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Any TRISM users here?

Any TRISM users here?

It looks sooo enticing but it also looks expensive. It would be more doable without the IEW added to it. Is it possible to do the program successfully without it?

re: Any TRISM users here?

I spent several days searching for actual user reviews of this program. They are few and far between! If you find some, let me know too :).
bump

re: Any TRISM users here?

I researched this for awhile and decided it was not for us. Yahoo has a group that is very helpful and willing to answer any questions.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/trisms/

re: Any TRISM users here?

"It looks sooo enticing but it also looks expensive. It would be more doable without the IEW added to it. Is it possible to do the program successfully without it?"
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I'm currently using TRISMS Expansion of Civilization for my sophomore year. I have VERY mixed feelings about the program. The authors, although well intentioned, present their products as being complete and thorough, etc. However, I believe that it would be very difficult to successfully implement the TRISMS program without a good library and some serious money. For instance, they claim that they're writing program is complete, etc. They do require the student to write lots of essays, book reports, research papers, short stories, etc. BUT there is no guide as to how you, as the parent, are to grade the writing assignments - unless you purchase IEW (I typed up a composition rubric that I found in the IEW TWSS syllabus, and my mom uses that to grade my papers). The teacher's book/answer key only provides a limited amount of answers for the literature portion of the program, and the authors stated that because there is no “right answer” in literature, the teacher’s manual would not provide ALL of the answers. In my opinion, it would be much more practical (and helpful) to give the parent answers for ALL of the literature assignments – even if they were only examples or suggested answers. That would give a parent a better idea of what to look for when they check their student’s answers to the literature questions. The vocabulary quizzes are a total joke. It's just matching the vocabulary words to the correct definition; I can do a quiz in less than 2 minutes, and I've received 100s on each one. Even the semester vocabulary "test" is a matching test! It’s disappointing because the tests don’t even get progressively harder. The semester literature exams, however, are VERY challenging. The student is given several days to read the essay topic, research, and take notes. On the test day, the student must write an essay on the given prompt, using only the notes as a guide. Great SAT/ACT prep in my opinion. As a side note, I do believe that it is helpful to the student to have the IEW program along with TRISMS assignments. They incorporate the IEW units into the TRISMS literature assignments very well. Some of the assignments aren’t listed on the assignment grid, though, and I’ve had to write them in to make sure that I didn’t skip them. Another downside about the literature aspect of TRISMS are the movie Q&As. You are asked to watch a period-related movie, and answer about 10 questions on the movie. But we could never find the movies, so my mom just told me to skip those assignments. That made me really mad, because I’m a box-checker, and I do NOT like doing things out of order or omitting them. I felt like I was getting a lesser education by skipping the movie Q&As. If you can find the movies on Amazon, that’s fine. I couldn’t find any of the movies at Borders.com or anything, though.

The history portion of TRISMS has different issues. I became very frustrated with the quality (or lack thereof) of the unit maps. For instance, in unit 2 (China), I had to find a map of the Han in China around 200 B.C. I looked in our historical atlas and found the correct map, but it didn’t exactly match up with the TRISMS unit map. Also, when I did the first unit on the Mayans, the map of Central America (that was supposed to show where the Mayans lived) was upside down! In my opinion, the unit maps from TRISMS are very poor quality. I understand that the maps must be blank, but absolutely NOTHING is pre-labeled – not even bodies of water! I had the worst time trying to figure out where the Atlantic Ocean began and ended while drawing a map of the Vikings. The unit questionnaires are very thorough, and I enjoyed doing these. You may have some problems finding the answers to some of the questions, however. I would recommend purchasing several hefty volumes on world history. The Internet wasn’t much help, and I got my most accurate answers from library books, history texts, encyclopedias, magazine articles, etc. I also enjoyed the unit worksheets – they honed in on one specific aspect of each civilization. For my history credit, my mom also required me to do the science questionnaires, and the questionnaires for art, music, and architecture. I LOVED all of those! They were thorough, and really helped to focus on different facets of each civilization. Again, I would highly recommend using books for these questionnaires. Every time I tried to use the Internet, it take longer because of looking for different links, etc. The one thing my mom and I both liked about the questionnaires from TRISMS was that I had to cite my sources (from which I got my answers to the questionnaires) in MLA format. I’ve done it so much with TRISMS, I can do it in my sleep! I don’t have much positive to say about the history quizzes. They were just fill-in-the-blanks for every unit. Those were also easy, and I could whiz through one in less than 5 minutes. The semester exams, however, easily made up for the ease of the quizzes! There were about 25 questions on each exam, requiring responses of at least one sentence in length. The semester exams also tested geography, and gave the student several civilizations to mark on a world map. The teacher’s manual for the history portion is good, but they don’t have any map keys, so it would be difficult to assess whether the student mapped the correct area(s) or not. Also, sometimes the question number wouldn’t match up with the answers, etc. In my honest opinion, the Expansion of Civilization still needed to go through some proofreading.

