Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Blue Back Speller

The American Spelling Book: The Blue Backed Speller

The Blue Back Speller was the foundation of American Literacy for over a century. Today every classroom, school district, and municipality use a multitude of reading, spelling, and language arts curriculum, that can be costly and seldom aligned. The benefit of The Blue Back Speller is it is a complete speller, not parsed into a multiple of watered down books. A student had all the vocabulary they would ever need to learn in a single source. Today we would call The Blue Backed Speller, differentiated instruction, common core state vocabulary standards, aligned curriculum, research based, best practice, and common sense. 200,000,000 million Americans learned to read and write using The Blue Backed Speller and The McGuffey Eclectic Spelling Book. Today we spend billions and billions on language arts curriculum and testing and a simple speller taught America to read for almost 200 years! Sean Taylor M.Ed


From Captivity to Fame or The Life of George Washington Carver
"As a boy, Carver spends most of his free time "roving the woods, and acquainting himself with every queer flower and peculiar weed" he finds, filling his pockets with insects and other interesting natural artifacts. At night, after his work is completed, Carver teaches himself to read and write by memorizing "an old blue-back speller by the dim light of the burning logs in the fire place". When he finishes with the speller at age ten, Carver leaves his home and walks eight miles to the nearest town with a school in order to satisfy his "continuous desire of acquiring knowledge," spending "the first few nights in an old horse barn" until he makes "friends with a Mr. and Mrs. Watkins, who adopted him into their family" 
Noah Webster's Blue Backed Speller
As a teacher, he had come to dislike American elementary schools. They could be overcrowded, with up to seventy children of all ages crammed into one-room schoolhouses. They had poor underpaid staff, no desks, and unsatisfactory textbooks that came from England. Webster thought that Americans should learn from American books, so he began writing a three volume compendium, A Grammatical Institute of the English Language. The work consisted of a speller (published in 1783), a grammar (published in 1784), and a reader (published in 1785). His goal was to provide a uniquely American approach to training children. His most important improvement, he claimed, was to rescue "our native tongue" from "the clamour[12] of pedantry" that surrounded English grammar and pronunciation. He complained that the English language had been corrupted by the British aristocracy, which set its own standard for proper spelling and pronunciation. Webster rejected the notion that the study of Greek and Latin must precede the study of English grammar. The appropriate standard for the American language, argued Webster, was "the same republican principles as American civil and ecclesiastical constitutions." This meant that the people-at-large must control the language; popular sovereignty in government must be accompanied by popular usage in language.Wiki
The Speller was arranged so that it could be easily taught to students, and it progressed by age. From his own experiences as a teacher, Webster thought the Speller should be simple and gave an orderly presentation of words and the rules of spelling and pronunciation. He believed students learned most readily when he broke a complex problem into its component parts and had each pupil master one part before moving to the next. Ellis argues that Webster anticipated some of the insights currently associated with Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development. Webster said that children pass through distinctive learning phases in which they master increasingly complex or abstract tasks. Therefore, teachers must not try to teach a three-year-old how to read; they could not do it until age five. He organized his speller accordingly, beginning with the alphabet and moving systematically through the different sounds of vowels and consonants, then syllables, then simple words, then more complex words, then sentences.[13] Wiki
The speller was originally titled The First Part of the Grammatical Institute of the English Language. Over the course of 385 editions in his lifetime, the title was changed in 1786 to The American Spelling Book, and again in 1829 to The Elementary Spelling Book. Most people called it the "Blue-Backed Speller" because of its blue cover, and for the next one hundred years, Webster's book taught children how to read, spell, and pronounce words. It was the most popular American book of its time; by 1837 it had sold 15 million copies, and some 60 million by 1890—reaching the majority of young students in the nation's first century. Its royalty of a half-cent per copy was enough to sustain Webster in his other endeavors. It also helped create the popular contests known as spelling bees.Wiki

Coming Soon? 2012

MR.TAYLOR'S MODERN ECLECTIC PROGRESSIVE SPELLERS

MR.TAYLOR'S MODERN ECLECTIC PRIMARY SPELLER 

K-3 SPELLER

  1. Basic Phonics Primer 
  2. 30 FLUENCY DRILLS
  3. ANTHOLOGY OF CLASSIC PRIMARY POETRY
  4. PRINT AND CURSIVE PRACTICE TEMPLATE
  5. 3,500 HIGH FREQUENCY ENGLISH WORD LIST
  6. 180 DAILY GRADE LEVEL VOCABULARY LESSONS
  7. 180 DAILY MATH VOCABULARY LESSONS
  8. 180 DAILY LANGUAGE ARTS VOCABULARY LESSONS
  9. 180 DAILY SCIENCE VOCABULARY LESSONS
  10. ACADEMIC MATH GLOSSARY
  11. ACADEMIC SCIENCE GLOSSARY
  12. ACADEMIC LANGUAGE ARTS GLOSSARY 
  13. PLUS FUN EXTRAS


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4-6 SPELLER 


  1. 40 FLUENCY DRILLS
  2. ANTHOLOGY OF CLASSIC INTERMEDIATE POETRY
  3. PRINT AND SPENCERIAN CURSIVE PRACTICE TEMPLATE
  4. 5,500 HIGH FREQUENCY ENGLISH WORD LIST
  5. 180 DAILY GRADE LEVEL VOCABULARY LESSONS
  6. 180 DAILY MATH VOCABULARY LESSONS
  7. 180 DAILY LANGUAGE ARTS VOCABULARY LESSONS
  8. 180 DAILY SCIENCE VOCABULARY LESSONS
  9. ACADEMIC MATH GLOSSARY
  10. ACADEMIC SCIENCE GLOSSARY
  11. ACADEMIC READING GLOSSARY
  12. ACADEMIC GRAMMAR GLOSSARY
  13. ACADEMIC LATIN & GREEK GLOSSARY
  14. PLUS FUN EXTRAS

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7-9 SPELLER


  1. ANTHOLOGY OF CLASSIC INTERMEDIATE POETRY
  2. PRINT AND CURSIVE PRACTICE TEMPLATE
  3. 7,500 HIGH FREQUENCY ENGLISH WORD LIST
  4. 180 DAILY GRADE LEVEL VOCABULARY LESSONS
  5. 180 DAILY MATH VOCABULARY LESSONS
  6. 180 DAILY LANGUAGE ARTS VOCABULARY LESSONS
  7. 180 DAILY SCIENCE VOCABULARY LESSONS
  8. ACADEMIC MATH GLOSSARY
  9. ACADEMIC SCIENCE GLOSSARY
  10. ACADEMIC READING GLOSSARY
  11. ACADEMIC GRAMMAR GLOSSARY
  12. ACADEMIC SOCIAL STUDIES GLOSSARY
  13. ACADEMIC LATIN & GREEK GLOSSARY
  14. SAT VOCABULARY GLOSSARY
  15. POETRY GLOSSARY
  16. PLUS FUN EXTRAS
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