multiplication wheel

Some terrific chalkboard drawings and information from almost 100 years ago were discovered in an Oklahoma City school recently. From The Washington Post:

Teachers and students scribbled the lessons — multiplication tables, pilgrim history, how to be clean —  nearly 100 years ago. And they haven’t been touched since.

This week, contractors removing old chalkboards at Emerson High School in Oklahoma City made a startling discovery: Underneath them rested another set of chalkboards, untouched since 1917.

“The penmanship blows me away, because you don’t see a lot of that anymore,” Emerson High School Principal Sherry Kishore told the Oklahoman. “Some of the handwriting in some of these rooms is beautiful.”


There are some fascinating drawings and an interesting ‘multiplication wheel’ that was puzzling to the reporter.  Read the comments from the readers which may help with that mystery.

One of the most interesting comments about the blackboard came in the form of a tweet.  From Oklahoma Public School:


(click on graphic to enlarge)

ok public school 1


In 2016, what might curriculum about Pilgrims looks like?   Here is a very detailed description of what Kindergartners are expected to to learn about The Pilgrims (via Domain 9 and a CCSS alignment chart) in EngageNY:

This Tell It Again! Read-Aloud Anthology for Columbus and the Pilgrims contains background information and resources that the teacher will need to implement Domain 9, including an alignment chart for the domain to the Common Core State Standards; an introduction to the domain including necessary background information for teachers, a list of domain components, a core vocabulary list for the domain, and planning aids and resources; 9 lessons including objectives, read-alouds, discussion questions, and extension activities; a Pausing Point; a domain review; a domain assessment; culminating activities; and teacher resources. By the end of this domain, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the continents of Europe, Africa, Asia, North America, and South America;

  2. Explain why Europeans wanted to travel to Asia;

  3. Identify King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain;

  4. Recall that 1492 was the year of Columbus’s first voyage to America;

  5. Recall the names of Columbus’s three ships: Niña, Pinta, and Santa María;

  6. Explain that Columbus’s journey was very long and difficult;

  7. Explain why Columbus called the land where he landed the Indies and the inhabitants Indians;

  8. Describe why we remember Columbus on Columbus Day;

  9. Explain why Europeans eventually thought Columbus had discovered a New World;

  10. Explain that native people were already living on the continent where Columbus’s ships landed;

  11. Identify the reasons the Pilgrims left England;

  12. Describe the Pilgrims’ voyage on the Mayflower;

  13. Explain the significance of Plymouth Rock;

  14. Describe the Pilgrims’ first interaction with the Wampanoag;

  15. Describe the Pilgrims’ first year in America;

  16. Describe the first Thanksgiving Day celebration;

  17. With prompting and support, ask and answer questions (e.g., who, what, where, when) requiring literal recall and understanding of the details and/or facts of a nonfiction/informational read-aloud;

  18.  Answer questions that require making interpretations, judgments, or giving opinions about what is heard in a nonfiction/informational read-aloud, including answering why questions that require recognizing cause/effect relationships;

  19. With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a nonfiction/informational read-aloud;

  20. With prompting and support, describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a nonfiction/informational read-aloud;

  21. With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about unknown words in nonfiction/informational read-alouds and discussions

  22. With prompting and support, describe illustrations from a nonfiction/informational read-aloud, using the illustrations to check and support comprehension of the read-aloud;

  23. With prompting and support, identify the reasons or facts an author gives to support points in a nonfiction/informational read-aloud

  24. Actively engage in nonfiction/informational read-alouds;

  25. Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to present information from a nonfiction/informational read-aloud, naming the topic and supplying some details;

  26. With assistance, categorize and organize facts and information within a given domain to answer questions;

  27. Use agreed-upon rules for group discussions (e.g., look at and listen to the speaker, raise hand to speak, take turns, say “excuse me” or “please,” etc.);

  28. Carry on and participate in a conversation over four to five turns, staying on topic, initiating comments or responding to a partner’s comments, with either an adult or another child of the same age;

  29. Ask and answer questions to clarify information in a fiction or nonfiction/informational read-aloud;

  30. Ask questions to clarify directions, exercises, and/or classroom routines;

  31. Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail;

  32. Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly;

  33. Use frequently occurring nouns and verbs in oral language;

  34. Ask questions beginning with who, what, where, when, why, or how;

  35. Answer questions orally in complete sentences;

  36. Produce and expand complete sentences in shared language;

  37. Identify new meanings for familiar words and apply them accurately (e.g., knowing duck is a bird and learning the verb to duck);

  38. Demonstrate understanding of frequently occurring verbs and adjectives by relating them to their opposites (antonyms);

  39. Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., note places at school that are colorful);

  40. Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, being read to, and responding to texts;

  41. Listen to and understand a variety of texts, including informational text;

  42. Retell important facts and information from a read-aloud;

  43. Distinguish read-alouds that describe events that happened long ago from those that describe contemporary or current events;

  44. Prior to listening to a read-aloud, identify what they know and have learned that may be related to the specific story or topic to be read aloud; and

  45. Make predictions prior to and during a read-aloud based on the title, pictures, and/or text heard thus far and then compare the actual outcomes to predictions.


An Oklahoma City Public School tweet seems to indicate that aligned curriculum is nothing new to schools as there was alignment in the classrooms 100 years ago.  However, there is a difference between the definition of aligned curriculum in 1917 and in 2016.  My response to OKC Public Schools:

ok public school 2

You wonder what the teachers from 100 years ago would have thought about aligning their curriculum to privately owned standards and the 45 academic expectations for 5 year old children.  You wonder if a teacher would have the time for this beautiful chalkboard drawing of a girl blowing a bubble…and if so, if it would align to the art standards aligned to ELA:


girl blowing bubble

From the above linked standards for art, David Coleman believes art should align to the CCSS and explains the importance of the alignment:

coleman and art standardsTo see a 4 year old for whom these standards/alignment are useless and might even impede creativity, read here.



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