« AnteriorContinuar »
requirements presented by the National Joint Committee 3 Does the language show an effort on the part of the on English (representing the Commission on the Re- writer to adopt interesting phrases or other vocabulary? organization of Secondary Education of the National Education Association and the National Council of
And lastly, in considering this phase of Dr. Butler's Teachers of English): "This report was published by the statement, may we ask what we are offering the child in Bureau: af: Education at Washington, and recommends the line of assistance in taking the initiative in daily con(page 128) "after a wide consultation of principals and
versation? Are we helping the child to lasting interests teachers in the elementary schools,” standards to be com- which become a basis for definite contribution on his part pleted in the first six grades of school.
whether it be when he is called upon to write an interesting These standards are stated as follows:
letter or, as one of a social group (at his own table or outside
of his home walls), to take part in a discussion where his "At the end of the sixth grade pupils should be able: ability to express thought is either a stimulation to others
“1 To express clearly and consecutively, either in or a possible indication of a future bore? speech or in writing, ideas which are familiar and firmly grasped;
(c) SPELLING “2 To avoid gross grammatical errors;
Such standard spelling studies as the Ayers list (and "a "3 To compose and mail a letter;
foundation vocabulary,” as Dr. Ayers terms the 1000 "4 To spell their own written vocabulary;
words compiling the list). "The Jones' Spelling Demons" "5 To read silently, and after one reading to reproduce should also be known to our teachers. the substance of a simple short story, news item, or lesson;
“6 To read aloud readily and intelligently simple news (d) WRITING items, a lesson from text-books, or literature of such
Arm or muscular movement, generally used throughout difficulty as 'The Ride of Paul Revere,' or Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol';
the country to accomplish ease, speed, and legibility in "7 To quote accurately and understandingly several writing, is the habit established in the cases of the majority
of children leaving the elementary grades. Preliminary short poems, such as Bennet's “The Flag Goes By' and
work is accomplished by blackboard practice that the Emerson's 'The Mountain and the Squirrel.'”
teacher may keep in touch with each child, that incorrect
body and finger movements may not develop while the Criticism listed on page 124 of this Federal Report may pupil is puzzling over the letter forms, and that a chance also be used as one of our objectives. “Especially notice- for corrections during a single period may occur. Applicaable in all parts of the country is the neglect of the training tion of special problems to stress so as to anticipate errors of the voice in distinct enunciation, clear articulation, and
found in written work has in many rooms been worked out; agreeable tones.” It is true that we have succeeded in
lists of words based upon forms sometimes not differentiated conquering large numbers of cases of mumbling; we have have resulted: also been pleased with the increase in poise and in conviction of tone which has grown out of stressing oral
ball composition. We should also show growth in pupil effort
bat to cultivate a tone and an enunciation which are both a
bill etc. business and a social asset. The child's attention can be
To show distinction between f and b. more closely turned to this element as soon as he has laid the basis required for one who must learn “to stand upon
crowd his feet and think aloud." This basis is the use of complete
shout clear-cut sentences related to the central thought, in place
dough etc. of the monosyllabic answer first proposed by the timid or careless child. This growth in oral expression is the type
To show whether child's writing indicates distinction in of English work to receive the largest emphasis during
form between u and w. the time spent in Grades 1-VI. (It is, of course, understood that the term oral expression indicates ability to express
wrist thought and is not used in the sense which suggests elocu
write tionary emphasis.)
porch etc. Our training for written language work should be con- To start r above the line on which word is written. nected with many of the oral language problems, small units of carefully thought out messages (rather than long
caw sheets of careless vaporizing) being the task set before the
soup pupil who must learn the importance of pruring a story
about and of looking at words closely instead of throwing them
fought on with a shovel.” Large written problems should there
crown fore be divided into several units until the time when the
row pupil has formed the habits of accuracy and precision.
low etc. During the period's work with each small unit, the student will have three aims ever present — (1) clearness and
To give practice in showing a distinct difference between conciseness, (2) sequence, (3) variety of expression. These
a or o when united to w or u. principles will in many cases be emphasized by such questions as:
Distribution to each grade of short lists of words sug
gested by the 1917 Committee on Economy of Time 1 Does this sentence seem a puzzle or awkward?
