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NORMAL COURSE IN READING,
EMMA J. TODD,
TRAINING TEACIER IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF AURORA, ILL.,
SILVER, BURDETT & CO., PUBLISHERS,
Geographical, Historical, Patriotic, and Miscellaneous;
31 mai 1921
Querican Coutiquonian Leila
COPYRIGHT, 1890, by Silver, BURDETT & Co.
Typography: J. S. Cushing & Co.
Presswork: Berwick & Smith.
Illustrations: H. A. Dennison.
PROBABLY no text-books in our schools represent, on the whole, more effort and enterprise on the part of both publisher and author than the school reading-books. This branch has constantly received the contributions of our most successful schoolbook makers a fact which in itself abundantly attests the importance which attaches to the study in the public mind.
That there yet remain possibilities for improvement in this direction cannot be doubted by those familiar with the progress recently made in the methods of teaching reading employed by our best educators. This progress has revealed and emphasized the need of improvements not hitherto, attempted in the readingbooks offered for school use, both in the plan of presentation and in the subject matter presented.
It is confidently believed that a careful examination of the plan and subject matter of the NORMAL COURSE IN READING will at once reveal its raison d'être, and that a practical use of these books in the school-room (which is, after all, the supreme test of excellence) will demonstrate their superiority to those hitherto published for the same work.
A more definite and detailed exposition of the plan, scope, and subject-matter of each book in the series will be found in the Suggestions to Teachers.”
The publishers confidently commend the Series to all progressive educators, and anticipate for it large favor at the hands of those who appreciate the best school-room work.
SUGGESTIONS TO TEACHERS.
The teacher of this book is asked to read 66 Suggestions to Teachers,” found in the Third Reader of this series.
The successful teacher studies most to know the learning point in the minds of his pupils, whatever subject he teaches. In the teaching of no other subject is the learning point missed or overreached oftener than in the teaching of reading. This is especially true in the transition from primary to intermediate reading. Too much is taken for granted. Not enough care is given to know that the child reads understandingly. What is of more significance, not enough effort is made to develop power to understand and interpret symbols (written and printed words are symbolic channels of information).
Before the child can read matter representing new thought profitably, his mind must be enriched with nuclei of information gained from original channels, things, and experiences, in manifold variety. These, with conclusions thereon and imaginings therefrom, must be expressed in symbols, and the symbols must be read by the child that he may know the relation of the latter to the former, to the end that he may have a broad comprehension of the office of symbols.
Very slowly does the child learn to see thought in symbols. The nuclei established in the mind through original channels of information — things, experiences, conclusions, and imaginings — are the standards for comparison by which all symbols are interpreted. To see that the inind of the child interprets correctly and with intelligence is the chief difficulty in the teaching of reading in the Fourth Reader stage of the work.
The transition from the reading of matter expressing what the child has learned from original channels of information - matter representing what he already knows — to the reading of matter that is read for gaining information cannot be made rapidly, and should be directed with great care. It may be begun soon after the child begins to read.
The teacher should know that new reading-matter given to the child is within the interpretative limit of his mind's stores. If this is made sure, the imagination will be healthfully developed, and the reader will be instructed and entertained. By such careful training only, can the child be fitted for an intelligent study of geography and history from texts, or for an appreciative reading or hearing of fiction and poetry.
The lessons herein given under the general title “ Our Beautiful World,” with those under the general title “ Vapor " in the Third Reader, are well adapted to the work of training the pupil to read for the purpose of getting information. They are also well adapted to the purpose of training the pupil in good delivery. While subserving these two important ends of the reading exercise, they will, if intelligently taught, serve as the best possible beginning for the rational study of geography, as well as an excellent preparation for the reading of history.
The lessons are in sequential order, and should be so taught.
The lessons of the two sections following, viz. “Plant Life of the Earth” and “ Animal Life of the Earth,” are units of thought, affording opportunity for systematic study. They present much information and are carefully embellished with poetry. It is believed an intelligent reading of them will be interesting to the pupil and will afford opportunity for profitable work in word study and thought arrangement, as well as for elocutionary drill.
In no case should a poetical selection be read until the teacher is reasonably certain that the child understands the lesson which the poem is intended to embellish or supplement. Thus pupils may be led to read, appreciate, and enjoy poetry that is worthy a place in the library of the scholar.