A GUIDE TO
E BULLETIN NO. 46 OCTOBER, 1944
STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
COLIN ENGLISH, Superintendent Tallahassee, Florida
TEACHING IN THE
Bulletin No. 46
A/ STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Colin English, State Superintendent of Schools
W. T. Edwards, Acting Director, Division of Instruction
3 7 5T 1,a" ,7
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Foreword ----------------------------------------- -- v
Map of Florida's School Population --.... ---------------- vi
MAKING GENERAL INSTRUCTIONAL PLANS
Recent Trends in Teaching ----------- 1
Terms in Common Use ____------------- -------- 7
Making the Daily Schedule-------...--------------.. 11
Making the School Setting Attractive -------- ---------- 16.
MAKING DETAILED INSTRUCTIONAL PLANS
INSTRUCTION IN THE LANGUAGE ARTS
Instruction in Reading ...-----------... --------------- 20
Instruction in Handwriting .-- -------------.. 31
Instruction in Spelling ----- ----------- 34
Instruction in Oral and Written Language --- --------- 37
INSTRUCTION IN SOCIAL STUDIES AND SCIENCE .----.---- 45
INSTRUCTION IN ARITHMETIC-----------------............-.. 54
INSTRUCTION IN PHYSICAL EDUCATION .---------- ---.-..- 60
INSTRUCTION IN MUSIC ------------------........ ......--- 63
INSTRUCTION IN PRACTICAL AND FINE ARTS _------_------ 72
BULLETINS HELPFUL TO ELEMENTARY TEACHERS ........----..-___-- 78
At the request of many principals, supervisors, and county school
superintendents, "A Guide to Teaching in Primary Grades" and its
companion volume, "A Guide to Teaching, in the Intermediate
Grades," have been prepared for use in the elementary schools.
These bulletins should prove helpful in assisting teachers in ob-
taining a general over-view of the curriculum for grades 1-3 and
4-6. They summarize in brief form much of the material hereto-
fore available only in separate bulletins dealing with various areas
of elementary school work.
Within the limited number of pages contained in "A Guide to
Teaching in the Intermediate Grades" are to be found summarizing
statements and suggestions which should lead the teacher to secure
and read with care additional materials which contain a fuller treat-
ment of the topics presented.
The more detailed curriculum bulletins dealing with teaching in
the elementary school issued by the State Department of Education
since 1938 and the various manuals provided by the publishers of
the state-adopted textbooks can be read with profit by teachers who
wish to have more complete information.
Grateful acknowledgment is made to Miss Cleva Carson of the
University of Florida for her help in the preparation of the section
dealing with music. Appreciation is also expressed to the school
systems which contributed pictures. All of the pictures used in the
bulletin represent scenes from Florida classrooms. Appreciation
should also be extended to Miss Mildred Swearingen of the Division
of Instruction Staff who assumed major responsibility for organizing
and putting into written form the material contained in the present
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
WHERE THE SCHOOL CHILDREN OF FLORIDA LIVE
Eack symbol represents 1,000 pupils or a major fraction, based upon the
1943-44 average daily membership.
MAKING GENERAL INSTRUCTIONAL PLANS
RECENT TRENDS IN TEACHING
Over the past twenty years the increasing knowledge of child
growth and development has led to a better understanding of how
children learn. This greater understanding has gradually shaped
classroom procedures or ways of teaching until certain trends are
clear. Today emphasis is placed upon:
1. Knowing the child. Children differ from one another and
for that reason a teacher cannot think of her whole class as though
it were a single-acting unit. The individuals within the class are
at different stages in their physical and mental development; they
bring from home and out-of-school life different personal problems
that will sometimes sharpen and sometimes distract their attention;
they have different experiences upon which to draw for the
meaning of new words and situations. Teachers will want to use
every means available for learning about the child. School records,
including health and attendance reports, are helpful. Informal
visits to the homes to talk with parents regarding children's special
interests are essential to an understanding of the individual and
to the close cooperation of school and home.
2. Flexible grouping within a class. Since all pupils are not
alike when they assemble in the classroom at the first of the year,
and, had they been alike, would not remain so because of the
irregularity of physical and mental growth, flexible grouping within
the classroom is important to efficient learning. By flexible group-
ing is meant the placing of the various members of a class in two
or more groups so that instruction may be varied according to
the needs of the groups. Thus, in a sixth grade class in handwriting
one group might be doing library reading or creative writing since
its members had already met a high standard of handwriting
achievement, a second group might be practicing for improvement
in slant since that was the greatest need of its members, and a
The schools of today are concerned about the health of the child. A well-
balanced lavul eaten under ldeMtru(at t vVwtatus tnUarIs Ugreivr vn atty lur
the child and a more alert mind.
RECENT TRENDS IN TEACHING 8
third group might be practicing letter formation to distinguish
between e and i, a and o. Or, in a first grade. reading class one
group might be reading in the primer, one in the first part of the
reader, and one in the latter part of the reader. In flexible group-
ing, membership in the groups changes as children vary in their
growth and as new activities are undertaken to meet discovered
needs. Thus, a child might be with one group for reading and
with another for arithmetic. On other occasions the whole class
might work as a total group. The teacher will constantly be re-
considering her pupils in terms of all data available, re-classifying
3. Making the whole day educational. Every moment and
every incident of the child's life present opportunities for educa-
tion. Therefore, the school's curriculum is not confined to
textbooks, nor is learning limited to the actual classroom. The
normal activities of the day are now recognized as opportunities
for putting into practice what the pupil learns in the classroom.
Thus, waiting courteously in the cafeteria line instead of shoving
is better evidence of good citizenship than correct answers in
response to a written test given in the classroom. Similarly, the
selection of a balanced lunch is better proof of knowledge of
nutrition than the checking in a workbook of a multiple choice
list of foods. What children do while they wait for a bus may
be the means of developing wider interests in handcrafts, library
reading, and hobbies. The teacher of today sees the playground
activities, the lunch period, the passing of pupils in the halls not
as irksome periods, when her sole purpose is to prevent disorder,
but as opportunities to reinforce what she is already teaching.
4. Recognizing maturation. Normal children develop gradually
in their mental capacities and perceptual growth. Processes and
ideas that appear complex to a pupil at a given age may be readily
grasped at a somewhat later period when his experiences have
been more numerous and his attention span is longer. For instance,
the idea of subtraction in fractions, where a fraction is taken from
a whole number or where borrowing is involved, is extremely
difficult for most nine year old children. Those who may perform
the process usually do so mechanically and only after many time-
consuming repetitions. Such skill as the pupil attains is soon lost
4 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
because it is not accompanied by understanding, and the material
has to be retaught. On the other hand, if the process of subtraction
of fractions is not presented, for mastery until the child has had
experiences with fractions and the part they play in his everyday
life, the process can be readily grasped. Maturation often succeeds
where too early instruction fails.
5. Spreading topics over several grades. Many concepts are
complex and need to be developed slowly through many experiences.
Thus, a child needs to meet the idea of percentage through such
common occurrences as daily attendance records or batting aver-
ages long before he is called upon to find percentages in abstract
problems. Fundamental concepts in science and social studies
need to begin in the first grade and be broadened and deepened
by the experiences of succeeding years. In reading, it was assumed
for years that in the first three grades a .child learned to read
and from that point on he employed the skill he had acquired.
But actually learning to read is spread over all twelve grades
and continues in adult life. The third grade pupil has not learned
all he is later capable of knowing about phonetic elements and
other means of word analysis; he cannot possibly attach meaning
to all the words he is going to need, for he has not yet had the
experiences that permit him to form the ideas for which the words
(printed symbols) stand.
6. Using varied procedures and materials. Textbooks are a
teacher's most frequently used tool, but they are far from the only
tool she should employ. Nor is reading the only means of learning.
The child's own experiences and observation often provide the
basis for worthwhile discussions that give point and life to the
more traditional types of learning. Visual aids and auditory aids,
such as.slides, simple museum collections, models, radio, and sound
films, are often available. Newspapers and current, well-illustrated
magazines are a rich source of bulletin board material. Variety
of procedures encourages interest, appeals to different senses, and
enlarges concepts through permitting a pupil to recognize the
common. element in different situations. Not all students learn
equally well, nor the most economically, from the printed page.
Every avenue 'of learning should be used.
7. Seeing relationships. Teachers are expected to help pupils
RECENT TRENDS IN TEACHING 5
relate in a functional way the information taught in all areas. This
condition has alwaysbeen true, but it is.only "of recent'years that
its real importance has been recognized. Formerly, it was. assumed
that children would automatically see the connections among facts
or apply the textbook facts to their own lives. But, unfortunately,
pupils frequently failed to make such connections and applications.
Facts learned in the language class about paragraphing and out-
lining were not applied to the social studies report the child was
preparing; nor were the facts learned in social studies about truck
farm produce in his own state related in his thinking to what
he had just learned in science about ice or refrigeration in pre-
serving food. Unit teaching and integration represent the effort
to bring facts together. Whatever method is used, teachers will
want to make a constant and conscious effort to help pupils see
relationships among their learning activities; otherwise, facts
remain isolated, do not supplement one another, and are seldom
carried into the life of the pupil.
8. Faculty planning. Good teaching naturally requires pre-
planning of the work for the day and over a period of time.
Beyond that, however, good teaching also requires careful planning
by the total faculty. Teachers need to understand one another's
aims and purposes, to be acquainted with the material and pro-
cedures of one another's classes, if maximum cooperation is to
take place and if the work of the school is to be a well-developed
whole instead of a series of fragments. Some problems of school
living, such as citizenship, are obviously the concern of every
teacher, and goals and policies must be studied by teachers to-
gether. Other matters of curriculum are just as truly, if less
obviously, problems for faculty-wide study. Thus, good hand-
writing by every pupil cannot be achieved by a few teachers
within a school no matter how hard they work, for good hand-
writing is the product of careful attention through the entire
school life of the pupil. It is only when teachers plan together
that concerted action can take place.
9. Individual teacher planning. In planning her work, each
teacher will need to consider the scope of the whole year's work,
break it into large time blocks of several weeks each, and observe
the relative importance of topics before undertaking day-by-day
6 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
plans. She will need to consider the community's resources and
needs, and the particular children in her class. She will find
health, attendance, and cumulative records helpful in discovering
the needs and interests of children, and will do her part to keep
such records accurate and up-to-date. She will need to set aside
some portion of the day, before or after the pupils are present,
for preparing the next day's work, when she can assemble pictures
and other aids, consult manuals and curriculum bulletins, prepare
or select practice materials suitable to her group, and examine
library and reference material.
10. Evaluating pupil progress. Measuring pupil progress is
no longer confined to periodic tests in subject matter. Rather, a
child's progress is judged day by day as it is shown in his attitudes,
and in his command or use of subject matter. A child who does
his "spelling lesson" perfectly has not really made good progress
until he has both the desire and the habit of using the words cor-
rectly in his daily writing. Traditionally, promotion has depended
on meeting group standards of achievement in subject matter.
Today it is recognized that other factors are also important-the
child's social adjustment to his age group, his physical condition,
his attitudes toward school, his habits of work, his capacity to
learn, his mental health. If a child started at normal school age
and is two years over-age for his group, the probability is great
that he will gain more by taking advantage of an adjusted program
involving new material than by repeating old experiences. Report-
ing pupil progress in an adequate manner involves careful analysis
of accomplishment in the light of all objectives, and any written
statements or cards should be supplemented by teacher-parent
SFor further discussion of evaluation, see Ways to Better Instruction in
Florida Schools, Bulletin No. 2, State Department of Education, Tallahassee,
Florida, pp. 272-306.
* TERMS IN COMMON USE
TERMS IN COMMON USE
1. Elementary school-Grades one through six; in some cases
on account of transportation or building difficulties grades seven
and eight are included in the elementary school.
2. Primary grades-Grades one through three. This level in-
cludes kindergartens where they exist as a regular part of the
public school system.
3. Intermediate grades-Grades four through six.
4. Secondary school-Grades seven through twelve.
t 5. Junior high school-Grades seven through nine. In a few
instances the junior high is composed of grades seven and eight
or seven through ten.
6. Senior high school-Grades ten through twelve; sometimes
nine through twelve.
7. A.D.A.-Average daily attendance, the figure representing
the average number of pupils in attendance over a period of a
month or year. It is the figure upon which financial aid is ap-
portioned by the state to the counties.
8. Board of Public Instruction-A group of three to five memr
bers elected to be responsible for the operation of the schools as
a county system.
9. Trustees-Three members of a local school district elected
by the people of that district to be responsible for .the operation
of the schools locally.
10. Curriculum-All experiences under the direction of the
school which aid children in learning.
11. Curriculum development-The curriculum should never be
static. There should be constant effort to include additional ex-
periences found helpful to learning and to discard methods or
materials that have proved wasteful.
12. Language arts-The relating of all subjects dealing with
communicating thought, such as, reading, writing, spelling, oral
and written language.
13. Social Studies-The relating of history, geography, health,
safety, and civics in such a way as to develop unified understandings.
8 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
14. Manuscript writing-A system of writing, now commonly
used in the primary grades, in which the letters are formed by
straight lines, circles, and half circles. Because of its simple lines,
it is soon learned by a child, and because it resembles the printed
letter forms he sees in reading, it aids rather than confuses his
learning of reading. Later, when connecting strokes between
letters are added and slant is developed, manuscript evolves into
familiar cursive writing.
15. Reading readiness--Commonly refers to the period in which
a child acquires sufficient experience and mental and physical
maturity to learn reading efficiently. It is also applied to readiness
at successive levels to indicate the emotional, mental, and physical
maturity necessary to learn increasingly difficult reading.
