Workbook for Five-and-a-Half Club Grade 3 (Alice and Jerry Basic Reading Program)
In Grade 3 there are three readers. If I Were Going can be used in four ways for different student purposes: as a quick review of the vocabulary from the previous year; as independent reading for accomplished readers; to provide new challenges for average readers; and as a regular teaching book for less proficient students. Through the Green Gate presents the bulk of the new vocabulary. Five-and-a-Half Club is a parallel reader designed to apply vocabulary to new content and to develop confidence, power, and pleasure in reading by supplying content well within the range of a pupils reading ability.
Grade 3 Workbooks provide writing lines with no dotted middles and emphasize reading skills and comprehension along with phonics and language arts skills. There are some informal tests at this level. In the workbooks for If I Were Going and Through the Green Gate there are brief teacher instructions along with test instructions and answers provided in the front and back covers of the workbook (very small print). There are no answers for these two workbooks. There is a reduced-page answer key (TE) for the Five-and-a-Half Club Workbook in the TE but no lesson plans.
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.