Skip Along Grade 1 Book 1 (Alice and Jerry Basic Reading Program)
Stories in the four Grade 1 Preprimers begin with 3-4 word sentences and are typically one-half page of type, coupled with a half-page picture. Font size is large, about 18 points and classic style. The preprimers also employ rebus “helps.” Words too difficult for a beginning reader are shown as small pictures (barn, shadow, door, horse, etc.) incorporated into the text. Sentence length increases through the preprimers and towards the end of Day In and Day Out, sentences have increased to 5-9 words with 10 sentences or so on some pages. There is a full page of text every 2-3 pages. The Workbook for the preprimers provides word recognition and practice, handwriting practice (traditional manuscript; 5/8” lines with dotted middles), and recall questions. The Teacher Edition has lesson plans which include reading assignments and use of flashcards (make your own) as well as reduced copies of workbook pages with guidelines for their usage.
This carefully structured reading program was first published in 1957 and retains its pre-politically correct flavor. Each unit is a series of stories, with multiple units in each book. New words are introduced in the “Presentation Units.” In the “Absorption Units” that follow, students read additional stories, reviewing and reinforcing words recently presented. New vocabulary is constantly practiced and strengthened. Grade 1 starts with four Preprimers which feature short sentences, easy words, and lots of delightful nostalgic illustrations. Rebus illustrations (small drawings that substitute for words too difficult for a beginning reader) are incorporated. Grade 1 Semester 2 and Grades 2-3 (with 3 Readers each) follow a pattern. For each grade level, the first reader can be used for: vocabulary review; independent reading; to challenge average readers; or to build up proficiency. The second reader presents most of the new vocabulary. The third reader applies vocabulary to new content, staying in the reading level. The Fourth Reader, Singing Wheels, is about pioneer life. Stories in the Fifth Reader, Engine Whistles, highlight trans¬portation and inventions. Workbooks provide story recall questions, word recognition, and handwriting practice in the early grades but transition into reading skill development with some basic phonics reinforcement. There are instances where the workbooks and the readers seem to be misaligned, however; the concepts and copywork are at the same level as the readers even with the mismatches. We have to chalk this up to the charm of a vintage reproduction as it is something that cannot be changed. It doesn't take away from the style of teaching. TEs (where available) provide lesson plans and answers in early grades. Workbooks without TEs have some teacher instructions but no answers.