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NOTICES OF BOOKS AND PAMPHLETS.
YOUMANS' CLASS BOOK OF CHEMISTRY :
This is designed as a popular introduction to the science of Chemistry, and to contain all that is necessary for classes in Schools, simplifying and rendering interesting what has been generally considered very dry. Mr. Youmans is the author of the “Chart of Chemistry,"
," which is very highly recommended by Professor Silliman, Dr. Chilton, and other distinguished Chemists. Published by D. APPLETON & Co., New York.
MARSHALL'S BOOK OF ORATORY :
This is a book of selections, for reading and declamation, prepared by E. A. Marshall, for the New York Free Academy. A large portion of its extracts from speeches, are from those of American orators. It contains also, a good selection of dialogues and comic pieces. We are glad to see that the authorship of “Old Grimes” is credited to Albert G. Greene, Esq., of Providence, to whom it really belongs. QUACKENBOSS's First LESSONS IN ENGLISH COMPOSITION :
This is intended for the youngest classes in school, and to teach composition and grammar in connection. The author thinks the treatises in general use, too difficult for beginners, and intends this to supply the deficiency.
LATHAM'S HANDBOOK OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE :
Dr. Latham is well known for the works he has lately published on the English Language. In this work, the results of his studies are published in a more convenient size, for academies and schools. It contains a historical account of the history and different periods of progress of the English language, and illustrates the grammar of the English by frequent references to the corresponding portions of the grammar of other languages, ancient and modern. D. Appleton & Co.
OTAE RHODE ISLAND EDUCATIONAL MAGAZINE will be published monthly. All pamphlets, exchange papers, or communications, should be addressed to E. R. POTTER, Providence, R. I. Letters (post paid) may be directed to Providence or Kingston. Terms, 50 cents per annum, in advance.
EDUCATIONAL MAGAZINE. .
PROVIDENCE, JUNE, 1852.
HINTS TO TEACHERS. [From Mr. Barnard's Report of the
Exercises of the Institute held at Wolcottville, Ct., Sept. 30, 1850.]
[Concluded from page 249.] It should be borne in mind, though that the copy-book is of value, yet its only value is to teach the best forms for letters. To prepare elegant manuscript, elegant letters are of but little importance, compared with even margins, distinct paragraphs, use of capitals, absence of blots, neatness of erasures and interlineations; and in the various writings for business, mere letter-shapes sink into insignificance, if the clerk understands the symmetry of shape, of arrangement, of folding, filing and superscribing all the various papers he must handle—notes, letters, drafts, receipts, orders, bills, accounts, &c.
We never use copies and copy-books for writing after we have left school; why not, then, let school writing be done on paper. The best copy-book for any school is a half quire of paper, and a cheap portfolio; and the best copy for any scholar is miscellaneous writing, supervised by an intelligent, quickeyed teacher. Let it be borne in mind that no labor-saving device is intended in any of these suggestions. The true teacher must work.
4. Whenever a scholar evinces an aptitude for drawing, instead of forcing him to some unlawful indulgence of it upon his desk, or the school door, or in his school book, where some grotesque carricature stands as testimony of his skill; time and paper and pencil should be allowed ; but in most small schools, classes for drawing would prove difficult and profitless. Few teachers are competent to superintend them, and still fewer parents would allow the expenditure of time and money necessary for the attainment of any considerable excel. lence. Maps, machines, problems in arithmetic, illustrations of domestic untensils of value, (as parts of a common sense education,) should be drawn frequently. Every teacher should learn to express any shape desired, upon the black-board ; ability to interest and benefit a class is increased thereby fully one-third. Weights and measures, shapes described, 'fields, &c. &c., should frequently be sketched upon the board, and offered to the school to imitate and excel.
5th. ARTICULATION AND VOCAL EXERCISES. 1. The division of this subject into two parts, as given in the heading, should be observed also, in practical teaching.-Many a noisy man fails to “make himself heard," as he thinks, when the defect is really one of articulation and not of sound. Vocal or voice, or vowel-training; and consonant articulation form two distinct branches of instruction and practice.
2. Learned physiological directions are out of place in an ordinary school. To draw a long breath and retain it a long time is good practice for the voice; better still if accompanied with sharp exercise or exertion. Let boys try who can draw a breath, and run farthest without renewing it, &c. &c. Upright position, prominence of chest and square shoulders, every careful teacher will strive to attain for his school, independently of their value in vocal practice.
3. Vowel sounds, exploded and protracted ; long messages spoken at a distance; shouting at recess, and while going to and returning from school; imitations of domestic animals, singing, &c.; all of them given and received not as tasks, but as real buoyant fun, are the best vocal practice attainable--a thousand times better than all the dull reading that was ever invented. Add to these helps, one general rule, that recitations must always be audible across the room, and vocal practice will have had its full share of attention.
