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RAYMOND A. KENT
DEAN OF THE COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS AND
IN COOPERATION WITH
MARTHA C. OLSEN
SUPERVISOR OF PRIMARY GRADES
This book is planned for the third and fourth grades. The authors believe its materials recognize more definitely and use more effectively than has yet been done the child's practical interest in numbers; that is, the use of numbers as related to his every-day world. Another vital principle which is employed is the child's newly developed interest and ability in reading. Especially is Part One liberally supplied with the story approach to number concepts and with much illustrative material.
It is a truism in education that children learn most easily and effectively when they feel a pressing need for the matter to be learned—when they require it to further some desired activity. The dominant interest and activity of children of these grades is, of course, play. True, most children enjoy the manipulation of numbers just as mental activity. But if number can also be tied up with play situations, if the child is brought to feel the need of number in connection with his play interests, the motivation is immensely increased.
Advantage is constantly taken of this factor. Throughout the volume there is an abundance of activities involving play. Number is made naturally and inevitably to connect with the successful carrying out of the play. Other interests used are the life of the home, with its activities and relationships; also the work of the school.
Careful attention has been given to supplying an abundance of practice material; for even with motivation assured, practice is
still necessary where skill is required. Much repetition, under varying conditions, is provided in the basic operations, especially for the more difficult combinations.
Another principle that has guided in the preparation of this text is that expressed in the growing insistence by educators that text-books should be as nearly SELF-TEACHING as they can be made. This is no reflection on the teacher. The best teacher is the one who makes herself least necessary to the pupil. The best text-book is the one that most effectively helps bring this about. The authors have tried to make the materials of the present volume so understandable to the child that the teacher's task of explanation and help will be reduced to a minimum.
Acknowledgment is here made for many valuable suggestions and criticisms from the following persons: Theda Gildemeister of the State Teachers College, Winona, Minnesota; Mary Melrose, General Supervisor, Board of Education, Cleveland, Ohio; Clara B. Baker, of the National Kindergarten and Elementary College, Evanston; Frances Smith, formerly of State Teachers College, Winona, Minnesota; Eva A. Smedley, of the Evanston, Illinois, Public Schools.
Much care has been used in the preparation of the TEACHERS' MANUAL to accompany this volume. Although moderate in size the Manual contains many practical suggestions for the teaching of elementary number and for the successful presentation of the various topics of the text. The additional practice material contained in it will save much time for busy teachers.