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A Project in Carpentering
Allie K. Higgins
(Book rights reserved)
E have no tools and no wood, but we built a Then the children asked to read stories with these words,
bird-house. and short sentences were written on the board:
W My class of second grade pupils is made up
largely of boys. They have taken a real interest "The pigs are in the pen."
in the study of birds and their methods of building their "There are some animals in the farmyard."
nests in the vines and trees in our school-yard.
When discussing with them the use and pleasure that "The mother and children are in the house."
birds are to us, the question arose — how can we show the "A flag is in the house garden."
birds that we love them? "The farmer made barrels for the apples."
Various ways were mentioned. To make them a house' “The train was made by Donald,” etc.
to live in, was one way suggested.
But we have no tools and no wood. Who can think of
a way we can do it? The second grade has suggested making a reading book Various ones offered to bring a tool and some nails from for the first grade from this. It will be another project home. One brought a large wooden box for a work bench. coming directly out of the first, and will have the greatest Several boys went with me to two of the department stores value.
to ask for wooden wrapping boards, which were very kindly The materials at the disposal of the children for this given us. It looked now as if we had overcome our greatwork were: blocks, boards, sticks, paper, scissors, weaving est difficulties. materials, clay, paste, thumb tacks, toy animals, milk We next discussed our plan, and decided we would build bottle tops, collar buttons, boxes, clips, paper doll patterns, a one-story apartment house to accommodate four families. and as large a place on the floor as they needed. As our The color was to be brown with white trimmings. The desks are movable we could easily meet the demand for location was to be near our grade tree and in sight of our
window. The only rent we charged was that the tenants The interest which the children had in this project was sing us pretty songs while we worked. Then came a keen, intense, vital. All the discussing and contriving and discussion of what we should name our apartment house. doing came out of their souls, and when they themselves The names of various apartment houses in our city were discovered that a reading lesson could be made from it, mentioned; in this way the children noticed that many of the desire to read better than they had been reading from them are named for well-known people. They were told their books was quickened.
of one that was named “The Wilson," from our President, To quote from "The Play Way,” by H. Caldwell Cook: the leading man of our country. What do we call the "Interest must be the starting point in all we do, or we leading man in our public school system?” was asked. shall not do well. It is 'what matters,' the one thing One little boy answered, “Our Superintendent." Two of needful. Once there, you have only to do as interest bids. them were very proud t) say they knew his name. Su they. The operation of interest is Play."
were asked how they would like to name the bird house Let us see to it that we understand the interests of in honor of our superintendent, and the vote in favor was children more intelligently and that we make interest a unanimous. So “The Chandler” was the name given it., center of correlation in all our teaching.
With our plans now made we were ready to begin work.
A Patriotic Project
FEBRUARY'S GREAT MEN
I made a paper model the exact size. The size of each part was drawn on the board, the children doing the measuring. These were drawn on the wrapping boards by the teacher, the children doing the sawing. I also had to assist them in nailing the parts together. Sand-papering the rough edges and the entire post furnished work to many of them. Others assisted in digging the hole for the post, and still others did the painting. When the house was completed, climbing nasturtiums were planted around the post to add to the appearance and to furnish the birds with some seeds later on to eat.
This project gave the entire class pleasure and new experiences. Lessons in other subjects grew out of it. Perhaps its greatest value has been the part it has played in reforming a very troublesome boy. He was the leader in getting materials together and did the best work, and the fact that he could do something well has seemed to arouse his interest in other subjects, and so far I see a decided improvement in his work and behavior, which I trust and believe will carry over.
\EBRUARY brings the birthdays of Edison, 'Lincoln,
Washington and Longfellow. Thus we have rich material for history and literature. Why not
correlate with handwork? The children will delight in making booklets for February's great men. Let us tell you about our booklets.
