickens in an incubator.
  12. Each year we had a Christmas concert, a Christmas fair, a Spring play, and at least one field trip.
  13. At the end of the year each of the 3 elementary schools, the junior high, and and the high school marched in a parade to Palisades Amusement Park. We had a picnic lunch and then we went on the rides until it was time to go home.
  14. Girls wore dresses to school and boys wore slacks, shirt and tie.
  15. The teachers for grades 1, 2, and 4 were strict and boring. But I still liked school. I liked the routine, my classmates, and I loved reading.
  16. I remember the excitement of scholastic books. We'd get the order sheet and I would scrutinize the list trying to get as many books as I could with my book money from home.
  17. The teachers for grades 3, 5, and 6 were awesome and in those years I loved school. I never wanted to miss a day.
  18. Once each week we had art class, music class, and physical education. But we had physical activity every day at recess, before the lunch bell, and after school.
    Our playground had paved areas, a grassy field, swings, "monkey bars" and seesaws. We had access to various sized balls, bats, gloves, games, jump ropes, and chalk to make hopscotch and potsey boards.
  19. I don't remember much homework until junior high. I do remember working on projects at home such as growing a potato plant, making a collage, writing stories, and making dioramas.
  20. I really loved elementary school and my church life back then.
  21. What a great town to grow up in.
  22. What a great time to grow up.
  23. And this is what we did in the summer