16. Unit-A curriculum unit refers to a block of related sub-
Sject matter, such as letter writing or the study of Central America.
The broader meaning of the term, however, as used in "large unit
teaching" refers to a series of activities necessary to the solution
of a problem which is real to the child. Such activities cut across
subject matter lines in several fields but do not necessarily involve
all fields all the time.
17. Integration-The sustained effort to weave content to-
gether in such a manner that all knowledge and skills possessed
by a child are focused on a specific idea or problem.
18. Extended School Services-A program of services for
children of working mothers, in all-day nursery school and kinder-
garten for children of the ages from 2-5 inclusive, and for school
age children before and after school, on Saturdays and during
vacation periods. These programs are financed through funds
provided from the federal government by the Lanham Act and
from fees collected from the parents, plus community contributions.
Each program is under the direct supervision and control of the
local county school system.
19. School lunch program--That part of the school's total
program which concerns itself with food eaten at school whether
it be a packed lunch eaten in a place provided for the child or
a completely adequate meal served in an expertly managed school
lunch department. The school lunch department, like all other
TERMS IN COMMON USE 9
school departments, is the administrative responsibility ;of the,
school principal. It should be a curriculum laboratory where
children learn some.of the best ways of solving some .of 'their basic-
problems of nutrition, healthful living, and citizenship.2
20. School month-The period of time, 20 days unless a legal
holiday has intervened, for which attendance reports are made.
21. State-adopted textbooks-Textbooks adopted by the state
are provided in grades 1-12 without expense to pupils.3 :Funds to
defray the cost of textbooks are appropriated by each. legislature
and are credited to the counties in accordance with :a definite
formula involving the number of pupils and the cost of books at
each grade level. A local school obtains its textbooks by filing
with the county superintendent an annual inventory of books on
hand and an estimate of needs for the following year. From these
inventories and estimates the county's requisition for the following
year is compiled. It is apparent that a local school must anticipate
and make known its needs if the books are to be on hand at the
proper time. If a teacher does not find the books she needs in
the classroom, the book storeroom, or some other classroom, she
should consult the principal about the possibility of securing them.
When the books are issued to the pupils, each child signs a book
receipt and is responsible for the return of the book or payment
for loss or damage. Textbooks should be thoughtfully requisitioned
and carefully used and accounted for, not only as an example of
the wise use of public property but also as a means of saving money
for use in the purchase of library books. A school that can effect
savings in its textbook fund may use 75% of the amount saved in
the purchase of library books from the state list.
22. Experience chart-An informal chart usually prepared on
large size newsprint either in manuscript writing or with a hand
printing set, which relates some incident or excursion in which
SFor help in developing such plans, see Making School Lunches Educa-
tional, Nutrition Education Series, Pamphlet No. 2, U.S. Office of Education.
A copy may be obtained from the State Department of Education,- allahassee,
SFor details regarding textbook adoptions, including teacher partici-
pation in selection through a textbook rating committee, see Florida School
Laws, State Department of Education, Tallahassee, Florida, pp. 168-172.
10 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
the children have participated. The children dictate the story
and the teacher acts as a scribe. Later the children read the chart
or charts. Chart making and reading help develop the following
a. The ability to see that printed forms can convey meaning.
b. The ability to think in sequence and see relationships.
c. The ability to read from left to right and down the page.
d. The ability to read in sentences.
e. The ability to use content clues.
f. The ability to recognize certain important words through gross
configuration, particularly proper names.
Experience charts are used almost daily by primary teachers, es-
pecially first grade teachers, during the reading readiness period.
However, experience charts have certain values in the middle and
upper grades, (See b, e, f above.) Experiences in social studies
and science can often be summarized to good effect and language
skills developed. New words already in the speaking vocabulary
can be introduced in written form.
23. Workbook-Consumable material which, if it is used, must
be purchased each year by the pupils or from local funds. There
is a growing tendency among teachers to be discriminating in the
amount and nature of workbook material used. A teacher will
want to consider the following questions:
a. What are the purposes in using the workbook, (as, individualized
practice, mass drill, quick review)?
b. Does the workbook extend the instruction begun in the state-
adopted textbooks, actually helping pupils learn important
c. Are the exercises varied, giving some opportunity for thought
and the use of the skill involved?
d. Will the use of the workbook, good though it may be in itself,
absorb time needed for other types of activities? (In language
work particularly, it is easy to become so intent upon the mastery
of written skills that the equally important oral skills may be
neglected. Also the drills in the workbook may use the time
and interest of the child to the exclusion of the same type of
practice that might have arisen normally in other learning
TERMS IN COMMON USE 11
24. Homework-Any school activity carried on at home. It is
not necessarily drill material involving pencil, paper, and books.
Making posters, assembling collections, building models, and wide
reading are also homework. In the first three grades little or no
homework is expected. In the intermediate grades, the trend is
away from mass assignments of daily set tasks toward the in-
spirational or appreciative type of activity including reading, art
work, home projects in science, and music. A few pupils, because
of the slowness with which they work or because of absence, may
need to finish at home what is begun at school. Such work needs
to have the parents' interest and cooperation.
MAKING THE DAILY SCHEDULE
Good scheduling of the school day is important to the health
of the child, to the efficiency of his learning, and to the peace
of mind of the teacher.
Three important factors in planning the day so that pupils
remain alert and comparatively free from fatigue are balance,
rhythm, and flexibility. Balance refers to the need for all areas
or subjects to receive an adequate or proportional share of the
time. Too much time spent on any one field can lead to a dulling
of interest and to the neglect of other important experiences.
Rhythm refers to the need for variety and contrast in the day's
work if interest is to be maintained. There is a rhythm of activity
and rest, of close application and relaxation, of large muscle ac-
tivities and small muscle activities, of mental effort and physical
effort. Flexibility refers to the need for judgment in following
a schedule. A class that is intensely interested in industrial arts
or an arithmetic explanation may need to continue that subject a
few minutes longer although the clock says it is the scheduled
time to change. The blind following of even a good schedule can
result in many lost opportunities for learning.
Good scheduling of the day should make some provision for
three different kinds of instruction.4 There should be a time for
4For a detailed discussion of planning the daily program see A Guide
to Improved Practice in Elementary Schools, Bulletin No. 9, State Department
of Education (Tallahassee, 1940) pp. 65-75.
12 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
large unit work (or integrative teaching) when pupils are helped
to see the relationships among the things they are learning and to
employ the skills acquired in the direct teaching phase. Second,
there should be a time for direct teaching. Even though much
good work is accomplished through integration, there are many
skills and techniques that must be established through direct,
teaching. Third, there should be a time for individual help. All
pupils do not learn all subject matter at the same rate or with
equal ease; therefore, there should be some time which the teacher'
plans to devote to helping individuals with their particular
IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF A DAILY SCHEDULE
1. Devotionals. The devotional period can be one of great in-
fluence, and its value will be vastly increased through the children's
planning and participation. The period should be definitely
planned and not left to last minute chance. Some of the activities
commonly used are: the daily Bible reading by pupil or teacher,
prayer, choral reading, pledge to the flag, group singing, stories,
poems, and pictures. A small pamphlet Suggestions for Bible
Readings in Florida Public Schools (1940) is available from the
State Department of Education and is helpful in selecting Bible
readings that are of interest to children at different age levels.
2. Cooperative planning. A teacher-pupil planning period
should occur near the beginning of the school day. It may be
quite short at first and longer later in the year as both teacher
and pupils become more experienced in such planning. Cooperative
planning gives a child a sense of participation, an opportunity for
expressing his needs both intentionally and unintentionally, and
a means of seeing that proposed work has purpose for him and is
not merely a mechanically allotted chore. For small children the
planning session might well begin with a short "interesting news"
period. The children are usually full of interest in the incidents
that have just happened at home, on the way to school, or on the
playground. Their conversation is good training in language
usage, vocabulary, and in carrying a sequence of events in mind.
It is also good training in citizenship since the children learn to
take turns in speaking and not to interrupt one another. The
MAKING THE DAILY SCHEDULE 18
shy child has his chance and the boisterous one is silenced tem-
porarily. They also reveal their interests as they talk. Then,
when the alert teacher makes her contribution of news, she can
develop some point mentioned by one or more of the children to
form a natural lead into further work in social studies, number,
science, or language arts.
3. Science, health, and safety. In the elementary school,
especially the primary grades, most of the work in science, health,
and safety grows out of the everyday living activities of the
children and therefore follows naturally after the planning period.
Health observations, going to and from school safely, proper venti-
lation and light for the classroom, and discussion of the menu from
the school lunchroom frequently are the means of promoting
science, health, and safety instruction.
4. Social studies. In most schools history and geography are
drawn together and taught in one long period instead of two
5. Language arts. All the skills used in communicating
thought-reading, writing, spelling, oral and written language--
depend on one another and should be recognized as parts of the
same whole. Good teaching in one phase will stimulate or rein-
force work in the others. It is wise to place them together in the
6. Play experiences. Games and other play experiences are.
educational, as well as recreational, and are neesesary to health.
The play periods need to be planned, and they offer excellent op-
portunity for pupil participation in planning.
7. Lunch. The noon period should be a time in which the
child develops the correct pattern of living through daily practice.
Washing of hands before meals, pleasant conversation in natural
tones during the meal, rest and quiet games afterwards should be
practiced daily, and sufficient time allotted in the schedule of
both pupils and teachers. In the primary grades particularly it
is important to have a period for physical rest. In many schools
first grade pupils lie down on mats or blankets for a period of
thirty or forty minutes. Many children go to sleep, and when
they awaken, are so rested and refreshed that they are able to
14 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
continue the day mentally alert. In the middle grades a quiet
period, often devoted to library reading, is desirable immediately
8. Arithmetic. Great care must be taken to help children see
the place of arithmetic in daily living and experience. Many
opportunities for using arithmetic occur throughout the day and
the alert teacher will use them to make real the more. formal
instruction and practice carried on in the regularly scheduled time.
9. Expression and appreciation ini the arts. The expression
and appreciation periods include such things as music, which should
be a part of the daily life of the child, poetry, traditional children's
literature, choral reading, picture appreciation, drawing, painting,
construction, observation of beautiful and interesting things in
nature. No teacher should hesitate to undertake these activities
through lack of confidence in her own talents. The possible ac-
tivities in this area are so numerous and varied that any teacher
can enrich the lives of her pupils. The outcomes of such expression
and appreciation activities are usually multiple. Thus, work in
industrial arts leads not only to many satisfying experiences for
the child through his own developing skills but also to a better
understanding of the skill and artistry needed to produce the
commodities used in everyday life.
10. Evaluation. A short pupil-teacher conference needs to be
held to check on the progress made during the day and to plan
for projects being carried over a period of time with part of the
work being done at home.
A Guide for Schedule Making
On the opposite page is a chart which shows how the day may
be divided into large time blocks so as to include the types of
experiences indicated above.
No ready-made schedule, however thoughtfully prepared, can be
used in its entirety in a given classroom. Each teacher will want
to look upon any such schedule as a guide. She must consider
such points as the following in adapting it to her use:
1. The opening and closing hour of the school.
2. The proportion of bus pupils in the room, the length of trip they make,
the length of time they are at school before and after the regular hours.
3. The possibility of supplemental feeding, as fruit juice or milk during
MAKING THE DAILY SCHEDULE
A GUIDE FOR SCHEDULE MAKING
(The order of the suggested blocks may be rearranged as desired
and the time allotment modified in keeping with the local situation.)
-44 Devotional or Opening Health and science are often closely re-
hrs. Exercises, Planning lated in the primary grades.
Health and Science
1% hrs. Language Arts: A large time block, with provision for
Reading change of activity within the block, per-
Writing mits a better distribution of emphasis
Spelling from day to day. It not only permits suf-
Language (oral- ficient routine to aid administration and
written) encourage a sense of security, but it also
allows easy flexibility.
3 hr. Physical Education Games should be chosen in advance, with
pupils participating in the planning. New
games and activities should be introduced
4 hr. Arithmetic First-hand experiences with number,
direct teaching, some individual practice
for skills should be included.
Noon Time should be allowed for handwashing,
unhurried eating, relaxation.
1-1 Social Studies In the primary grades, this is often a suit-
hrs. able time for excursion to parts of the
building and neighborhood. Many ex-
periences in language arts and science
occur on such trips. Upon return to the
classroom, pupils often maks experience
charts which involve language arts skills
as well as understandings related to social
studies or science,
X hr. Expression and Appre- Music and art (both directed and crea-
ciation in the Arts tive),. construction work related to other
studies, library, and writing experiences
are included. Some days the work will be
individual, some days as a total group.
Y hr. Individual Help This is an.important part of the day. For
Evaluation some time teachers who have been aware
of individual differences in pupils have
been baffled in finding time to help them
with their special difficulties in under-
standings or skills. Such a period should
be definitely scheduled.
TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
4. The time of the lunch .period. (If this is extremely early or late, ad-
justments can sometimes be worked out by conferring with the
5. The size of the room and the space available for group and construc-
tion work. (Cloakrooms, halls, or good shade trees are sometimes
helpful as space extenders.)
6. The number of pupils.
7. The amount of teaching equipment beyond the textbooks, such as,
library facilities and visual aids.
8. The present attainment and particular interests of the pupils.
9. The preference of the teacher in choosing topics for large unit teach-
ing from such fields as social studies, or science, or language arts.
Good teaching is facilitated by a well-planned schedule, but it is
never automatically the result of the schedule. A schedule may
be considered successful when it helps a teacher, rather than
hinders her, in developing relationships among the child's many
learning, in deriving leads from one area to another, and in per-
mitting learning to be used in normal, purposeful situations.
