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Again, how many teachers use simultaneous reading in their classes to a large extent? From many years of teaching in large classes, I am led to believe that children cannot be taught to read satisfactorily under such circumstances without it. It is, and has been the practice of all successful teachers of reading in our higher institutions of learning, and is of far greater value in the case of small children than for the advanced student.
I am speaking now of children who have mastered the first few simple expressions, especially, although I practise it from the very first. The voice of the timid becomes lost in the crowd and the little one forgets his fearfulness, the slow tongue of the laggard is compelled to keep time with the onward flow of the words, and its owner forgets that his tongue is slow and his speech awkward; the stammerer even launches out with confidence and forgets what is sometimes but a bad habit.
These are but a few of the advantages of simultaneous reading; there are many more, among which I may mention the great economy of time, for fifty or sixty can read while but one could read by the individual method; also the increased force and expression gained on the part of the children. The teacher should read a few phrases or words only beforehand as a pattern, then let the class read simultaneously, then let three or four read the same, and, if not well done, repeat the operation. I find that children gain a knowledge of new words in this way more rapidly than by any other method. While reading the phrases, select any obscure phrase, or ambiguous or difficult word, if such there be, and, by a judicious question to some one, elucidate its meaning and keep up the interest.
There is little use in trying to make orators of young children; we should seek to get them to read rapidly, distinctly and intelligently, and, if we do not by our negligence or bad teaching, destroy the natural eloquence of the voice of the child, we shall have very little cause to complain of a lack of expression. We destroy all the natural expression of a child's voice by teaching him either to spell a word before he knows it or to say the word outside of any association that will convey its meaning. Let me illustrate. Place upon the board these words in a column : the, good, boy, bad; spend a week or more in trying to teach these detached words, then let him associate them in two phrases, the good boy, the bad boy, and what will be the result? It will be as follows: the-good-boy; the-bad-boy. On the other hand, show the child a picture of a boy and ask him what it is; he will answer at once, a boy or the boy; then say, now let the chalk tell his name, at the same time writing-the
boy on the board. Have them repeat the expression, pointing to the picture until every child knows it. A few moments will suffice when the next step may be taken; show a boy running, and ask what the boy does; they will doubtless answer, the boy runs, which must be repeated as before. In the same way get the girl runs, the cat runs, the rat runs. Naturally the child will see that there is a difference between the boy, the girl, the cat and the rat, and, as naturally, will give emphasis to these words if used in proper connection, and will not make awkward and meaningless pauses between the several words of the clause.
In teaching the first lesson in the First Primer, I would follow this plan, even if I had to cut up the lesson and re-arrange it. This latter course may be avoided by using the black board constantly.
These few considerations are not to be taken as an exhaustive treatment of the subject, but as suggestive of what the teacher may do for herself in pursuing the work on these lines.
BY MISS N. E. GREEN, MCGILL NORMAL SCHOOL.
Before proceeding to perspective, allow me to return to the drawing of other figures than those enclosed by straight lines and right angles. It will be well to notice one rule which may help to solve difficulties in their drawing. It is this, the chief plane of their perspective may be not on their surfaces, but in their centres. A cylinder, for instance, if standing in any other direction than vertically or horizontally, must be studied by the plane of its centre, while its round face will be at right angles to this plane. This is especially important in the drawing of A little experience will soon tell the pupil what to take, centre or surface. The connection with the examples in the flat, and the old familiar rule that objects having similar irregular sides (if the “irregular" may apply to direction) have always a central guide line that now becomes not a guide line only, but indicated a plane of importance that gives direction to the object. Perspective. In the limits of this paper it is impossible to say much upon this subject or its great usefulness. No teacher can well train his pupils without it; older pupils should have a thorough knowledge of its principles, though it is quite possible to give younger children a training in model drawing without themselves taking it as a separate study, but *Conclusion of a paper read at the late Convention of Teachers held in Montreal, in October, 1890.
so long will they remain dependent upon daily class instruction. Like the measurement rules, it should be regarded simply as knowledge that will test the correctness of work, and a stepping stone to the consideration of the relation of objects. to others, or to lines not always given in the drawing, as, for instance, the line of the horizon and the position of the spectator.
Not many rules for the use of young children are required, and these can easily be committed to memory, though it would be well that they should learn them by constant reference to their truths and the practical application of them, than given as a task.
To mention.-Parallel lines vanish in the same vanishing point, with the exception of parallel horizontal and parallel vertical ones.
Lines at right angles to the spectator vanish in the centre of vision, while all lines at an angle to the spectator, if parallel to the ground, vanish at some point on the horizon, with the instruction necessary to find the horizon and centre of vision, are sufficient for many months of work.