(appointed by the National Council of Teachers of English)
is recommended. Such work is the outcome of the direct Because of its wording?
report of the sub-committee on Mechanics of Writing, and Because of its length?
in consideration of the matter of Economy of Time, it is 2 Does each sentence “fit” (really follow with a smooth- urged by this committee that some of the formal writing ness not apparent when omissions of certain detail cause a periods profit "by recent investigations of spelling condigap in thought or needless repetitions postpone progress in tions" and place emphasis upon certain common words thought)?
"known to be commonly misspelled everywhere." Drill
in penmanship period will then not be based upon such describe surprised hoping
thrown generally unused words as vat or slab or taboo or spawn,
hurried whether laid
necessary This correlation with the spelling and language work copied
generally occurred will motivate in a new way the penmanship work. The
principal National Sub-committee on Mechanics of Writing ask for
government probably penmanship practice upon the following number of trouble
read some words:
judgment respectfully Grade
Number of words
53 Grade VIII Third..
opened easily Sixth.
preferred immediately lady's Seventh.
Question II The list is as follows:
What opportunities are we offering for growth in “re
fined and gentle manners"? This is Dr. Butler's second Grade II
criterion of education functioning. any tried taking some
In place of incidental accomplishment, we are placing
coming writing they school upon the daily program in some systems a definite time does stopped too
for pausing to consider the sort of citizens we wish to goes making dropped hear went
become, the qualities of character out of which we build first here running
write our ideals, and the lessons we learn from others, together again there dear told wrote
with the response due from us for whom so much has asked where done
been and is done. The use of a course of study in Civics been know every threw their
is resulting in a discrimination on the part of the child, buy much such near two
an understanding that results in the outward expression cried shining off
of the right spirit -- a spirit from within, and not assumed, which whole whose
the spirit of true gentility and fine breeding which shows
itself in simplicity and knows that greatness dares to be Grade III
unaffected, spontaneous and sincere. The activities of afraid children father
our children, listed from Red Cross work down to the all right clothes
playing of games, or the building of houses for our itinerant almost color
bird folk emphasize this spirit of sympathy, of co-operating already could
great people with, and of helping others — the spirit which is the always should guess please
foundation of good citizenship (and incidentally one of asks would have
the secrets of personal charm). shows doctor
right says early loose speak
Question III beginning easy
What opportunities are we offering for growth in "the busy enough loving
power and habit of reflection”? truly until woman
women Grade IV
1 The use of the socialized recitation where the child across choose pleasant used to
learns the value of open-mindedness which in itself is a also
can't quiet weather requisite for growth. The child must draw conclusions among don't ready week
and state problems rather than depend upon a memorized because fourth receive Wednesday
version. before losing instead February
2 The use of “individual study” periods to provide believe hour
written opportunity for the child to be taught how to be selfpieces Saturday sentence
helpful. : busy business just
3 The type of questions proposed by teachers should earliest meant tired
stimulate reflection. Purely informational questions should built minute Tuesday
not typify regular periods of work. Present questions
demanding comparisons and judgment and allow the Grade V
pupil opportunity to solve the situation. answered didn't doesn't isn't
4 The spirit of inquiry is encouraged in the progressive break tear wear
country school. This does away with the tendency of set mind perhaps really replied since
which refuses but one interpretation of incidents and which different either except half
narrows one with succeeding years whatever the experiences stretch toward trouble useful
encountered. In history we accept Dr. Dewey's statement whom without
for the keynote to method: “The chief purpose in studying
history is not to amass information but to use information Grade VI
in constructing a vivid picture of how and why men did certain
thus and so, achieved their successes and came to their ladies stories studies
failures.” The tableau interpretation of various historical sense separate crowd
epochs presented by pupils illustrates the research of
pupils and teachers interested in working out an inter- so as to set aims for even our elementary pupils who have pretation of the life of the past. The dramatization, e.g., not at this time become classified under a vocational of parts of “King Arthur” by a fourth or fifth grade class heading. Efficiency in the tool subjects then becomes a will develop the spirit of inquiry through a socialized very definite aim of our elementary schools. Such standdiscussion of former times. Reference work of great ards as the Courtis and Thompson efficiency tests in value grows out of this attempt to truthfully portray arithmetic, the Hillegas and Harvard-Newton standards (by means of simple improvised costumes and typical for written composition, the Kelley, the Thorndike, the situations with possible conversations) interpretation of a Gray, and the Fordyce scales for measuring reading ability, period or country. Such instances are typical by-products the Ayres spelling basis, and minimum standards in penof a change in method. Geography teaching is also manship