MAKING THE SCHOOL SETTING WHOLESOME,
Children necessarily are influenced by their daily surroundings.
Furthermore, the experiences they go through repeatedly and
the attitudes they form in school toward such things as cleanliness
and beauty shape to some extent their out of school habits. Cheer-
ful, clean, interesting surroundings help pupils develop into
healthful, alert, socially adjusted people.
A few buildings are of recent construction and are carefully
designed for school purposes. A considerable number of classrooms,
however, are in buildings which are older and which show the
effects of financially lean years and inadequate maintenance. Even
where classrooms are in good repair, they are often drab. In
nearly all instances the individual teacher must use initiative and
enthusiasm, if her classroom is to be a wholesome, stimulating, and
attractive place in which to live. For matters of building and
grounds, sanitation and beautification, whole faculties will need
to work together, enlisting the aid also of trustees, Parent Teachers
Association, homeroom mothers, or community groups. Always,
of course, pupils should assist in planning and carrying out the
plans. The following points need particular attention:
An indoor garden can be a source of beauty as well as a means of science
and health. instruction.
18 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
a. Drinking facilities. Where running water is not avail-
able, neither faculty nor trustees should be content until
a safe water supply has been secured.
b. Toilet facilities. Training children in the proper care
of toilet facilities takes persistent and concerted effort on
the part of all teachers. Unless all pupils are trying to
establish the right attitude and habits,, the bad example
of a few can offset the good work of many.
c. Lighting. Windows and light globes should be cleaned
at regular intervals. Dust greatly reduces the amount
of light reaching the pupils' desks. Window shades
should be adjusted during the day where varying
amounts of sunlight enter the room.
d. Heating, ventilation.
e. Daily cleaning, including dusting.
a. Library table or shelves, with appropriate books and
b. Display shelf or table, particularly for science and social
c. A science corner: bulletin board or other means of mount-
ing pictures, clippings, and samples of pupil work, a
cabinet or box for simple science equipment, space for
experiments, flower or seed boxes.
d. Aquarium, glass case for collections. (A visit to a second
hand store is helpful in locating such items.)
e. Bulletin boards, colorful pictures, placed where children
can see them. (Current magazines have a wealth of in-
formative, attractive pictures. A section of the black-
board can be marked off for use as a bulletin board until
something better can be obtained.)
MAKING THE SCHOOL ATTRACTIVE 19
a. Window boxes and plants. (Check local regulation.)
1b. New paint for book shelves or tables. (Less than one
dollar's worth of paint can transform drab shelves, tables,
or chairs and establish a pleasing color scheme for the
c. Large colorful desk blotters carry out a color scheme,
cover scarred table tops, serve as picture mountings,
substitute for a bulletin board.
d. Planting for the grounds, including foundation plant-
ings, shade trees, specimen plantings for beauty, hedge
MAKING DETAILED INSTRUCTIONAL PLANS
INSTRUCTION IN THE LANGUAGE ARTS
INSTRUCTION IN READING
Three series of basic reading textbooks are now in adoption for
the primary grades. Two of these, Alice and Jerry Books (Row,
Peterson and Company) and Easy Growth in Reading Series (The
John C. Winston Company) were adopted in 1941, and the third,
Elson-Gray Basic Reading Series (Scott Foresman and Company)
grades one through six, in 1932. The titles in each series are as
1. Alice and Jerry Books
'Reading Readiness Test for First Year
Here We Go, Readiness book for Beginners
Teacher's Guidebook to Here We Go
Happy Days, Introductory Pre-Primer
Rides and Slides, Pre-Primer
Here and There, Absorption Pre-Primer
Day In and Day Out, Primer
Round About, First Reader
Anything Can Happen, Parallel First Reader
Reading Readiness Test for Second Year
Down the River Road, Readiness Second Reader
Friendly Village, Basic Second Reader
Reading Readiness Test for Third Year
INSTRUCTION IN LANGUAGE ARTS 21
Through the Green Gate, Readiness Third Reader
If I were Going, Basic Third Reader
(Row, Peterson and Company)
2. Easy Growth in Reading Series
Our Picture Book, Reading Readiness (for teacher's use)
Our Story Book, Reading Readiness (for teacher's use)
Mac and Muff, Pre-Primer, Level I
Pre-Primer Manual, Part I, to Mac and Muff
The Twins, Tom and Don, Pre-Primer, Level II
Going to School, Pre-Primer, Level III
Manual, Part II, to Two Pre-Primers
At Play, Primer, Level I
Fun in Story, Primer, Level II
Manual in Two Primers
I Know a Secret, First Reader, Level I
Good Stories, First Reader, Level II
Manual to two First Readers
Along the Way, Second Reader, Level I
The Story Road, Second Reader, Level II
Manual to Second Readers
Faraway Ports, Third Reader, Level I
Third Reader Manual, Part I, to Faraway Ports
Enchanting Stories, Third Reader, Level II
Third Reader Manual, Part II, to Enchanting Stories
(The John C. Winston Company)
Readiness tests for the beginning of each year, preparation not
completed at the time the series was adopted in 1941, are" now avail-
able for purchase from the publishers.
3. Elson-Gray Basic Reading Series
Before We Read, Readiness Booklet, Monroe
22 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
Teacher's Edition, Before We Read
Elson-Gray Basic Readers, Pre-Primer, Elson
Elson-Gray Basic Readers, Primer, Elson
Elson-Gray Basic Readers, Book One, Elson
Second Year: Elson-Gray Basic Readers, Book Two, Elson
Third Year: Elson-Gray Basic Readers, Book Three, Elson
(Scott, Foresman and Company)
County school systems or individual schools within counties are
expected to select the series which they feel best meets their needs.
It is important that a choice be made in order that first, second,
and third grade teachers will use the same series for their concentrated
approach in the reading field. It is not expected that a school would
change indiscriminately from one to another. Following the use of
the basic books, a few copies of the other series might well be used
for supplementary material as well as copies of the variety of readers
still available in most schools even though now out of adoption.
Transition and Remedial Reading Textbooks
Bob and Jane (Transition)
At Work and Play (Remedial)
From Day to Day (Remedial)
These textbooks are to be used for remedial and transition pur-
poses and are not intended to replace any one of the three series
available to schools for systematic reading instruction. They are,
however, valuable aids in dealing with slow or retarded pupils and
may be requisitioned on a limited basis in accordance with the number
of pupils needing this type of instruction.
INSTRUCTION IN LANGUAGE ARTS 23
Using the State-adopted Reading Series
In using any of the current series it is important that no gaps
occur for the child as he proceeds through the grades. Each of these
series is systematic. Each book uses the vocabulary of the preceding
book plus a few new words which are repeated at intervals. Reading
skills, from the first use of picture clues to the more difficult use
of phonetic analysis, are introduced in a pre-planned sequence.
Therefore, no gaps should occur in the sequence of these books for
basic instruction. If a child at the end of the first year is reading
mid-way in Round About, he should, near the first of the second
grade, complete Round About and read Anything Can Happen before
taking up the second year books. Or, if a group has progressed
during its first grade experience only part way through the Easy
Growth in Reading Series materials provided for that grade, the
group, whether retained or promoted to second grade, should com-
plete the first year material before taking up the second year.
It is common practice to spend the first few weeks of the second
and third grades in review of the reading material of the previous
year. Second grade teachers particularly should not be surprised at
how much the pupils have forgotten. Teachers who have had ex-
perience with both first and second grades often say that between
two and three months of the second year go by before the child fully
recovers what he has lost during his vacation.
Good teachers are now handling their reading instruction in at
least two or three groups. As the more advanced group completes
the lower levels of material, it can proceed to the next level and free
that material which it has completed for use by the other pupils.
Nearly all teachers have found that pupils make better progress in
reading if the groups are small. The attention of the pupils can
be held more successfully, and the work undertaken can be better
suited to the level of accomplishment of each group. For a class of
thirty a teacher would usually plan for three reading groups. These
groups would, of course, be flexible; that is, they would vary in
size and the membership would change from time to time as pupils
varied their rate of progress. While receiving direct help from the
teacher the reading group is usually seated around a table or in a
semi-circle of chairs.
24 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
Since all pupils would not be using each book at the same time,
it is unnecessary to requisition each title in the series in terms of one
to each pupil. For each class of 30 pupils, 10 to 15 copies of each
title is usually sufficient. The ratio of one copy to three pupils, not
to exceed one to two pupils, is desirable. Every saving in textbook
funds can be used to secure other needed textbooks or library books
for broadening the reading program.
In connection with grouping it is necessary to consider the class-
room organization needed while the group work is being done. The
question immediately arises, "What will the other 25 puplis be doing
while ,the teacher works with 10?" In the first grade, especially,
certain limiting factors are present, such as, ,the pupils not being
able to read and follow written directions, the use of construction
work causing enough disturbance to interfere with the group being
taught, and the need for teacher leadership and explanation in al-
most any undertaking at the first of the year. The following are
typical, appropriate activities for the large group which must work
independently while the small group is receiving instruction:
(1) Beginning first grade children have a curiosity about books. They
enjoy examining them. However, they soon tire of making casual
examinations. At this point, then, they should be encouraged to
find certain stories for class use (to be identified by the illustra-
tions.) For example, "Find as many different stories as you can
about pets," that is, if the class is studying about pets.
(2) Have a supply of old magazines and catalogs on hand (the children
will contribute many of these.) Suggest that they make a pet book,
a family book, a circus book, etc., in connection with the class
activity. They can locate, cut out, and paste on wrapping paper
such pictures as are needed in any one of the above, or similar
groupings of ideas.
(3) Distribute drawing paper and crayons. The children will enjoy
drawing independently some object or scene of a previous directed
art lesson; still others will draw an entirely original picture.
(4) Mount large magazine pictures on cardboard. Cut these up into
puzzles, cutting the pieces rather large. Distribute puzzles for the
children to use. Sufficient activities have been indicated* so that
the teacher is aware of this one important point; namely, that the
task assigned to the large independent working group must be real,
vital, and stimulating, but, at the same time, must be on a much
simpler plane than that of work carried on under teacher direction.
INSTRUCTION IN LANGUAGE ARTS .25
Building Readiness for Reading
An important phase of primary reading instruction is the readi-
ness period. Most first grade teachers spend a considerable amount
of time, usually from six to ten weeks, in developing reading readi-
ness activities with their pupils before formal reading is under-
taken. When we remember that many pupils entering first grade
are not mature enough physically to begin reading, it is clear that
such a period of preparation is necessary. For instance, many
children are far-sighted until they are at least seven, which means
that their eyes do not focus steadily on objects as small as print.
Furthermore, many children do not distinguish small differences
in sound until they have been trained to listen carefully. Conse-
quently, the immature child may neither see nor hear the difference
between such simple words as this and that.
During the readiness period certain basic attitudes and skills
are developed in the child, including the attitude of curiosity, a desire
to read, confidence in his ability to read, the realization that a printed
symbol stands for a known idea, the habit of looking at a sentence
or word from left to right, the habit of carrying a sequence of events
in mind, and the enlargement of his speaking and hearing vocabu-
lary. It is during these first few weeks also that the child should
become socially adjusted to his classmates so that he feels at ease
during all learning activities. A child thus prepared for reading
makes faster progress later and develops a good attitude toward
reading and school. Some children need only a few weeks of readi-
ness activities, the majority need from eight to ten weeks, and a
few extremely immature ones need a whole year.
Occasionally parents express impatience with the apparent slow-
ness of their children in learning to read. They sometimes expect
a child "to read from a book" almost from the first day of school.
Usually such parents are satisfied by a careful explanation of the
reason for reading readiness activities. Later, the same parents and
perhaps others too will need an explanation as to why their children
in the first.grade do not bring their readers home 'to study their
Suggested activities for the. readiness period, procedures for in-
troducing and carrying through each lesson, and a description of
TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
the plan for developing reading skills, including phonics, are all
contained in the teachers' manuals. The manuals have been care-
fully prepared to help the teacher with her day-by-day work. The
first thing every primary teacher should do upon entering the
classroom at the beginning of the term is to locate the reading manual.
Even experienced teachers who have used the same textbooks the
year before keep the manual at hand and refer to it constantly. It
contains not only the plan for instruction but many of the exercises
and devices that teachers would otherwise have to work out for
themselves each day. Obviously the lesson plans as outlined in the
manual are not to be used verbatim but the procedures given are
to be adapted to the group. Manuals are furnished by the publishers
in proportion to the textbooks in use. They are the property of the
school, not the individual teacher, and cannot be replaced each year.
They are obtained by the principal from the county textbook
Each series of readers is accompanied by companion books or
workbooks. These consumable materials are not furnished by the
state but, if they are used, must be purchased by the pupils or
local schools. The workbooks are not essential to the successful use
of the series, but they are extremely helpful. They extend the
instruction already undertaken by the teacher and are economical
as to teacher time that would have gone into preparation of similar
material. If a teacher or school intends to use a workbook in primary
reading, it is undoubtedly more profitable to use the workbook de-
signed to go with the text than one chosen at random.
Evaluating Reading Progress
Each series is also accompanied by unit tests that are helpful and
by sets of word and phrase cards that save hours of the teacher's
time in the preparation of similar material. These aids are not state
adopted and, if used, must be provided locally. Primary teachers
have found the following equipment important to efficient reading
Newsprint (large size) for experience charts and art work.
Hand printing set for ready preparation of labels, name cards, and
SHectograph or duplicating machine for preparation of independent
:* practice material.
Reading is fundamental. A large portion of the primary school day is de-
voted to reading instruction in various forms.
28 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
Tagboard for word and phrase cards.
Chart holder for story building.