We chose light brown paper, 94 x 127, and folded this for our booklet cover. Out of dark brown paper we cut the title of our booklet and pasted it on the cover in this way:
Spelling Project for Grade II
Lucile Hazard The teacher prints forty spelling words upon the board. The children hunt for these words in discarded Second Readers. Each child cuts out the words he finds and mounts them upon a card. He cuts out a picture and places it at the top. The children take these cards home and write the words. They are asked to cut words from old newspapers and bring them to school. The children print these words with the rubber stamp set at school.
(The large letters were one inch high and the small ones were one-half inch high.)
We then folded three sheets of manila paper, 9 x 12, for the pages of our booklet. Two "dead heads” made the booklet secure. Many of the pictures used in making the booklet can be purchased from the Perry Pictures Company. Now we shall tell you about the arrangement of this material in our booklet.
After learning all we could about Edison's contributions to the world, we dedicated page three of our booklet to him. At the top of the page the children wrote “Feb. 11." Below this was pasted a picture of Edison and under the picture was written the word "inventor.” Then came a picture of the Edison machine.
Next came the study of Lincoln. Page five was Lincoln's
page. The material on that page was arranged in this also, as she will be able to find many valuable pictures in order:
the educational journals. When the teacher becomes a
contributor, the value of the work is increased in the child's February 12
estimation. Lincoln's picture
There is another method of dealing with the topic, The word "president"
February's Great Men. Perhaps the children would like A picture of the birthplace of Lincoln
to make posters portraying some phase of the study of each A picture of Lincoln studying his lessons before the of these men. Some of these posters have already been fireplace
shown in PRIMARY EDUCATION. The Washington and
Longfellow posters are on page 95 of the February, 1917, Page seven was Washington's page. On this page journal and the Edison poster is on page 97 of the appeared:
February, 1918, journal.
The children who were in the second grade last year February 22
preferred to show Lincoln as a wood-chopper and the A picture of Washington
poster portrays their ideas of him as such. They wished The word "president"
to have Abraham Lincoln's name and the date of his birthA picture of Mount Vernon
day in writing, so the words were cut out in one piece and A picture of Washington as Commander-in-chief are free hand work.
of the American Army
Words of Abraham Lincoln When page nine was finished it contained this material:
(An Exercise for Twelve Children) brabus February 27
First Child Let us recall to mind this day some of the A picture of Longfellow
many immortal words uttered by Abraham Lincoln. The word "poet
These words in their tenderness, sympathy and beautiful A picture of Longfellow's home
simplicity reveal the heart of Abraham Lincoln.
Second Child "A government of the people, by the On acrount of the scarcity of materials and in order to people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth.”
go . pictures belonging on the different pages! They may be Fourth Child Those who deny freedom to others deserve able to find other pictures than those found in our booklets it not for themselves.” and their collection will contribute much to ideas being Fifth Child Let us remember the words uttered by worked out. But how shall we manage the written work President Lincoln in response to a clergyman who ventured on each page?
to say in his presence that he hoped “the Lord was on our Here is a chance for motivation. The words on each side." "I am not at all concerned about that," replied page, as it is worked out, can be written by every member Mr. Lincoln, "for I know the Lord is always on the side of of the class and put up for inspection. The child whose the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that work is accurate and neat will be chosen by the children I and this nation should be on the Lord's side.” to transfer his or her writing into the booklet. Writing is
Sixth Child "Let us at all times remember that all motivated.
American citizens are brothers of a common country and Thus a good booklet can be made, a booklet representing should dwell together in bonds of fraternal feeling." the combined efforts of the children. Material can be con- Seventh Child "Let us have faith that right makes served and money saved without spoiling the enthusiasm might, and in that faith let us, to the end, dare to do our of the pupils. In fact, it may stimulate enthusiasm as each duty, as we understand it.” pupil vies with the other in contributing something worth
Ninth Child “Stand fast to the Union and the old flag." while to the class booklet. The teacher can contribute
(Continued on page 125)
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A MONTHLY JOURNAL FOR PRIMARY TEACHERS Volume XXVII
The Blaming Habit
Primary Teacher, Franklin School, Muscatine, Iowa ID you ever have it, the blaming habit? Are a teacher to sit at a desk, book open in front of her, you justified in it? Might not some one have asking question after question from the book? Have the same criticism regarding your work? What you ever known teachers to not even have an aim for shall we do about it?