should aid us in determining where our results drawing away from the mere drill for “knowledge by stand in comparison with other schools of recognized standheart," and becomes a means for promoting a real mental ing which have used these same means of examination. activity where the child's constructive imagination is The final question, of course, in making decision to cultivated. The representation of Indian life upon the adopt any new course or plan should not be, "Is this the sand-table, the making of a miniature Eskimo hut, the easiest thing for me?" but rather, “Have I the courage drawing of the schoolyard upon the blackboard when dis- to keep growing?" And again, “Where should I begin cussing direction, or the application in paper cutting to graft new life into my work?” In this case hang up problems of the historical story of the New England Dr. Butler's five questions for your thermometer - unless settlers, or in later years turning to Joaquin Miller's you believe there is no need of a new diagnosis because "Columbus," or again to “The Charge of the Light you still have old pill boxes on the shelves! But having Brigade”---all these give opportunity to more fully imagine chosen a new "point of departure" let us not cast all of and feel the unseen and to interpret rather than recount “the old” aside, for in each of us there should have grown in order much of the detail growing out of any course of something of the genius of adjustment which will help us study. And by the use of the problem method we wish in feeling our new way as we graft the new and the old the pupils to have the chance to cull and select the big together, culling from each to answer our growing vision. facts and as the need arises to propose problems growing The success of such selection will once again prove the out of problems suggested. By such means, ability to old words, "Perseverance isn't Everything, my son — have place emphasis upon important fact comes as a natural a little talent!" growth. This learning how to study and select the kernel is necessary not only for future experience but also for the
Publishers of Scales and Tests child's intelligent use of many books during his school life. Arithmetic: Courtis Standard Tests. (S. A. Courtis, 82 Eliot Street,
Detroit, Mich.) Woodey's Arithmetic Scales. (Bureau of PubQuestion V
lications, Teachers' College, Columbia University, New York.) What of "efficiency, or the power to do," the fifth
Reading: Kelley's Silent Reading Tests. (State Normal, Emporia,
Kan.) Gray's Oral Reading Test. (University of Chicago.) criterion named by Dr. Butler?
Thorndike's Scales. (Teachers' College, Columbia University, Such ability is the result of all education received from all New York.) Fordyce Scale. (University of Nebraska.) experience through all life. Yet as school is one of the
Penmanship: Ayres' Measuring Scale. (Leonard P. Ayres, Russell way-stations of life's period, the question may be narrowed Sage Foundation, New York.)
Silent Reading in the First Grade
Mary B. Pratt
good kindergarten where he has learned to work and play
intelligently, where initiative and leadership have been HE educational materials and tools in the life of developed, and where he has been given small problems the first grade child are many and varied, and like to solve and projects to work out by himself or in a group. all other materials and tools in school life, they have In short, he has been taught to Think. two users, the child and the teacher.
At this point we should pause to ask ourselves if we, Under the so-called materials may be listed the subjects as educators of first grade children, provide the situation of study in the curriculum for Grade 1. Under the so- for real thinking. Do we use or adapt the problem and called tools may be listed the various methods and devices project method at all? If we do, is it limited to the handwhich the teacher has at her disposal. There is a continual work period alone? interaction going on between these four elements in the I should like to put in a plea that we provide more child's education, namely: child, teacher, subjects of study, opportunity in the first grade for solving problems in all methods.
phases of the work. That we use the instinct of curiosity The child contributes his instinctive equipment, his more consciously as a stimulus for thinking, and that we bits of knowledge. His experience is meagre and his means use and adapt our reading lesson more than ever before of expression are limited.
as a tool by which the child is taught to think, and to think The teacher, on the other hand, has a wide experience, quickly and well. and an almost unlimited avenue of expression. She has We all know that to-day oral reading is no longer certain ideals and standards, a clear judgment and a well emphasized in the upper grades. The silent reading defined though plastic procedure for the working out of lesson has taken its place most effectively. We appreciate her educational theories.
its value as a thought producer and as a means of teaching In view of all these facts our greatest problem to-day children how to study. is how can these two users, child and teacher, get together For some time I have asked myself why we should on some common ground for the best development of the not begin as early as the first grade to teach the children child and for the best progress of the teacher.
to grapple with the problem of silent reading and to proThe child comes to the first grade presumably from a vide the situation for them to get information in this way.
Last year I organized and tried out the following series child such a rich social content that it will be leader among of lessons with the children and apprentices in our first the subjects of study for the making of a good citizen. grade, and the results were entirely satisfactory.