A quantity of attractively mounted pictures about subjects of interest
to the4 child.
Books of nursery rhymes, pets, animals, all with large illustrations, for
Other library books, with a variety of interests and reading levels
Books of children's stories to be read by the teacher to the children.
A large bulletin board for display of:
Samples of work
Messages to children
At least 8 or 10 movable seats or chairs, especially if the regular seats
Art supplies, including one or more easels.
There is growing evidence to indicate that learning to read
should be considered a task covering three or four years and one
that cannot be broken into precise segments, so much for each grade.
Many children do learn to read throughout the first three years at
a rate similar to that reflected in the traditional grade expectancies;
but some start more slowly, accelerating their progress later when
they become more mature; others may do very little with actual
reading in the first year; yet all of these may read acceptably by
the end of the third or fourth grade if each child is so stimulated
and guided that he experiences each stage of development completely
with no sense of confusion or frustration and no loss of faith in
his own power to achieve. Many reading skills have their beginnings
at some point in the first grade and later are greatly refined and
used with facility. Thus, near the end of the first grade a pupil
might through careful teacher questioning and directing, discover
that the compound word sometime is made up of two known words.
In the second grade, the pupil might need only a reminder that he
really knows the two words in a new compound word, and at the
third grade level he should use independently that technique of word
recognition. Any consideration of reading ability in primary child-
ren must, then, involve the degree of the skill possessed. The follow-
ing attainments are shown by most primary pupils:
INSTRUCTION IN LANGUAGE ARTS 29
1. An increasing desire to read.
2. An awareness that answers to questions can be found through
3. An increasing oral vocabulary.
4. Speaking in complete sentences.
5. Listening with interest and increasing periods of attention.
6. Interpreting what is read by telling the story, answering ques-
tions, drawing, or dramatizing.
7. Using sight vocabulary derived from experience charts, pre-
8. Recognizing old vocabulary in new settings.
9. Using a variety of word recognition techniques, as,
a. Picture clues
b. Context clues
c. General configuration of word
d. Basic words in derived words
e. Familiar parts in new words
f. Compound words
g. Beginning use of phonetic 'elements
10. Using efficient reading habits
a. Left to right scanning of words and sentences
b. Avoiding finger pointing
c. Depending less on markers
d. Employing fewer regressive eye movements
e. Making accurate return sweep from end of one line to beginning of
1. Maintaining and refining the skills acquired the previous year.
2. Reading at sight from experience charts and first grade material.
3. Using a table of contents for finding stories.
4. Interpreting a longer thought unit (more than one sentence at
5. Seeking materials that relate to activities in which the children
30 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
6. Enjoying reading a story to others.
7. Using clear enunciation, good phrasing, and good posture.
8. Increasing independence in using word recognition techniques.
a. Relating picture and context clues
b. Recognizing of new words made by suffixes; as, ing, ed, ly, s, es
c. Applying knowledge of blends, as pl, br, dr, sh, ch
d. Pronouncing simple phonetic words
e. Accurate distinguishing between words of similar appearance; as,
which, what; when, where
9. Withdrawing and returning library books properly.
1. Maintaining and refining the skills acquired in previous years.
2. Reading at sight from first and second grade material.
3. Handling books properly and using their parts, as table of con-
tents, short glossary.
4. Reading well enough to enjoy reading to others.
5. Reading independently and voluntarily, seeking.material related
to their activities.
6. Using books as a source of information and of recreation.
7. Interpreting accurately materials related to other curricular
8. Beginning to read more rapidly silently than orally.
9. Making adjustments required when reading for different
10. Increasing ability to combine contextual clues with visual and
auditory elements in recognizing unfamiliar words.
11. Recognizing words built with prefixes, suffixes, other phonetic
12. Applying knowledge of long and short vowels.
INSTRUCTION IN:LANGUAGE ARTS
INSTRUCTION IN HANDWRITING
Handwriting is one of the language arts. It is a means to an
end and not an end in itself. That is, from the very first, even during
the early weeks of the first grade when the teacher is still doing
most of the writing for the class, it should be made clear that writing
is for the purpose of expressing an idea. This thought is so familiar
to the adult mind that it is easy to overlook the fact that the five,
six, or seven year old child has usually been living successfully
without writing and may not be aware of any way in which writing
would help him get what he wants. His efforts to learn to write
are then mechanical and half-hearted.
The introduction of manuscript writing as the first writing a
child learns has greatly aided the situation. In manuscript writing,
the letters are all formed by straight lines, circles, and half-circles.
There are no complex connecting lines and loops requiring fine
muscle control. As a result, children soon attain legibility and suf-
ficient speed so that writing really can serve their needs. Early
attainment also gives them a great sense of satisfaction and a desire
to improve their skill. As time goes on and the pupils develop speed
and muscle control, they begin to join the letters with connecting
strokes, and cursive writing evolves. Careful instruction is needed
as the pupils make the transition, in order that correct writing habits
will be formed with a minimum of effort.
The majority of primary classes in Florida schools are now using
manuscript writing and have observed the following good results:
1. It helps children learn to read. The letters in manuscript
writing resemble printed letters and the child is therefore
able to use in both reading and writing the clues for recogni-
tion that he acquires in either field. He does not have to
learn separate sets of symbols for reading and writing at a
time when he is easily confused. Thus, the manuscript b is
recognizable from the printed b, while the cursive b looks
like a new symbol.
2. It requires little muscular coordination and produces little
muscular fatigue. Even the less mature children can write
for some time without becoming tired. The more mature
32 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
write for some time without becoming tired. The more mature
children write fluently, free to concentrate on the thought of
what they are writing.
3. It is usually more legible than cursive for immature writers.
4. It usually facilitates writing for left-handed children.
The transition from manuscript writing to cursive is usually
begun in the latter part of the second grade (the last 12 weeks) and
continued in the first half of the third grade; or it may be wise not
to begin the transition until after the start of the third grade, par-
ticularly if the class is at all immature. An effort should be made to
make the transition when the majority (not just three or four) are
beginning to join their letters. This time may vary slightly from
class to class or from year to year. The important thing is for. the
teacher who receives the group to know what the experience of a
given class has been.
During the early part of the transition period, pupils should
continue to write spelling and other written material of the day's
activities in manuscript writing. They are thus free to concentrate
on the content of what they are writing rather than being distracted
by letter formations. Nor should second and third grade teachers
become impatient too early with the mixture of the two forms.
Throughout the third grade and subsequent grades pupils should
have occasional practice periods in manuscript writing, for it is a
skill they need to retain. There are many times throughout their
school and adult life when they need manuscript writing, as in
labeling and filling out questionnaires and forms.
The state adopted text is Graves' Progressive Course in Hand-
writing. There is a pupil's booklet for each grade, and at the primary
level both manuscript and cursive books are available. A teacher's
manual accompanies the series.
It is helpful if all teachers in the same school observe the same
letter formations. Small differences, as in y, that are hardly notice-
able to the adult or older child are genuinely confusing to the young
The following questions are to be considered during the primary
INSTRUCTION IN LANGUAGE ARTS 33
1. Does the pupil use writing as a means of expression?
Much of his practice material should be drawn from his reading
or daily activities, and situations should be created that call for
writing. A first grade child's need for writing often starts
with his own name or a note to his mother.
2. Does he know proper letter formation ?
Letter formation should be taught as often as there is need. Some
children do not develop clear mental images of the letter forms
for some time, and others appear to forget. Often in the second
and third grade, and even beyond, children will suddenly ask,
How do you make a j?" Sometimes this questioning merely
reflects that fact that it is easier to ask the teacher than to make
the effort of recalling. Wall cards or strips of the alphabet are
helpful and can be obtained in either manuscript or cursive from
commercial companies if a teacher does not care to make her
3. Does he have an understanding of the relative size of letters
and the spacing between words and between letters?
All children do not make the same mistakes. 'Instruction and
practice should often be individualized.
4. Does he have some ability to recognize imperfections in his own
writing and practice for self-improvement?
Keeping samples of writing and then comparing later with earlier
ones is often helpful.
5. Has he formed the habit of being neat and orderly, observing
6. Does he regularly adopt correct posture when writing?
Desks should be clear, writing materials in good order, and the
light adequate. In most classrooms light comes from the left,
which is correct for right-handed children. Left-handed children
should be seated at a table or movable desk so that light comes
from their right.
7. Is the left-handed child trained to develop a legible style of
When it is clear that a child prefers the use of his left hand,
he should be helped to develop a legible style using that hand
TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
instead of being forced to change to the right hand. A forced
change can lead to serious nervous difficulties, although it does
not always so do.
8. Is the period for handwriting regularly planned?
In the first grade, writing instruction and practice grow out
of the daily activities, but the teacher must still plan ahead as
to which activities will offer good opportunities and which skills
can profitably be developed. In the second and especially the
third grade, practice periods need to be regularly scheduled. They
should be about 15 minutes in length (a longer period results
in fatigue) and should be so placed as not to follow a period
of extensive exercise or big muscle activity.
INSTRUCTION IN SPELLING
Spelling is another of the language arts. Like handwriting, it
is a means to an end and not an end in itself. The teacher should
help the child discover early that if he is to use writing as a way
of expressing himself or getting what he wants, he must learn to
recall independently how the words he wants look and sound as to
sequence of letters; that is, he must learn to spell.
In the first grade, notes that are written home or writings that
occur in the activities of the day are usually done from a model.
The class usually formulates the message, dictates it to the teacher
who acts as scribe and puts it on the board, calling attention to the
points on spacing or letter formation that she wants emphasized.
From these and other activities such as work in phonics, many
of the more mature children absorb or work out for themselves the
spelling of several frequently used words as it, is, am, all, ball, me,
my, I, see. However the, ability to spell a list of words is not to be
required of all first grade pupils. Formal instruction and practice
in spelling do not occur until the second and third grades.
The spelling textbook now in adoption is:
Using Words Second Year
Using Words Third Year
In a school which is using the formerly adopted speller, The Child
.INSTRUCTION IN LANGUAGE ARTS 35
Centered Speller, the teacher should ask the principal to obtain for
her a desk copy of Using Words so that she can embody in her in-
struction some of the procedures which the children will meet later.
Many second grade teachers do not care to have a spelling book
in the hands of the pupils, especially during the first half of the
year, since most of the children are not yet independent enough in
their reading to benefit greatly from the story involved or follow
the directions. In such cases, the week's short spelling list (usually
seven or eight words) is drawn from the reading or activities of
the pupils. The teacher consults her copy of the speller often to
make sure that the words the children are learning are largely those
found in the first half of the book and to obtain suggestions for
teaching. Whatever her source of material, she will recognize that
spelling is a class project and will not merely provide the children
with a list and the advice to "study your spelling."
The spelling lists upon which modern spellers are based are the
result of extensive research to determine which words are most often
used and needed by children at successive stages of their development
and to determine which words offer difficulty in mastery of spelling.
As a result of this research, the following points have been given
1. Repetition without attention is useless and wasteful of the
2. Spelling is not merely a matter of knowing the sequence of
letters in a word. It is also a matter of pronunciation and of
knowing how to use the word.
3. During the second grade, pupils should become secure in
their knowledge of the sounds of letters and then in their
ability to name them. There is no point in a child knowing
the name of a letter until he first knows its sound. Many
pupils acquire this knowledge in the latter part of the first
grade but it is tentative, easily lost over the vacation period,
and the responses have not yet become automatic. During
the third grade pupils begin to alphabetize and need to be
sure of the sequence of letters in the alphabet.
4. It is important to have a plan of study. This usually con-
36 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
(a) Distinct pronunciation by the teacher
(b) Pronunciation by the pupils, each syllable said carefully
(c) Recall of the visual image of the word
(4) Saying the letters
(e) Checking the visual image of the word with the book
(f) Writing the word and checking the word with the book
Unless a plan of study is followed until it is a well established
habit, most children later feel aimless or blank when they
are advised to study their spelling.
5. Knowledge of the word's meaning is too often taken for
granted. It is seldom safe to assume that the whole class
knows the meaning of a word. Most spellers now present
new words in a short story or paragraph, thus gaining the
advantage of context.
6. It is necessary towdrk with the words over a period of time
to assure mastery. Different kinds of exercises are used,
some relating to meaning, some to phonetic elements, and
some to derived forms. Through such exercises the child
meets the words again and again until he is thoroughly familiar
7. It is important to master a reasonable number of words rather
than partially learn a great number. At the beginning of
the second grade five or six words each week are introduced;
by the end of the third grade as many as 15 a week are used.
8. Frequent review of troublesome words is helpful. Each pupil
will want to make some kind of individual spelling list,
containing the words that trouble him most.
9. Good spelling instruction gives considerable time to phonetic
elements, such as initial consonants and rhyming words, to
word building, and to formation of plurals.
10. Caring whether he spells correctly is important. As in hand-
writing, carelessness and haste, rather than. ignorance, are
often the cause of trouble.
If a child is having unusual difficulty with spelling, it is well to
INSTRUCTION IN LANGUAGE ARTS
1. Does he care whether he spells?
2. Does he have a plan for study?
3. Is poor handwriting a major or contributing factor? Poor for-
mation of a, o, e, i, d, t, r, s, m, n, u, v, w commonly cause
4. Does he see clearly? hear distinctly? speak plainly?
INSTRUCTION IN ORAL AND WRITTEN LANGUAGE
Oral and written language, or English, is another of the language
arts. At the primary level, especially the first and second grade,
it is so interwoven with the reading program that it is often quite
impossible to draw lines of distinction. Thus, when a second grade
teacher is developing with her class the idea of prefixes, as happy
and unhappy, she is working with language and reading simultaneous-
ly. Indeed, language operates through all the activities of the pupil's
school and out-of-school life. Language may be defined as the ex-
pression of ideas by means of words; and language, as a school sub-
ject, is for the purpose of helping pupils express those ideas clearly,
easily, and effectively.