We now come to the consideration of other characteristics of good drawing than outlines. So far each separate point and detail have been studied one by one, and made, to a certain extent, all of equal importance. Now the drawing must be regarded, not alone as a part of his work of lines and measurements, but from the stand-point of himself. How much does he see, how much fail to see? Both are of importance. At once he will find the outlines he has expended so much labour upon are no longer hard lines, but the indications of the juxtaposition of planes.
Planes no longer of the colour of the paper, with harsh outlines, but each portion quivering with changes, influenced by position to light, shade and reflections, its distances melting to softness, its near portions standing clear and sharp in a surrounding atmosphere, itself holding different tones of light.
An object that he knows to be of one colour, having in one small space sheen, shade and colour, an infinite variety to see, with very finite materials to express, but for all that this portion of drawing should not be neglected. In the study of it the pupil will begin to show more fully his individuality in his work, or rather he will express himself, using the principles he has already learned. It is a help to correctness in his primary work, as a finished drawing throws into stronger relief errors in sketching. A little practice in light and shade is especially
valuable for this, even if there were no other reasons for so doing.
If the surface of the object is very smooth, and the light falls upon it so as to make a right angle as it is reflected to the eye, there will be found sheen; next it, receiving a full light, the true colour of the object, while as it recedes from colour and light, lies shade that again may be broken by reflections from the wall or any other object near, or by cast shadows in great variety, which the pupil soon takes pleasure in detecting for himself.
Lastly, I would recommend the use of sepia for shading, because of its permanence requiring the pupil to still follow a careful habit of observing what he is drawing, as he is not so apt to do where the work is a mechanical repetition of movement, as in shading with the pencil. It can also be much more rapidly applied than pencil or French chalk, and is capable of an excellent range of tint, the slightest variety being easily expressed in it. These characteristics, I hope, to those who try it, will be found to outweigh the first difficulties of its use, which rapidly disappear with a little practice.
Editorial Notes and Comments.
The Report of the Sub-committee on Elementary Education contains three suggestions, which, if acted upon, will open the way to reform in this branch of educational enterprise in our province. The organization of our elementary schools is all but complete, but the trouble is the organization is mostly on paper. Rules and regulations for the guidance of the inspectors, the commissioners and the teachers connected with these schools, have been carefully drawn up, but when the means at the disposal of those in authority are limited, and not sufficient to excite a permanent loyalty towards these rules and regulations, it is not to be wondered at that the desire for progress has been heavily discounted. The prospect that the sub-committee's recommendations will have a beneficial effect is all but certain : that they will have the effect of inducing the Government to increase the subsidy to a sufficient amount, and the Normal School Committee to modify the curriculum of that institution in such a way as to supply a competent number of trained elementary teachers, is only to be seen after the report has been carefully considered at the next meeting of the Protestant Committee. The feeling seems to be that the Protestant Committee should have a supervision over the elementary schools of our province as direct as over the superior schools and colleges. As
the advisory board of the Department, its executive supervision should be extended; and we have no doubt that the labours of the sub-committee will lead at least to the extension of their supervision over the elementary schools, if not in time, to all matters pertaining to Protestant school progress in Quebec.
-The destruction by fire of the Lennoxville school-house and chapel is an event regretted by all who have had school-boy or undergraduate experience within Bishop's College quadrangle. The chapel, which had escaped the ravages of former fires, is the most to be regretted, as it never can be replaced as a memorial of the earliest days of the college. Beyond this, now that the event has brought into nearer view the possibilities of making even more of the school than has been done, the regret gives way to the determination to do the best under the circumstances. The authorities have already decided upon plans for the future, plans which, when realized, will fill the hearts of the "old boys" with gratification. The prosperity of the school and college, under the direction of the Rev. Dr. Adams, has been of the most encouraging kind. His devotion to the work, his zeal and tact, have tended to make Lennoxville what it is at the present moment- -an institution sufficiently prosperous to overcome the effects of its latest calamity. There has been little or no interruption to the work, the boys having all returned a few days after the fire to take up the quarters which the hospitality of those who reside near the college have placed at the disposal of the college authorities.
-While Bishop's College is engaged in discussing the character of the buildings to be erected for their school, McGill College is looking with pride upon the additional buildings which are being raised upon its grounds. Mr. McDonald has been bestowing upon his favourite faculty another sixty thousand dollars, and what was once the weakest of all the faculties of the University is now likely to be the strongest. The number of students in attendance is larger than at any period in the college's existence. In connection with the liberality which has been bestowed upon the higher education, the idea has arisen in the minds of some that our wealthy men could possibly be induced to take up the cause of elementary education, and by their means and example thus improve the condition of the people in the country districts. The question is a delicate one, yet it is just possible that the members of the sub-committee on elementary education may not be unwilling to make an appeal in this direction.