any one lesson of the day? On the other hand, have you After the High School has blamed the grammar grades not known teachers who spent time on preparation and for deficiencies in certain lines; after the higher grades were ready to assign certain topics in certain books for have loaded deficiencies on the lower grades, and so on a pupil or pupils to look up and report? No teacher down to the first grade teacher, who, if there is no kinder- can be thinking about her clothes, social engagements, garten, has put all shortcomings on the parents and home; or debts and be doing justice to each pupil, for as sure as what have we done to remedy the evil? The fact that she does, the unprepared pupils will slip through to-day's the above criticism is often justly given makes the work; neither can these pupils secure by a quick review thoughtful, efficient teacher stop and consider whether what was missed, and so these pupils go on with each child knows just what he is required to know that one thing a weak link in the chain. A certain for her grade; though we as teachers are not respon- child got to the eighth grade, where the teacher soon sible for what the child brings to us mentally, we discovered him trying to subtract by beginning at the are responsible for the developing of what he brings left. The seventh grade teacher too was aware of this and for what he has when he leaves us. Just imagine deficiency. Why was he allowed to get as far as the eighth the result if each teacher from the kindergarten and first grade with that wrong method? What stall we say about grades up, knew absolutely that each child had compre- such a condition? Does it not seem probable that some hended and mastered, to the best of his ability, the lessons where - it may be down in the second grade where of each and every day. If the teacher were an efficient one this child learned subtraction without "borrowing”. she would remember that to-day certain ones were not well though he had the answers correct on paper handed in, grounded in the new subject taught and would make conditions or even at the blackboard, he did not know the process? such that those pupils would again have a chance to see Who knows if this child had been taught the value of the same subject in a new guise. This may sound hard, units, tens and hundreds, etc? Had this been made but it is practical, and no teacher has any right to deprive definite and plain he would never have tried to take thouany child of his right to know certain things as part of sands from hundreds and so on. But you ask, “How his work, neither has she any right to send pupils unpre- can a teacher know all these things about every child?” pared to another teacher, who must then be burdened Had each teacher felt that she was responsible for what with the work of the grade below when she needs all her each child has when he leaves her, this boy would time for her own grade.
never, never have reached the eighth grade with such Think what it would mean to have each child, accord- results. Here is little John, who did not have as good ing to his own ability, rooted and grounded in what he a start in life either physically or mentally, as William. has been taught. The teacher ought to hold each child Shall more time be put upon William because he eagerly responsible on every occasion for what he has been taught; absorbs what is taught and makes it part of himself e. g., after the use of the comma has been thoroughly than upon little John? If the fact is true that the test taught, everything written by the pupil should use the of a teacher's ability is not in teaching bright children, comma, otherwise it is wrong for the teacher to accept because they will learn in spite of a teacher, then we see it. Concert work, too often not wisely used, is a good that little John needs all he can get. Shalí it be taken way to hide ignorance of a subject. Who does not remem- for granted that those new words presented to-day sank ber his own experiences? How glad we were, when not as deeply into John's mind as William's and never an prepared, to have every one in the class "yell” out the opportunity made to see just how much is part of John? answer
. My, what a relief! How afraid we were that These opportunities are golden for the good teacher, for we might hear our own name! No teacher can be sure to-morrow she says, “We will make a garden (Children that every child knows the table of sevens if day after in circle) and plant some flowers” (words on paper). day the work is given in concert.
Different children pick as many flowers as they know: Again a teacher may be sure that something is very then comes John's turn, who only picks up two words radically wrong with herself and methods when the greater which he knows. To-morrow John must be given a chance part of a class fails to grasp the point and the recitation to review these two words he knows and also learn a new falls flat; too many times teachers do not take time to one. To-day Bernice does not know bed because she does plan their work, they trust to luck. Have you ever known not know the sound of “b.” The wise teacher immediately