After struggling to get into a “groove” with TRISMS, my mom and I finally worked out a plan. Since each unit is supposed to take two weeks, we do the first page of the assignment grid (science, civilization questionnaires, maps, worksheets, vocabulary words, and the majority of the literature assignments), and then in the 2nd week, we do the second page of the assignment grid (flashcards for the Historical Events, art questionnaires, music questionnaires, and music questionnaires [we skip the rhetoric assignments]). I also take the vocabulary quiz and the civilizations quiz at the end of the second week. As an example, here’s what this would look like doing the TRISMS Expansion of Civilization volume (the subjects listed under each day are the same titles as the ones given on the assignment grid:

Unit 14: Feudal/Monastic Period

Week 1

Monday
Civilizations: Mark map #13 – Europe around 1140; include Map Details
Literature: L-14a: Song of Roland Q & A
Vocabulary: Make flashcards for the unit 14 vocabulary

Tuesday
Science: S-14a: Architecture
Civilizations: Feudal life questionnaire
Literature: L-14b: Summarize
Vocabulary: Study unit 14 flashcards

Wednesday
Civilizations: Worksheet 14: Feudal Romanesque
Literature: L-14c: Ballads
Vocabulary: Continue studying unit 14 flashcards

Thursday
Civilizations: Mark map #5 – identify the routes of the four major crusades; label Jerusalem, Antioch, Edessa, Tripoli, and Acre; include Map Details
Literature: L-14d: Medieval fair
Vocabulary: Continue studying unit 14 flashcards; review flashcards from previous units

Friday
Civilizations: Mark map #1 – mark all co-existing civilizations
Literature: L-14e: Book report
Vocabulary: Study unit 14 flashcards; review flashcards from previous units

Week 2

Monday
Rhetoric: R-14a: Worksheet 6 – Narration, Proposition, and Division
Vocabulary: Continue studying unit 14 flashcards
Historical Events: Make flashcards for the historical events for unit 14

Tuesday
Architecture: Monastery of Cluny (or Abbey at Cluny) Questionnaire
Vocabulary: Continue studying unit 14 flashcards
Historical Events: Study unit 14 flashcards; review flashcards from previous units

Wenesday
Music: Questionnaire
Vocabulary: Continue studying unit 14 flashcards
Historical Events: Continue studying unit 14 flashcards; review flashcards from previous units

Thursday
Art: Bayeux Tapestry questionnaire
Architecture: The White Tower (or Tower of London) or Krak des Chevaliers questionnaire; Part II of the questionnaire – English cruck frame house
Vocabulary: Continue studying unit 14 flashcards
Historical Events: Continue studying unit 14 flashcards; review flashcards from previous units

Friday
Civilizations: Take the unit 14 quiz
Vocabulary: Take the unit 14 quiz


We figured out how to break up the assignments because on the grid, every subject is given five vertical boxes. Each box seems to represent one school day. It balances out pretty well. Sorry this post is so long, but I wanted to cover your questions thoroughly. If you have any more questions as to how TRISMS works (the questionnaires, assignment grids, literature assignments, etc.), feel free to ask!

HTH!

~Nicole :D

This post was edited on Mar 19, 2010 09:23 PM

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