When do primary children use language skills? A comprehensive
listing would be almost limitless but the following are typical: Con-
versation with friends, greeting and bidding classmates good-bye,
extending invitations, seeking information, taking messages, making
announcements, group planning, keeping simple records, listening
politely and attentively, presenting programs, retelling stories and
jokes, retelling experiences, telephoning.
If the school is to help pupils express ideas clearly and effectively
in the above situations, it is important that children have opportuni-
ties for a real exchange of ideas. It is not enough for the child to
fill in blanks or repeat the forms presented by the teacher. He must
have something to say and a valid reason for saying it if real growth
is going to occur in his language habits. The modern language pro-
gram aims to develop within the school a wealth of opportunity for
gaining control over language in everyday needs.
Now, since children of the first two grades are, through lack of
reading skill, unable to use a printed text, teachers sometimes feel
at a loss as to how to help the children grow in language power.
88 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
However, if the teacher is aware of the day by day opportunities
and makes use of the opportunities to carry out her purposes, there
need be little feeling of vagueness.
Habits and Skills Needed by Primary Children
1. Thinking before speaking; that is, sticking to the point.
2. Judging the worthwhileness of one's own comments and those
of others; that is, in any group there will be a few children
who chatter agreeably but unnecessarily.
3. Using definite, vivid words instead of vague ones.
4. Using descriptive words to add definiteness.
5. Adding new words to vocabulary.
6. Using correct forms; as I saw, I did.
7. Speaking loudly enough to be heard.
8. Speaking distinctly enough to be understood.
9. Correct pronunciation of common words; as going, just, catch.
10. Looking at the audience and speaking directly to it.
11. Using courteous forms of address; as please; yes, thank you.
12. Overcoming shyness and self-consciousness.
13. Starting each sentence with a capital letter and ending it
with a correct mark. At first this is a matter of copying
14. Writing I and proper names with capitals.
15. Writing principal words in a title with capital letters.
16. Setting up standards for correct work and then proofreading
17. Leaving correct margins and spacing words correctly.
INSTRUCTION IN LANGUAGE ARTS
Relationship of Reading and Language
In the first part of the first grade, a good reading readiness
program is at the same time a good language program for the aim
of both is the development of experience and language facility in
expressing that experience. Common elements of language and
1. Background of experience. The wealth of a child's ideas
is dependent on the extent of his experiences, both real and
2. Experiences with literature. Children need to have experi-
ences in common if they are to share ideas readily. Hearing
the stories also increases their familiarity with smooth lan-
3. Vocabulary development. New words can be learned as new
impressions are acquired for which the words stand. Hearing
and speaking the word usually precedes seeing it in print.
4. Carrying a sequence of events in mind. This skill is neces-
sary both in reading and in expressing ideas to others.
5. Organizing and classifying ideas.
6. Auditory discrimination. The child must be able to hear the
difference between just and jest, hungry and hongry before
he can correct his own speech.
7. Speech habits. Baby talk or defective speech interferes with
both reading and language.
8. Visual discrimination. The child must be able to see the
difference between a period and a comma before he can
establish correct usage.
9. Emotional and social adjustment. Children cannot express
ideas effectively nor receive them if they are distracted by
self-consciousness or antagonisms.
Since reading readiness is not acquired all at one time, but ex-
tends throughout the primary grades, the above comparison is
significant for all teachers.
40 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
Once the goals or purposes of language instruction in the first
three grades are clear, the following suggestions can be offered as to
means of attainment:
1. Vocabulary development.
a. Excursions are profitable. Many trips need not extend
farther than the school building and adjacent grounds.
Children learn such words as library, fire extinguisher,
lunchroom by concrete illustration.
b. In every field as science, music, social studies, teachers
should develop vocabulary gradually, consistently, and
without undue haste.
c. Encourage variety of expression, avoiding over-use of such
words as thing.
d. Encourage the discovery of meaning through context.
e. Encourage children to keep vocabulary notebooks.
f. The teacher should deliberately introduce into her own
speech words she knows the children are going to meet
g. Bring in visual aids frequently, not only to illustrate new
words but to serve as centers of vital discussion.
h. When it is clearly economical of time, do not hesitate to
teach words directly.
i. Use simple exercises with word building, prefixes, suffixes,
plurals, phonetic analysis to develop independence and
confidence in word attacking.
j. Help the pupils use their glossary in reading or social
studies to locate a meaning for themselves.
k. Help children see the value of a wide vocabulary.
2. Correct usage.
a. Concentrate on the errors most frequently made by your
pupils. Listen to their classroom and playground conver-
INSTRUCTION IN LANGUAGE ARTS 41
station to determine such errors. Some investigators have
found that nearly half the errors occur with verbs. The
most frequently misused are forms of see, do, go, come.
Misuse of pronouns and double negatives account for many
b. Set a good example. Imitation is far more effective than
explanation, especially for primary children.
c. Stress oral drill. Correct usage is a matter of hearing and
speaking, not just seeing and recognizing.
d. Let children read aloud from correct forms on board.
e. Let children prepare original sentences including the cor-
f. Be sure the children use the correct form in the next
g. Do not hesitate to individualize or group temporarily for
instruction. For instance, all the class will not need ex-
tensive drill on double negatives. Those who have already
mastered a given phase, may work on material they do
need or follow other interests such as library reading.
h. Plan with other faculty members for a continuing program.
Rome was not built in a day.
3. Capitalization and punctuation.
a. During the first two grades children acquire familiarity.
with common capitalization and punctuation through cor-
rect copying. The teacher often calls their attention to
the correct forms as she puts material on the board and
as they make their copies.
b. By the end of the third grade, pupils should be able to use
1. Capitals for names of persons, days of week, beginning
of sentences, I, 0, home address
2. Periods after statements and common abbreviations, as,
3. Question marks
42 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
a. In the first and second grades, pupils should be able to
participate in the class dictation of an experience chart,
an invitation, note of thanks, or caption for a picture and
then copy correctly what has been placed on the board.
b. By the end of third grade, children should be able to write:
1. A simple, friendly letter
2. A note of invitation or thanks
3. A very short original paragraph or poem
a. Encourage every child to express his thoughts, to share
b. Be sure the child can be heard (volume of sound) and that
he can be understood (clear articulation).
c. Concentrate on the correction of the most frequent errors
in pronunciation, usually:
1. Incorrect vowel sounds (cetch for catch, git for get)
2. Omission or substitution of sounds (fambly for family)
d. Encourage the children to listen attentively to others and
to be courteous when interruptions or disagreements are
e. Use dramatization not only for the pleasure and benefits
commonly associated with such activities, but also as a
means of varying instruction. For instance, correct usage
of such an expression as they were in place of they was
is a matter of hearing and speaking. If the correct form
is included in a dramatization, all the children will hear
it and some: will speak it correctly. The carry over into
their own speech is far more probable than if they had
spent a similar amount of time in recognizing or writing
INSTRUCTION IN LANGUAGE ARTS
f. Choral reading. Use choral reading as a means of helping
1. Enjoy poetry, experiencing the rhythm of it.
2. Correct their speech through attention to vowel sounds, initial
and ending sounds.
3. Experience cooperation and interdependence in a new way.
4. Forget themselves in group effort, thus aiding the timid child.
5. Subordinate themselves to the good of the group, thus aiding
the over-confident child.
6. Poetry and picture appreciation.
a. Help the pupils visualize the scenes and action of poems.
b. Enjoy with them the rhythm; remember poems are to be
heard, not always read silently.
c. Enjoy with the pupils the fancy and humor of children's
d. Use picture appreciation not only as a source of pleasure
in artistry and beauty, but also as a means of enlarging
concepts and vocabulary and of stimulating coherent
The textbook in current adoption is:
Step by Step (grade three)
In the schools using the formerly adopted book, Guidebook for
Language, the teacher should ask the principal to obtain a desk
copy so that she can include in her instruction some of the ap-
proaches and methods with which the pupils will need to be
familiar in the future. An excellent manual containing suggestions
for procedures is available.
Second grade teachers will also enjoy examining Step by Step to
gain for themselves ideas for instruction and to see the kinds of
activities their pupils will engage in the following year. The or-
44 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
ganization of the book reflects the major trends in language
a. That language activities are more numerous than was first supposed,
including such things as telephone conversations, asking and giving
directions, courteous listening as well as the elements which have
long been recognized.
b. That more than half of our language activities are oral (true for
adults as well as children) and that the acquiring of oral language
skills cannot be left to chance any more than can written skills.
c. That success in drill material is not determined by quantity alone.
Thus, if a child does not understand the use of did, done after making
the choice for ten sentences, he still would not after twenty sentences;
and during the last ten his time would be worse than wasted since
he was guessing or practicing errors. What was needed after the
first few sentences was a re-presentation of the subject. Therefore
the authors have spaced the drills on a given form so that a first
explanation and short exercise can be followed soon by another
explanation and exercise and later another explanation and ex-
ercise. As some members of the class attain mastery of the form,
other activities, which will now be more stimulating and profitable
to them than continued repetition of something they know, are
THE SOCIAL STUDIES AND SCIENCE 45
INSTRUCTION IN SOCIAL STUDIES, SCIENCE,
HEALTH, AND SAFETY
The fundamental purpose of social studies teaching is growth
in social behavior. The term social behavior includes changes in
the personal outlook, attitudes, and interests of the children. It
includes care of person and the development of satisfactory relations
with others. In fact, the first and second grade child's greatest
development comes in learning how to live with others. His world
is his home, his school, and his immediate community. Almost his
entire day offers opportunities for social studies teaching.
Because social studies involves the building of attitudes and
ways of acting as well as the acquiring of information, it is im-
portant that these opportunities be used. Thus, if the teacher explains
in the classroom that taking turns is the right way to get along
in a group, but does not follow up to see that the children take turns
in the swings on the playground, she can hardly justify the thought
that she has taught social studies. The ultimate test of whether a
child has learned lies in how he acts.
When a teacher plans for social studies instruction, she usually
finds that she is also planning for instruction in health, nutrition,
safety, science, and the use of natural and human resources. These
areas are so closely related that they reinforce one another. In the
primary grades, it is usually desirable to develop these areas to-
gether in a large time block in the daily schedule or at least to place
them in sequence so that there need be no break in going from one
Usually, units or centers of interest for integrated work are
chosen from the social studies field, and in most cases the science and
health aspects are also present. For instance, a second grade class
may visit the lunchroom during the morning to see the workers pre'-
paring the food. From the social studies point of view the purpose
of the trip is to establish the idea that our way of living is dependent
on many helpers working together (interdependence); but the fol-
lowing are a few of the learning opportunities also present; why
green vegetables must be washed (health), why green vegetables are
a part of the lunch (nutrition), why the workers must have adequate
light over their table (safety), what made the vegetables grow
TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
Nowhere is it more important for teachers of a faculty to under-
stand the scope of the entire program and the share of each person
in it than in social studies. Certain grade themes are being used
in Florida schools so that instruction may have consistency and good
sequence. The idea of the expanding environment of the child has
been followed, since, when the principle that a child learns well those
things that are of immediate concern to him is applied to the organiza-
tion of social studies in the elementary school, the expanding environ-
ment plan of content evolves. The child first studies his relationship
to his home and school, then to the neighborhood, to the community,
to the state, to the nation, and then in the sixth grade to the world.
Grade themes are described as follows: Grade I-Living in Home
and School; Grade II-Helping Each Other in the Community;
Grade III-Developing and Improving the Community; Grade IV-
Living in Various types of Communities; Grade V-Improving Life
in Different Regions of the United States; Grade VI-Developing
Successful Ways of Living on a World Basis. The titles of the
state adopted textbooks in social studies reveal the same plan.
Grade I Living in Home and School
A young child's world is very real to him, but its limits are
narrow. He has little idea of time or space and his interests are
centered about himself and his relation to home and school activities.
He is concerned about:
1. People in the home (self, family relatives, friends).
2. People in the school (classmates, principal, janitors, lunchroom helpers,.
3. Individuals serving child needs (bus driver, doctor, nurse, maid-
4. Facilities in home and school (rooms, furniture, equipment, yard,
garden, tools, books).
5. Food and meals (securing from store, simple preparation, serving,
6. Articles of individual ownership (pets, toys clothing).
7. Animals and plants (care and use of those common in school or home).
-8. Weather (as it affects individual, school, and family living).
t^ .^^ 'go l ^
.. *' i *^
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..... "+ +" .+...
.."L i'iJ '"'. .. t't"'. *" .t' '
.:: -,-. ,- .,^ -"- .+ '.'. ^^ f S^ 1^ : '.;' J- "+- ^' -:.
,*-k .'.-., :_ *' 'l-.'' ..," 1" ...^ ... *i *',' '*- / 1' 1 ." "
's,".* *w r ', '- '" '* +. '.. ,,,-.' *.. .. :. k +* + :, +, '
A problem in science becomes the center of interest for many types of
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48 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
9. Experience with practical and fine arts (making gifts, building, art
For a more comprehensive statement of problems, teachers will
want to consult the Content Chart, p. 26, and the Persistent Prob-
lems Chart p. 30, in the State Department of Education Bulletin,
No. 30, Social Studies in the Elementary School.
Social Studies Reader: David's Friends (Not now available
on State-adopted list.) This text contains important material on
the proper child level centered about the home and school. Although
not currently available, copies in the ratio of one to each five
pupils, should be on hand in most classrooms. This text can be
used successfully by a small group of the most mature readers,
or by the teacher or a prepared pupil reading to a larger group.