4. Correct articulation is more difficult to secure; it is so for various reasons. Few teachers are able to articulate with clearness and precision themselves; all a scholars out of school practice tends to promote carelessness, and fix permanently faulty habits ; exercises designed to promote elegance in this art, are dull and mechanical, requiring wearisome labor on the part both of teacher and class. These and many similar considerations have virtually expelled from our schools all practice in this art.
Unless an interest on the part of the learner can be excited in this pursuit, of course it should be omitted in school. We should adhere to our principles and excite an appetite ere we offer food.
1. Place two scholars at extremes of the room, or better yet, two or three rods apart in the open air, and require one to dictate, if he can, so that the other may write detached words, such as maim, name, bed, dead, shoe, should, decrease, decrees, post, boast, weather, whether, foc. foc. ; indeed, any simple word, without any context from which to guess the sound meant, will be found nine times in ten, utterly incommunicable from scholar to scholar. Now let the teacher show that such words can be enunciated so as to be never mistaken.Show that loud speaking is never so valuable as distinct speaking. It will be found that the practiced teacher can whisper a single word, so as to be understood at a greater distance, than any scholar can overcome by the loudest shout.To shout " me," " knee,” irregularly interchanging them, and yet be clearly understood at a distance of twenty rods, is more than any, save the most highly practised elocutionist can do. Let this inability of both teacher and scholar be made obvious in every possible way. Devise games, and set the scholars to finding hard words, and in this pleasant, irregular way much may be done.
2. Orthoepic spelling calls attention to sounds and trains the ear, though as a practice to the organs of speech, it is of but little value. By orthoepic spelling, is meant-spelling a word and then returning to describe the sound of each letter
or group in the word, according to the pronouncing key in the spelling book or dictionary. Thus:
“H-e-a-r (har) t-y (ti.) A dissyllable. Accent on the first syllable. H is a breathing, having no vocal sound (let the breath be given here); in this word it becomes vocal by taking the vowel a, and we have ha. E is silent. A has the Italian or open sound. R is almost silent when it ends a syllable; here it has a slight trill. T, &c. &c. It would certainly sound strangely to hear such talk as this in one of our district schools, from either scholar or teacher. Nevertheless, it is true talk, and may be made interesting and profitable.
3. Whispering classes, whose peculiarity it shall be to recite in a whisper, and yet be understood across the room, will be found to train articulation very rapidly. The interest in them is soon exhausted ; their charm lies in their novelty, hence they should be used sparingly.
4. Unison exercises, made as one voice, by “beating time" with the hand, and articulating'at every second beat.
5. Care that the practice and instructions of these exercises be not annulled by neglect of speech every where else. All the school should be trained as critics of the speech of all the school all the time, and the ear of a teacher should be so trained as never to allow an error in speech to pass uncorrected
6th. DISCIPLINE ; Order of Exercises, Rolls, School Gou
ernment. 1. The difference between a truly professional teacher, and one who simply has knowledge enough to teach, lies mainly in the fact, that the former has a system, and knows each moment what his great purposes are, and is able to say at any time just what he expects in the future as to the nature of his own daily labors; while the latter lives "from hand to mouth," unable to plan a scheme, and perchance, unable to execute one if devised for him. They differ, just as a Liverpool packet master differs from Columbus; the first starts from New York to make Liverpool and no other port. The latter set sail and kept sailing " to see what he could see.” Undoubtedly Columbus was the greater man, yet passengers would usually prefer a voyage with our modern packet master.
Every teacher should have a system. A faulty system is better than none at all.
2. No headway can be made without classes, definite and regular; without an order of daily exercise ; without precision of time and class changes; without connection between successive exercises of the same class; without accurate rolls ; and without parental acquaintance and co operation, or at least, approval.
Classes are usually too numerous and too small. Schools, such as are found in this State, rarely require more than four or at most five classes. Each class can profitably enjoy but four recitations; and many of these, as writing, geography, and all memory recitations, may be held, uniting two or more classes.
True, discontent will arise in all our irregular schools at such a step as economical classification. This discontent the teacher must endure for a time, it will soon pass away. Varieties of text-books is an evil which seems larger than it really is; a thorough teacher will be above text-books, and so, independent of them. But this evil can be, by a faithful and prudent teacher much lessened if not altogether removed.
The roll book ought to show-1. Attendance; 2. Punctuality; 3. Conduct; 4. Character of each recitation.
It will be found that three grades of recitations are as many as can be distinctly discriminated, viz.: excellent, (worthy of praise,) good or tolerable, such as the mass of scholars are wont to give,) bad, implying culpable negligence or idleness on the part of the scholar.) The same grades are available for the recording of conduct. Any notation may be used ; it is recommended, however, that good or tolerable be always denoted by the absence of any mark, as, in this way, time and manual labor are eonomized.