And let us also bear in mind that opportunity for good Of course this particular series of lessons is only sug- thinking and doing leads to the development of a good gestive of a type which may be varied according to the democracy. interests and powers of the children. It might be unwise to try the whole series before the second half year, though
Examples of Type V the clever teacher who is a real artist in adaptation could use it with success much earlier.
Girls roll hoops and play hop-scotch. Boys fly kites, play marbles and go fishing.
Everyone plays ball.
Every night after John has said his prayers his mother
takes him to the window to watch the sky. One night Type I Silent reading expressed through group activity. John said, “Mother, some of the stars are larger and The teacher writes the following sentences on the board: brighter than the others. I wish that I could help the “All run around the room.'
little ones grow up." “Come back."
His mother told him that the stars would always be "Everyone hop on one foot.”
the same size and that the larger and brighter ones were "All the boys play soldier."
called planets. "Every girl make a courtesy."
“When you are older, John," said his mother, "you
will learn a great deal about the stars and planets.' Type II This group limits the action to one child, though
"And about the moon, too, mother,” said John. all the children must read it waiting to see whose name
“Yes, John, about the moon, too. is written at the end: “Bring me a pencil, Mary."
One day Mother said: “Knock at the door, Elizabeth."
"I am going to market. “Name the flowers on the table, John."
“I will buy milk for baby. “Repeat a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginia.” “What shall I buy for Tom and Mary?”
Type III A unit of thought written on the board. The
A little Red Hen hopped along in the barnyard after a children read it silently and are then asked questions. grain of wheat. The wind was blowing hard and the Other reactions should also be used.
grain of wheat was blown about so fast that the little “When vacation comes Barbara is going to visit her
Red Hen thought she could never catch it. But she did. Uncle Sam who lives on a farm. She will feed the hens, hunt for eggs and milk the cow. Uncle Last spring a robin was flying about in the park. He Sam will let her jump on the hay in the barn, too. had a red breast. He was fat. He sang a very sweet He has promised Barbara a brown and white pony song. I wonder if I shall see that same little robin next if she is a good girl.”
White sheep, white sheep, Type IV A unit of thought similar to the preceding,
On a blue hill. though this time speed is a motive. A time limit is
When the wind stops placed for the reading, then the teacher erases the story
You all stand still. and asks the children questions in regard to it. Or she
When the wind blows may ask for a simple dramatization; possibly a spon
You walk away slow; taneous drawing on the board.
White sheep, white sheep,
Where do you go? Type V Each child is given a card with a short, simple story written on it. These stories are all different and
A birdie with a yellow bill, vary in difficulty to suit the reading powers of the individual. A time limit may or may not be imposed
Hopped upon the window sill;
Cocked his shiny eyes and said, this time. The children read their own stories and then
“Ain't you ’shamed, you sleepy head!” put them away. The teacher calls upon each child to stand before the class and tell what his story was about.
Ethel said that she liked Christmas so much this year An opportunity is given each member of the group to ask him questions. In this case, also, dramatization
because Santa Claus brought her a doll's house. It had
four large rooms and in each room there was real furniture may be an effective way of reproducing the thought.
made of wood. The parlor was such a pretty room!
There was a brown and green rug on the floor. The wall Type VI This is the usual type of a silent reading lesson paper was green with a little brown and white border. with books. It always goes quickly and imtelligently The chairs looked as if any doll would like to sit in them, after the children have had many of the five preceding and over in the corner was a piano. Ethel said that all the lessons varying in content, aim and methods of repro- rooms were just as pretty and cosy as they could be. duction.
Every morning Billy looked for the postman because The methods of reproduction for Lessons III, IV, V sometimes he brought a letter from grandmother. One should be rich and variable, and should draw on the day he brought Billy the story of the Three Little Pigs. children's powers to reproduce thought not only through Grandmother sent it to him for a birthday present. speech - conversation and dramatization - but also
also Billy liked it very much because it had colored pictures. through other mediums of expression, such as clay, free- The wolf looked so fierce, and the little bit of a pig looked hand paper cutting, spontaneous drawing, sand-box
Billie took the story to school. The teacher work and construction with paper or wood.
read it to the children and then they played it. Billie Let us see to it that our first grade reading offers to each
was the wolf.