Safety Education: Away We Go (Pre-primer)
Happy Times (Primer)
In Storm and Sunshine
(Limited purchase plan, one copy to every five pupils.) The
books are not intended for basic reading instruction, but to
give material on the proper level regarding safety. The texts
can be used successfully with a small group of rather mature
readers, or by the teacher or prepared pupils reading to a
Science: We Look About Us
These texts are intended for basic instruction ii science, not as
supplementary readers. Most teachers do not care to have a copy
in the hands of each child, for it requires mature reading skills.
The text serves as a beginning point and a guide to the class
THE SOCIAtL STUDIES AND SCIENCE
Grade II Helping Each Other in the Community
The second year pupil is still interested in himself, his home, and
school, but he is becoming more interested in his neighborhood
and immediate community. He has more and more curiosity
about other children, helpers in the school and in the com-
munity. He is concerned about:
1. Workers serving child needs (variety of workers, including bus
driver, doctor, nurse, janitor, cafeteria workers, safety officer).
2. Facilities common to many homes and schoolrooms (types of
rooms, kinds of furniture and equipment, yard, garden, library).
3. Food and meals (nearby source, simple preparation, serving,
4. Experiences with practical and fine arts (creative products of
individual and group).
5. Animal and plant life in the neighborhood (common name,
6. Types of buildings in neighborhood (use, style, construction).
7. Weather (as it affects home, school, neighborhood life).
8. Variety of workers contributing to home, school, and neighbor-
hood living (postman, repair man, fireman, policeman, patrol-
man. groceryman, dairyman, farmer, truck driver).
9. Facilities commonly used in the neighborhood for transporting,
traveling, or communicating (bus, car, truck, plane, bicycle,
telephone, telegraph, mail).
For a more comprehensive statement of problems, teachers will
want to consult the Content Chart, p. 26, and the Persistent Prob-
lems Chart p. 30, in the State Department of Education Bulletin,
No. 30, Social Studies in the Elementary School.
Social Studies Reader: Susan's Neighbors
Safety Education: In Town and Country
Both books are intended for limited purchase, one copy of
each to every five pupils. The books place emphasis on the
TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
grade theme of helpers in the neighborhood and how the
community obtains such necessities as food, clothing, shelter,
Science: Out of Doors
Children will need many first hand experiences in science if
they are to have sufficient readiness to read science material.
Teachers should plan for developing readiness for science
just as definitely as they plan for developing readiness for
reading. Many direct experiences are present in the child's
daily life at home and in the classroom, but he needs guidance
in observing them and drawing conclusions from them. Ex-
perience charts are excellent for summarizing experiences and
clarifying concepts. The textbook material is centered about
the home and neighborhood, and it is closely related to the
child's own interests. These texts are intended for basic
instruction in science, not as supplementary readers.
Some faculties have obtained satisfactory results by using the
first grade book in the second grade, the second book in the
third grade, and so forth. This procedure is helpful if the
pupils have extremely limited experiences or reading handi-
caps. Under ordinary circumstances, however, it should not
be necessary, provided a background of direct experience is
built up preceding the presentation of text material.
Grade III Developing and Improving the Community
The third year child is beginning to be more conscious of
other people. He is also beginning to understand something
of time and space. He can distinguish between "last year"
and "long ago" or between "fifty miles from here" and
"Canada." He is becoming more curious about the world of
science and grasps more cause and effect relationships. He
is interested in:
1. Facilities common in home, school, and community living (housing,
equipment, modes of travel, tools, utilities).
2. Experiences in individual or group projects for improvement of
THE SOCIAL STUDIES AND SCIENCE 51
home, school or community life (construction, music, beautification,
3. Types of work done locally (building, farming, packing, store-
keeping, government service, etc.).
4. Types of buildings in community (residential-business; rural-city).
5. Things secured from or sent to other communities (newspapers,
vegetables, electricity, bread etc.).
6. Sources of local food supply in earlier times and present (soil,
types of farms, kinds of crops, adjustment to weather, ways of
7. Provisions for shelter and clothing in earlier times and now (ma-
terials, costs, construction).
8. Services provided by local government in earlier times and now
(health, police, fire, roads, schools).
9. Machines essential to community living in earlier times and now.
10. Persons, places, things, events of importance in community de-
velopment (relics, landmarks, people).
For a more comprehensive statement of problems, teachers will
want to consult the Content Chart, p. 26, and the Persistent Prob-
lems Chart p. 30, in the State Department of Education Bulletin, No.
30, Social Studies in the Elementary School.
Textbook Materials and Procedures
Social Studies Reader: Centerville
Safety Education: Here and There
Social Studies: Living in Country and City
This book presents a simple treatment of man's fundamental
needs and helps third year pupils secure information regard-
ing the sources of our food, clothing, and shelter. It also
develops an understanding of the interdependence of both
individuals and communities.
1. Use the textbooks as a guide to discussion, not as the major
52 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
source' of information. 'Children of primary age are going
to get most of their ideas on science, health, and social studies
from direct experience rather than from book study.
2. Make frequent use of short visits to points of interest in
and around the building and neighborhood: lunchroom, audi-
torium, principal's office, furnace room, fire extinguisher,
3. Make experience charts after such trips, to give the pupils
a chance to express ideas coherently, to make sure the pupils
have obtained accurate ideas, and to give them practice in
making a record of what they do (history at their level).
4. Use pictures to enlarge the pupils' concepts, to stimulate dis-
cussion, to supplement the text. Pictures of animals, flowers,
machines that help us, ways of living in country and city
are all helpful. It is not safe to assume that all small children
know the names of common things in our environment nor
have clear concepts associated with some common words.
Thus, one second grade child called all flowers roses, since
that was the term she had first learned.
5 Use special days to focus attention.
6. Try a small school garden not only for the values in science
but also for the opportunities in cooperative planning and
in carrying out what is planned.
7. Use the lunchroom as a means of nutrition instruction. The
inclusion of each item in the daily lunch is a ready illustra-
nton. of some point in food values. By working with the
lunchroom manager, it may be possible for the children to
choose or plan the menus occasionally and to introduce child-
ren to new foods or new ways of serving foods before they
meet them in the lunchroom; as, a raw carrot sandwich.
"party" before raw carrot salad is served in the lunches.
8. Use collections, models, and specimen wherever possible to
make vivid science and social studies instruction. Even small
children often become intensely interested in making collec-
tions of seeds, kinds of cloth, products of the region. Science
and social studies are usually interwoven.
THE1 SOCIAL STtfDIES 'AND SCiENCE 8
9. Arrange a table or corner of the room for displaying science
10. Keep a thermometer on the wall for its help in arithmetic
as well as science and health.
11. Make extensive use of the State Department :of Education
Bulletin No. 4, Florida's School Health Program, in planning
health instruction. The school of today is vitally concerned
that children develop adequate health practices and habits.
It is not enough for pupils merely to be supplied with .in-
formation about health. The bulletin also describes proced-
ures for "screening" the pupils (finding which ones need
special attention from the school nurse) and shows how the
"screening" process, as in eye and ear tests, can be made a
part of regular instruction rather than an added load.
The State Department -of Education Bulletin No. 30, Social
Studies in the Elementary Sehool is now available. Every teacher
will find this short bulletin an excellent guide as to content, methods,'
materials, and outcomes. A copy can be obtained by asking the
principal to requisition it. If a personal copy is desired, it may be
purchased from the State Department of Education.
54 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
INSTRUCTION IN ARITHMETIC
Arithmetic has been described as a system of quantitative thinking.
The need for quantitative thinking arises early in life when the
child is faced with the necessity for describing the size, weight, shape,
position, and amount of various things in some adequate fashion.
In the beginning, the description does not have to be accurate and
the child is satisfied with such expressions as "a long way off,"
"bigger than John," "before I came to school." However, it is
not long before activities at home and school help him realize the
need for describing things in terms of exact amount, exact weight.
In the past, children have been given rigorous training in the
manipulation of abstract numbers with little regard to their meaning
and significance, or to their function in interpreting the social
and physical environment. Actually, drill and repetition of skills
within the computational processes made up the body of the arith-
metic program. Children frequently did not know what they were
doing and even after mastering certain computational skills, were
unable to solve the simplest problems in which those skills were
Today, educators believe arithmetic has a more significant role
to play in the life of the child. A great amount of research has
been,earried on to determine what are those understandings and
skills which should be developed in school. Two general trends are
clear; first, that many concepts in arithmetic are complex and need
to be developed gradually over a period of time if they are to be
really understood; second, that successful learning of processes in
later grades and speed and skill in using the processes have their
beginning in broad, first-hand number experiences in the early grades.
Children need many concrete experiences with number situa-
tions before they can distinguish numbers and grasp the processes
of the number system. The suddenness of the transition from con-
crete experiences to abstract thinking is commonly a basic cause of
confusion. For instance, a child who has examined 7 books, 7 rulers,
and 7 pieces of chalk is not necessarily ready to understand that
7.x 2 equals 14. Four stages in the transition from the concrete to
the abstract are usually recognized: (1) purely concrete, in which
the child deals with objects in his own experience; (2) picture stage,
INSTRUCTION IN ARITHMETIC 5
in which he uses pictures of familiar objects from which to experi-
ence number; (3) semi-concrete stage, in which he uses dots, rings
and lines to represent the idea of quantity; and (4) the abstract
stage, in which symbols represent the concepts of quantity. It is
well to note that the symbols --, are also strange to a
child and therefore need as much explanation as the numerals them-
selves. It will take many repetitions within the four stages to make
a successful transition.
SKILLS OUTCOMES IN PRIMARY GRADES
The following outline of goals at each grade level represents the
attainment expected of all normal pupils in the class. Many pupils
will learn more than the skills listed. No outline of skills should be
followed so rigidly as to ignore the need or opportunities in a par-
Counting, reading, writing numbers
Careful building of number concepts, especially 1 through 10.
Rote counting to 100 by I's, 5's, 10's, and by 2's to 20.
Rational counting 1-31 (counting concrete object, using the
Introducing ordinals on the oral level 1-12 (common usage)
1-31 (as used in calendar).
Reading numbers, as needed in reading calendars, finding
pages, and other activities of the day, usually 1-100, or higher
in the case of page numbers.
Writing numbers (stress correct form 0-9).
Recognizing groups of objects of 5 or less without counting
and larger groups through identifying smaller groups within
the large one.
Addition and subtraction
As needed by the group or child. When addition and sub-
.. traction- occur in the first grade, they should be related to
real situationsm or objects. Addition should be confined to
Z8 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
small sums, usually less .than. 10. There should be no drill
for mastery of isolated combinations.
Many experiences with 1/2, 1/3 in natural situations
The clock should be introduced
Recognition of cent, nickel, dime, quarter
Understanding of such terms as: many, large, small, big,
more than, above, below
Recognition of shapes such as: square, circle, triangle
Experiences with inches, feet, quart, pint
Teaching Aids: State Department of Education Bulletin, No. 26,
Arithmetic in the Elementary School is an excellent guide as
to content, methods, materials, and outcomes. The Teacher's
Guide for Arithmetic We Use, pages 28-64 (the textbook series
beginning with the third grade) also has helpful material for
first and second grade teachers.
Counting, reading, writing numbers
Increasing speed and accuracy in reading and writing numbers
Rote counting to 100 by l's, 2's, 5's, 10's
Rational counting 100 by l's, 2's, 5's, 10's
Writing numbers correctly to 200.
Addition and subtraction
Build meaning for the 100 addition facts
Automatic response to facts with sums or minuend up to
10 ("easy 45" combinations)
Single column. addition with sums less than 10
SBy end of year, two place numbers used in both addition
and subtraction but no carrying or borrowing
INSTRUCTION IN ARITHMETIC :57
Multiplication and division
Counting and grouping by 2's, 5's, 10's is building background
for multiplication and division later
Continued first hand experiences with 1/2, 1/3,,1/4
By hours and half hours
Recognize coins to $1.00 and count small sums of money
Continued work with terms of measurement; such as, pint,
quart, dozen, half-dozen
Use of ruler and yardstick
Incidental acquaintance with meaning of expressions involv-
ing perntage; as, 90% attendance
Teaching Aids: State Department of Education Bulletin, No. 26,
Arithmetic in the Elementary School is an excellent guide as
to content, methods, materials, and outcomes. The Teacher's
Guide for Arithmetic We Use, pages 28-64 (the textbook series
beginning with .the third grade) also has ,helpful, material
for first and second grade teachers.
Counting, reading, writing numbers
Reading and writing of four place numbers
(The size is not always the cause of difficulty in using a
number. Thus, 1,016 is much:harder to read than 9,755.).
Addition and subtraction
Mastery of the 100 addition and subtraction facts. Develop
gradually and check frequently throughout year
Column addition with irregular addends:(sums less than 100)
Two and three place addends with carrying in units column,
later in tens column
TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
Two place minuend and subtrahend "with borrowing
Multiplication and division
Multiplication and division facts and reverses whose products
or dividends do not exceed 36 (Buying by dozen, measuring
by inch, foot, and yard.)
Two place multiplicand, one place multiplier (first with no
carrying; by end of year with carrying.)
Two and three place dividends, one place divisor (no re-
mainders, no borrowing, no carrying.)
Use long division method
Continued experiences with fractions and the idea of per-
centage; as, 90% attendance
Write and read simple fractions
Addition and subtraction of money in making change
Time by 5 minute intervals '
Recognition of common abbreviations and symbols: pt., qt,
Recognize I-XII, largely for use in chapter headings and
Arithmetic We Use, Grade 3
The series Arithmetic We Use was adopted in 1943. In a school
which is using the former text Triangle Arithmetic, the principal
should obtain a desk copy of the new text so that each teacher
can embody in her instruction some of the procedures her pupils
will meet later. Each new process is developed in six steps.
1. Readiness development
2. Concrete experience lending meaning to the process
3. UMdels :and study helps
4. Practice, both isolated and interrelated
5. Diagnostic tests
6. Progress tests
INSTRUCTION IN ARITHMETIC 59
The State Department ofEducation Bulletin No. 26, Arithmetic in
the Elementary: School is an excellent guide as to content, methods,
materials, and outcomes. Teacher's Guide for Arithmetic We Use
is also helpful.
1. Opportunities for number experiences abound in the regular
activities of the day-counting chairs for the reading group,
counting the children present, distributing supplies, noting
the date, to mention but a few.
2. Although number situations are ever-present, the teacher must
carefully examine the day's work in advance in order to take
advantage of the opportunities. Otherwise, many good chances
will pass before she has time to develop them with the pupils.
For instance, unless the first grade teacher notes in advance
that a certain pupil would profit from counting the paper
in art work, she might distribute the paper herself or allow
a pupil not needing this practice to do it.
3. Try to begin the learning of a new process in response to an
4. Be sure children are associating the correct term with a number
experience (half, deep, above).
5. Maintain a kit of simple materials in the classroom for instant
use (nickel, dime, quarter, half-dollar, egg box-dozen, half-
pint, pint, quart, ruler, yardstick, calendar, clock, thermometer,
marbles, blocks, scales).
6. Sometimes translate textbook problems into terms of the local
setting, using names of children in the room or items produced
in the community.
7. Develop additional problems and practice material related to
the children's daily living.
8..Do not hurry children into glib responses. Be confident that
you are doing the right thing in building a broad base of
9. You may expect to find great individual differences within
60 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
the class. When beginners come t"school, some already un-
derstand more from their home and community experiences
than some others are going to learn all year.
10. It is not safe to assume that all members of the class have
accurate concepts for words they may use; such as, few, several,
more than, less than.
11. Expect to do considerable reteaching within the year and from
year to year.
INSTRUCTION IN PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Physical education has a distinct contribution to make to the
personal and social growth and development of the child. The four
major objectives of a well-planned physical education program are:
1. Building organic fitness for today and tomorrow through ac-
tivities definitely selected to increase strength, vigor, and
functional organic capacity.
2. Developing physical abilities and control of the movements of
the body by providing a wise, rich program of activities that
demand and increase the skills required for body coordination.
3. Generating among boys and girls of today meaningful, vitalized,
recreational habits and interests that will carry over into
their play outside school hours.
4. Definitely educating for behavior conditioned by the principles
of good sportsmanship, thus building toward character and
Many different ideas of an adequate physical education program
have existed in the past and once in a while still exist. Some people
have thought of physical education as a recess period during which
.the children were sent outdoors to play; others considered physical
education as a period in which the teachers watched the children to
see that there were no fights; still others considered calisthenics and
deep breathing to be all that was necessary. Fortunately, nearly
all school people realize now that physical education is an oppor-
tunity for achieving many educational goals, including growth in
E. t I.- %1 4
.' 1. ..I :
Physical Education promotes g d health. It also helps children develop
techniques for w king togetherin large and small groups.
Ph'si-- al Educatio prom e g d h It lso.- helps children develop
techniques for working together n lag an sml gro .
t ," "" -'" ;
.. .. ., .., _. :o.
.~.i.__,," r ;..,
PhsclEuainpootsgo elh tasohlscide eeo
tehiqe .o o+n oehrnlag n ml rus
TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
It is assumed that each classroom teacher will direct the physical
education activities of her own group. She may be able to secure
the aid of physical education director in planning her work or in
obtaining equipment. She will want to observe the following points:
1. Plan the physical education period as definitely as the spelling
or arithmetic lesson.
2. Secure the participation of the pupils in choosing the par-
ticular games to be used, but see that new games are learned
at frequent intervals.
3. Keep such simple equipment as is needed in usable condition.
If the school does not already have the equipment needed, con-
sult the principal about obtaining the material from local
school funds or the P.T.A. 'Meanwhile, a trip to the ten cent
store will provide enough material for a beginning. Many
favorite games of, elementary children require no equipment,
or merely a rope or bean bag.
The Program and Time Allotment
A daily period of at least thirty minutes, exclusive of the noon
six. In a properly planned program sufficient time should be pro-
1. The planning period in the classroom, including the changing
2. Proceeding to the playground, gymnasium, or playroom.
3. Participation in the activities of the program as planned for
that day. Not less than twenty minutes should be devoted
to this part of the program.
4. Return to the classroom at the close of period.
5. Discussion of any situations or problems which arose during
the day's play. This discussion may be held on the play-
ground or after the class has returned to the classroom.
The program should include the following types of activity:
1. Directed Play.
2. Small Group Play.
INSTRUCTION IN MUSIC 63
3. Large Group Play.
4. Team Games.
5. Rhythmic Activities.
6. Stunts, Pyramids, and Apparatus Activities.
7. Classroom Games.
Directions for the different types of games, music for rhythm
activities, and helps for the teacher in planning a well-balanced
physical education period are found in the State Department of Edu-
cation Bulletin No. 21, Source Materials for Physical Education in
the Elementary Schools. If this bulletin is not already in the class-
room, the principal can obtain a copy for each teacher. Any teacher
using this bulletin as a guide will find that she can develop a program
that is a pleasure to the pupils and herself as well as an educational
INSTRUCTION IN MUSIC
This outline for the teaching of music in the primary grades is
merely a general guide for teachers. The particular point of attack
in the music program depends (1) upon the previous training, abilities,
and needs of the group of children, and (2) upon the teacher and
her musical experiences. However, lack of formal music training is
no bar to a most worthwhile music program. What could be more
valuable to a school system than a singing program, for a singing
school is a happy school! And every teacher can teach songs she
knows even if she has to "finger out" the melodies on the piano-
at least until she gains more confidence in her own ability. Or per-
haps, some older, talented children may assist her in this work.
Every teacher can develop, also, a sense of rhythm through ac-
tivities which will not only be useful in later music work, but will
be enjoyable as well, and will react favorably upon the health of
the participants. Listening lessons, too, can be carried on and are
particularly valuable in an integrated program. The teacher, with
little or no music background, can carry on appreciation work with
the help of books.
Finally and again, every teacher can give her pupils many worth-
while music experiences.
TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
The state adopted textbooks are:
Grade 1 The Music Hour, Teacher only.
Grade 2 The Music Hour, First Book.
Grade 3 The Music Hour, Second Book.
Elementary Teacher's Manual.
Music makes life richer, fuller, and more enjoyable.
Music serves as a safe emotional outlet.
Music is useful as a recreation for an individual and for a group.
Music is a means for self-expression.
The values listed above must have first consideration in any
program and they must be evident in every music lesson. Often
they are lost sight of in the zeal to develop skills in reading music.
While these skills have a place in any worthy music program, they
are but a means to an end-a lovely song. Children must first
have much pleasurable experiences with music before they will desire
to read music.
These steps are suggested for an elementary music program:
Step I Building music experiences a continual process
Step II Building reading readiness for music by observing,
by ear and eye, music factors-the common time and
tone problems and the symbols used to express them.
Step III Reading music-a step which may well be delayed until
the fourth grade.
STEP I-BUILDING MUSic EXPERIENCES
Five different types of experiences are recommended for building
up a love for the enjoyment in music.
1. Singing songs by rote
a. Child-like songs
The type of songs selected depends upon the age and ma-
INSTRUCTION IN MUSIC
turity of the children. For the first grade, especially where
there is no kindergarten, the song experiences rhust be
child-like, beginning with the interests of the group-home,
family, pete, etc. THE MUSIC HOUR IN THE KINDERGARTEN
AND FIRST GRADE contains many such songs. However,
there are suitable rote songs from other sources which
the teacher may use. In the second and third grades,
songs can be found in the FIRST and SECOND books of the
series to meet the new and expanded interests of the
b. Songs of permanent value
Every small child wants to sing adult songs and there are
many simple ones which he can learn readily. These per-
manent songs have lasting value and can be enjoyed by
the whole family. A song repertory may be started in the
first grade and may be enlarged each year. The list should
include such patriotic songs as-The Star Spangled Banner,
America, and America the Beautiful. Children listen to
and partially learn these tunes from the radio. War songs
also appeal to.children. Often The Marine Hymn, The
Caisson's Song, Anchors Aweigh, and The Army Air Corps
Song are sung by children before they enter school.
Fun songs have a definite place in every school pro-
gram. A Frog Went A-Courtin', 0 Susanna, Polly Wolly
Doodle with its many stanzas not found in print, Old
Chisholm Trail, Turkey in the Straw, and even Short'nin'
Bread can be learned by first grade children.
Other folk songs may include those of Stephen Foster,
particularly Old Folks at Home, Indian tunes, and Euro-
pean melodies. Delightful numbers are the religious se-
lections, such as Stainer's A Child's Evensong, Rheinberger's
Morning Prayer, and Handel's Thanks for Music. All are
included in THE MUSIC HOUR, the Second Book.
Standard works of musical merit are most valuable in
building appreciations. Bach's melody called Slumber
Song, Schumann's Soldiers' March in 'the FIRST BOOK
and the yodel from Emmett's Lullaby, Saint Saen's The
66 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
Swan from "The Carnival of Animals," Sweet and Low
and Mozart tunes in the Second Book are good eaxmples.
Music if wisely chosen can be a large contributor to the
integration of activities. In the study of home, a first
grade topic, it is preferable to use such family favorites as
Home on the Range, or Old MacDonald Had a Farm for
these enrich the home life, than to sing isolated textbook
songs about baby or daddy. The same may be said of a
unit on the community life.
From the first, tone quality must be stressed. All child-
ren's voices are light, high, and flute-like when correctly
used. No loud tones should be tolerated for they are in-
jurious to the delicate vocal cords. Excellent discussions
on the child voice may be found in the Music Hour in the
Kindergarten and First Grade and in the Elementary
Many children do not seem to be able to sing in tune
when they first come to school. A few drills such as sing-
ing calls back to a teacher as, "I'm here" and "Good morn-
ing" (c, a) will easily tune up the majority of the group.
It is needless to discuss further the treatment of off-pitch
voices, erroneously called monotones, for many excellent
helps are given in the books listed in the previous paragraph.
2. Expressing rhythms
Equally important as singing is the development of a
feeling for rhythm in every individual. Four types of drills
are suggested, the first two being adequately treated in the
state bulletin, No. 21, Physical Education in the Elementary
Schools, to which the teacher should refer.
a. Fundamental rhythms which involve the large muscles of
the body-Marching, running, skipping, stepping, gallop-
ing; playing elephant, fairies, ponies, giants.
b. Singing games and folk dances.
c. Meter Drills-Drums, rhythm sticks, and other toy per-
INSTRUCTION IN MUSIC 67
cussion instruments are valuable in establishing a feeling
for meter. It is well to accent the first beat of 2/4, 3/4,
4/4 and 6/8 measure at the beginning of the drill but later
the secondary accent, 3 in 4/4 and 4 in 6/8, must have
attention. Toy orchestras primarily develop meter and
they are useful so long as the activity is spontaneous. Long
drills for performances are not advisable for the toy or-
chestra then becomes a stunt, and furthermore, too much
time is consumed on only one of the many needed experi-
ences. Refer to The Kindergarten and First Grade Book
for directions for using a toy orchestra.
d. Stepping note values in 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 time.
While this drill really belongs to building reading readi-
ness for music under which it will be discussed more fully,
yet it does have a definite place in rhythm experiences. The
following terms are used to designate the step to be used:
A quarter is walk.
An eighth is run.
A half is step-bend.
A dotted half is step, point, point.
A whole is step, point, point, point.
The piano may be used to develop these steps. For example,
many chords of quarter notes may be played followed by
eighths, then the half, dotted half, and whole notes inter-
spersed with the walk and run.
3. Listening activities
Integration provides the best avenue of approach for any
appreciation work. The General Extension Division, Univer-
sity of Florida, can supply for the shipping costs only, many
records which may be used in connection with a unit of work.
(a topical indexed catalogue is available). The Elementary
Teacher's Manual contains good suggestions for listening
lessons. In addition, a few general principles are given for
68 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
a. Start with recordings of rhythms which the children can
interpret, as, Schumann's Soldiers March.
b. Use recordings of familiar songs and selections, as, Men-
delssohn's Spring Song.
c. When introducing new material, use descriptive music or
music which tells a story, as, Tschaikowski's Nutcracker
d. Use selections played by a solo instrument when no story
is involved, as, Saint Saens' The Swan.
e. Guide the pupils in listening for mood, rhythm, melody, in
all new works.
4. Playing instruments
Playing instruments from toys, such as drums and xylo-
Sphones, to real instruments, even to fingering out tunes on
the piano by ear, are valuable experiences. A child should be
encouraged to go informally to the piano or other instrument
(a tonette can be used for this purpose) and try to locate on
the instrument the tones he sings. Any skill and confidence
he develops will be of great assistance to him later.
5. Creating Songs
Begin creative work by singing short sentences about objects
seen on a trip, or interesting things in the room, or of Christ-
mas gifts. Later nursery jingles may have tunes added, and
finally short poems composed by the group can have a "home-
made" melody added. In the latter, create the tune phrase by
phrase, the pupils accepting or rejecting until the entire song
is approved. If the teacher is unable to work out the nota-
tion, the time, note values, and location of the tune on the
staff (syllables are a great help) perhaps a musician friend
may assist. And even if this is impossible, the activity is
most worthy for it is the process of creating that is more im-
portant than the product.