Graded Course in Seat Work for First and
Second Grades VI
(Book rights reserved) Second Grade Grade Seat Work part of some pupils to record words which they do not
really know. (The latter part of this device which deals I Review Work of the First Year
with new words learned in the second year work, does not
properly come under this section, which is entitled “Re1 Give the pupils the word boxes which they used in viewing work of the first year." But since it is a continuthe first grade. Have them look over the words, naming ation of the device suggested for reviewing words learned as many as they can. They should count those they were in the first year, it is placed here in order to show more able to name, write the number on a small piece of paper clearly the relation between the two exercises.) and put it in the box. After another week has elapsed 3 In the early part of the second year, some of the have this exercise repeated and again have each child readers that were used in the latter part of the first grade record the number of words he could name. The teacher
are re-read before using second readers. This is done to should make a little chart for her own use showing each recall vocabulary and to renew that feeling of power in pupil's record in each of the tests. If the words which the reading which existed at the close of the school year, pupil cannot name are placed in a small envelope inside the and which has in all probability waned during the summer word box, the teacher may look through these words vacation. Much of this review reading may be done after school hours and make a list of them. In this way during seat work periods. she will learn what words she needs to stress for the whole 4 To recall knowledge of phonics write on the board class during word drills and which words certain individuals "families" of words such as these with the basic phonogram need to learn. Have this exercise repeated at regular underlined: intervals until the pupils have recalled all of the words in their first-year word boxes.
cold 2 Another splendid piece of work which may be carried mat
fold along with that described in the preceding section and sat
make which is continued long after that one is completed is the hat
told following. Make for each child a book of blank paper
bold (or these may be made by pupils in the higher grades). flat This book should contain about three pages for each letter that of the alphabet and should be fastened together with brads in order that new pages may be easily added if needed. When assigning the seat work, name the phonograms If there is a printing press in the school, such as is used and have the class repeat them. Then the children may in making perception cards, stamp the letter a at the top be left to name the words silently and to add other words of the first page, the letter b at the top of the fourth page, to each list. c on the seventh page, and so on, leaving three pages for 5 Place a list of phonograms on the board and instruct each letter of the alphabet. Or the children will enjoy the pupils to search in their readers for words containing lettering their own books. To do this they cut out the these phonograms and write the words on paper. Have large colored letters found on the covers of magazines a number of words from each child's list pronounced at the or in names in advertisements. Each child will collect next class period. an entire alphabet and paste the letters in the right places 6 Write on the board such words as matter, plaything, in his book. The book is to be used for recording the clouds, hundred, and let pupils copy, underline the phonochild's reading vocabulary and will serve two purposes: grams, and work out the pronunciation of the words. first, that of providing the teacher with a rather accurate 7 Have the class write all of the phonograms which they record of the extent of each child's reading vocabulary, can recall. Look over the lists after school hours and and second, that of increasing the interest in learning new announce at the next session who had the greatest number words. Start this book just after the pupils have looked of phonograms. through the word boxes, as suggested in Exercise 1 above. 8 On one of the blackboards that is not in daily use, They have picked out the words they are sure of; now they write all phonograms which were taught in the first grade. should sort them according to the beginning letter of each For seat work the pupils may look over this list, naming word, and copy all cf those beginning with a on the a page, all the phonograms they can and writing on paper all those those beginning with b on the b page, etc., until all of these which they cannot name. At the next phonic recitation known words have been copied into the book. After suc- period, let the pupils take turns in pointing out phonograms ceeding exercises with the word box in which the pupil which they have listed as not known. When every phonorecalls other words that he did not remember before, he gram, which gave trouble to anyone, has been marked, will write these newly recalled words in his vocabulary have the pupils name the phonograms that they think they book and will continue to do so until he has been able know. Erase all those which can be named correctly and to record every word in the word box. And during all readily. Leave the others (the unknown ones) on the this time he has also been learning other new words in his board for future use in class work. reading lessons and from other sources, both in and outside 9 Place the numbers from 1 to 100 on the board. of school. All these new words, from whatever source Have the children copy these on paper, then place under learned, should be copied into the vocabulary book. Con- each number he has written the corresponding number tinue this work throughout the year. Interest will be from his number box. greatly increased if the teacher occasionally posts the name 10 Use the number boxes and lay the numbers from of the five or six children who are in the lead and the number 1 to 100 from memory. of words each has in his book. It will be readily seen that 11 Draw on the board pictures so grouped as to reprecare must be taken to guard against the tendency on the sent easy number combinations that were taught in the