STEP II-BULDING READING READINESS FOR MUSIC BY OBSERVING
BY EAR AND EYE TONE AND TIME PROBLEMS
All experiences under STEP I can be rich contributors in
INSTRUCTION IN MUSIC
building reading readiness. In the first grade, pupils may ob-
serve by ear the trend of the melody, the long and short tones,
meters, and they may have experiences in stepping note values.
In the second and third grades, these elements may also be ob-
served by eye, as it is advisable for the children to follow the
tunes in their texts. In this work, the pupils must be made
aware that there are two problems, the time which gives both
meter and length of sounds, and tone which gives the highness
and lowness of these sounds. Each problem needs separate drill.
1. Time problems to be observed in rote songs
a. Meter: Discover that 2/4 and 4/4 marches; 3/4 and 6/8
swings and that 6/8 is a swing-march.
Discover that the first note after the bar is accented and
that it is count 1.
Discover that the lower number in the time signature as the
8 in 6/8 is the beat.
b. Note values:
Review the steps for the quarter, half, whole, dotted
half and eighth notes. In addition, build up a feeling for
the dotted quarter followed by the eighth in 2/4, 3/4, and
4/4 measures as-Step-bend, run. The dotted eighth fol-
lowed by a sixteenth note in the same measure signatures
might indicate a skip.
If the teacher is unable to work out these steps satis-
factorily, she may always refer to these rhythms found in
familiar songs and apply them to the new one. For example,
the dotted quarter followed by the eighth is found in both
America, and America the Beautiful, while the dotted eighth
and sixteenth is found in The Star Spangled Banner."
Select and teach by rote the observation songs in the
Music Hour -First Book in grade two, and those in
Second Book in grade three. Step the note values as pre-
viously suggested. Apply these same steps to the reading
and study songs. The tune is not necessarily used, for the
For further description of the ways of catching the rhythm of notes
see Coleman, S. N., Creative Music in the Home, Valpariso, Ind., Myers, 1928.
TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
words of the song may be read in rhythm. Much drill in
feeling the rhythm of the note values facilitates greatly the
process of reading music suggested for the fourth grade.
It is the general opinion that primary children should
learn to feel and reproduce all common rhythms for they are
more readily developed than tone problems, and that they
should not be delayed beyond the third grade. There are suf-
ficient songs in the texts, including the simpler rote songs,
which will help develop these skills.
2. Tone problems found in rote songs
Tone problems must also be introduced through the ob-
servation song by teaching the syllables by rote. Both the
tonic chord (do, mi, so, do) and the scale (do, re, mi, fa, so,
.la, ti, do) and the descending chord and scale as well, must be
recognized readily by ear and eye, and later portions of the
tonic chord and scale can also be identified. A feeling for
the "home-tone" do must be developed. Other commonly
used intervals as fa, la, do, etc. need sufficient drill. In this
way the pupil builds- up relationships in his mind. For
example when he sees do, mi, so (located differently for each
key-in E and E flat--st line, 2nd line, 3rd line; while in
F-1st space, 2nd space, 3rd space), he will instantly think
the correct tones. Likewise, when he hears tones sung without
syllables, or played on the piano, he immediately attaches
the correct syllable names to the tones. Again, much drill in
building this tonal vocabulary, through singing syllables to
many songs, will make the reading process much easier. If
the actual reading of music is delayed until the fourth grade,6
then the reading and study songs could become observation
material for they would be the most usable ones for additional
The symbols used in the time and tone problems such as
staff, lines, and spaces by number names, notes, a few rests, sharp,
flat, bar, measure, and double bar should be learned only as
there is need for them.
'For a discussion of syllable reading, see Mursell, J. L., Music In Amer-
foan Bohools. Silver Burdett Co., 1943 p. 247.
INSTRUCTION IN MUSIC 71
STEP III-READING MUSIC
Many music teachers recommend that this step start in the
fourth grade but those teachers who do not consider it advisable
to delay the step may follow the procedure of the music HouR
texts, and should refer to the lesson plans given in ELEMENTARY
1. Do your children like to sing? Do they ask to sing at the
free periods during the day? Do they sing their songs in
activities outside the school?
2. Do your children have a large repertory of songs which the
family can sing?
3. Is there growth in the group's appreciation for songs or are
the "hill-billy" and popular songs preferred?
4. What type of radio program do they prefer?
Some Guiding Principles
1. Every lesson should have songs for pleasure.
2. Many beautiful songs are preferably learned by rote than
labored over by the note method.
3. Sing all songs with a "live" tone but not a loud one.
4. Music must always be an enjoyable activity. If it is not, the
task may be too difficult, or the children are not properly
prepared for it, or the teaching procedure may not be
72 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
INSTRUCTION IN PRACTICAL AND FINE ARTS
When the practical and fine arts were first introduced into the
elementary school curriculum, their purpose was largely that of
giving training in cultural tastes or of providing relief from the
drudgery of the skill subjects. Frequently the teacher did not
expect anything of real importance to happen during such periods.
Indeed, if they were included at all in the daily program, they
served only to provide busy work or to put zest into an otherwise
colorless day. At the other extreme were a few teachers who had
received advanced training in the techniques of art; accordingly,
they became concerned with art for its own sake and consequently
spent most of the time in improving the skills and techniques of
Today there is need for a changed conception on the part of
teachers if experiences in the practical and fine arts are to become
vital for the children. Experiences in these areas have often been
guided by specialists who knew the subject but did not always know
children. The alert classroom teacher of today has caught a vision
of what art can do for her children and is enjoying these creative
activities along with them.
OBJECTIVES OF AN ART PROGRAM
As is indicated above, art work in the elementary school should
make a definite contribution to the growth of the child. Bulletin
No. 9, A Guide to Improved Practice in Florida Elementary Schools,
contains a full treatment of the objectives to be achieved. It
stresses the need for careful planning of work both in the direct
teaching phase (the thirty or forty minute period once a week to
which reference is made below) and to the way in which art ex-
periences form a part of the integrated phase of teaching.
If the art program of the school is to make its maximum contri-
bution to child growth it should attempt to do the following things:
1. Broaden the social understanding of the child
2. Develop necessary functional skills
8. Promote reflective thinking on the part of the individual
Experiences in art should include not only appreciation of pictures but
also creative activities in many forms-drawing, painting, modeling, building.
74 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
4. Develop control over self and one's relationship to his
5. Develop creativeness
6. Provide the basis for avocational and in some cases for voca-
If the foregoing objectives are to be realized it is clear that the
art program in the elementary grades will foster the development
of an understanding of art, opportunities for the expression of ideas
by means of visual arrangement, enough skills to express these ideas,
an application of whatever is known about art by the individual in
everything he does and in his surroundings, and some appreciation
for the work of artists and the art of the present and the past. Such
a program must have a motivation which can be used and be under-
stood by every school and each group of children.
The state-adopted texts in art are-THE ART APPRECIATION
TEXTBOOKS. The series emphasizes a developmental program
and sets up objectives for each grade in color, design, drawing,
illustration, construction experiences, lettering, art in dress, room
arrangement, picture appreciation and historical art. There are
two editions of these books. Each child should have the Pupil's Book
for his grade, which explains art principles and facts by means of
text and illustrations and suggests a way for the child to use this
information in creating his own compositions. The Teacher's Edition
for each grade includes all the material in the child's book and in
addition has a plan of organization for each topic or unit of work,
explaining the objectives, stating methods, procedures, and points
to be used in the evaluation of the child's work. It suggests addi-
tional activities ard shows how art aids in the general development
of the child. The lessons in each unit of workare type lessons which
can be used as guides by the child, allowing him to make individual
variations as he applies the information given in solving his own
problems. If all the units in the book are used during the year, the
art program will give the child a well-balanced program of
Needs for art expression grow out of the other subject areas
INSTRUCTION IN ART
such as reading, health, geography, history, or science. The child
needs to model, to construct, to draw, and to use color and design.
To feel satisfied with his art expressions, the child must each year
grow in his skills, habits understandings and attitudes. Guidance
for this continual development is provided. Simple but basic in-
formation is presented for each unit or topic of the art program
in the first grade and additional information is added at each suc-
ceeding grade level. A teacher who finds the children needing in-
formation from one of the books other than the one designated for
their grade should use that book. The textbooks give the fullest
help when used as a series.
Through the continuous use of the series, art concepts are de-
veloped over a period of time. For example, variety as the quality
which adds interest to a composition, is referred to in the child's
text in Book III, p. 32. This quality has been mentioned in Book
II, p. 24 as difference in color and size. The same quality was re-
ferred to in Book I, p. 20. In the books above Book III, variety is
mentioned many times. Some of the other concepts developed are-
pattern, proportion, repetition, contrast, balance, and rhythm. Art
terms appear in italics as they are introduced in the text.
Pupils learn to look for art qualities in book illustrations, they
learn not to copy pictures and illustrations, but to determine how
they are planned. They become familiar with art terms in print,
they learn to follow directions, and they learn to think about art
Technique is considered as a means to an end in the primary
grades with a variety of ways of working suggested in the inter-
SUGGESTED TEACHING TECHNIQUES
Each week the teacher should teach a definite art lesson. This
lesson may be 20, 30, or 40 minutes long.
For the teaching lesson, the teacher should plan well. She should
read the material in the pupil's book, then the lesson plan in the
teacher's edition. She should ask herself these questions:
1. How much of the text in the child's book can they read for
2. How much should she read to them?
TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
3. What might be used in another lesson?
4. What questions should she ask about the illustration?
5. Will any review be necessary?
6. Are there new words and concepts to explain?
7. Will she need to have any child illustrate on the board?
8. Will she need to draw on the board to illustrate further the
material in the textbook?
9. How can she relate the art lesson to any other subject area?
10. Shall the children follow the suggestion in the last paragraph
or sentence or will it be wise to make a suggestion more
closely related to their interests?
11. What suggestions will she need to make to the children to
get them started drawing or working?
12. What help will the children need while they are working?
13. What points will be used in the evaluation by the children
after they have finished?
14. What activities will follow this lesson ?
In the other subject areas, opportunities for art expression will
occur. These may be making illustrations, friezes, murals, booklets,
construction problems or other experiences. In these the child will
use what he has been taught about arrangement, color design, and
It must be understood that the textbooks are not copy books. To
avoid this use, the teacher should collect the books after the discus-
sion part of the lesson and before the children begin their individual
work. The children will keep their books for lettering, for the ap-
preciation studies, and for following the directions for construction
The topics do not have to be used in the. order they are given in
the textbooks. The teacher should use first the one which seems
most simple or the one which the children need first. Follow with
the other topics as needed. Each topic will probably be used several
times during the year for a fuller understanding of art for review.
INSTRUCTION IN ART 77
WORK IN PRACTICAL ARTS
It cannot be urged too strongly that all pupils in the elementary
schools have access to the simple tools in common use about the
school, home, and community. In urban schools, making provision
for experiences in the use of hammers and saws, garden tools, and
other simple equipment is more difficult than in rural areas. An en-
riched program in science or social studies requires a certain amount
of activity related to the tools which man has used in satisfying his
basic needs of food, shelter and clothing. Both the practical and
fine arts can in this manner become an integral part of "large unit"
teaching which is discussed fully in Bulletin No. 2, Ways to Better
Instruction in Florida Schools.
LIST OF STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
PUBLICATIONS FREQUENTLY NEEDED BY
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHERS
No. 2 Ways to Bettep Instruction in Florida Schools. 1939. 340p.
No. 4 Florida's School Health Program. Revised, 1943. 143p. 35e.
-No. 9 A Guide to Improved Practice in Florida Elementary
Schools. 1940. 308p. 50c.
No. 10 A Guide to a Functional Program in the Secondary School.
1940. 491p. 50c.
No. 21 Source Materials for Physical Education in Elementary
Schools. Revised, 1941. 375p. 50c.
No. 22c School Tuberculosis Education, A Guide for Administrators
and Source Unit for Teachers. 1943. (Mimeo.) 94p. Free.
No. 22k Suggestions for teaching the Actions and Effects of Alcohol
and Other Narcotics. 1941. 138p. 25c.
No. 26 Arithmetic in the Elementary School. 1942. 133p. 25e.
No. 27 State Adopted Library Books for Florida Schools. 1942.
No. 29 Everyday Living. 1942. 254p. (Grades 7 and 8). Free to
No. 30 'Social Studies in the Elementary School.
78 TEACHING IN PRIMARY GRADES
No. 46 A Guide to Teaching in Primary Grades.
No. 47 A Guide to Teaching in Intermediate Grades.
Suggestions for Bible Reading in Florida Public Schools
1940. 20p. 5c.
Forestry. 1937. '91p. 25c.
Geography. 1936. 32p. 10c.
Minerals. 1936. 20p. 10c.
Sea Resources. 1936. 22p. 10.
Florida School Laws. 1939. 455p. Indexed. $1.00.
Spanish in Elementary Schools
Spanish for Florida Elementary Schools. 1942. 35p. Free
FLORIDA SCHOOL BULLETIN
Vol. IV, No. 2 Florida School Standards. Free.
Vol. IV, No. 9 State-Adopted Free Textbooks for Use in Elementary
and Secondary Schools. Free.
Vol. VI, No. 2 Library Books-(Supplementary List).
Vol. VI, No. 3 Library Manual for Florida Schools. Free.
Any teacher who wishes a bulletin for professional use may obtain
one free of charge by applying, through the school principal, to the
county superintendent or-a person designated by him, such as the
county supervisor. A teacher may obtain individual copies for her
personal use by purchasing them directly from the State Department
of Education, Tallahassee, Florida.