Page images

teacher, with the assistance of a monitor, may instruct 100 children in writing. The slates are cut into lines, ready to write: on the one side large-hand, and the other small: roundhand I conceive to be superfluous. The children of a Sunday School will learn to write sufficiently well upon a slate without pen and ink, and copy-books, which are very expensive.


Plan for TEACHING the first Rules of ARITHMETIC. TO this exercise we admit all the Scholars twice a week, who are capable of reading the second spelling-book, beginning of course with teaching them the forms of the nine digits. Copies of these are suspended on a kind of cross (+) erected at each end of the desk. All the figures being marked very strong, and about two inches in length, so that they are very discernable by one half of the desk, who are directed to look at the copy hanging at the left hand, while the remainder take their instructions from the opposite : our desks are double ones, that is with a seat on each side, so that about 20 Scholars are accommodated at each, who are attended by a monitor. Hav ing learved to make the figures tolerably, we proceed to their junction in tens, hundreds, &c. the teacher calling the several šuns, while the monitor keeps walking round, to see that all are correct. This being accomplished pretty readily, we conmence addition in this way, the teacher taking a slate or paper in his own hand, calls aloud and distinctly, several figures at his pleasure, marking them off on his own table to determine the amount: the children are required to do the like, and a prize awarded to him or her who first declares the total. Lest this should be misunderstood, permit me, Mr. Editor, to give an example: the teacher then is supposed to give out the follouing numbers, 1-5---7--2

--9--4, making a short pause between each to give the children time to mark it; he then proposes a ticket to him or her who first declares the total correctly, running it up speedily himself, in order to be ready to receive their reports; I say “speedily,” for I assure you our children have been so delighted with what they bave considered an amusement, as sometimes to be before hand with me, reckoning the different amounts as the figures are given out, and declaring the total immediately upon hearing the last, before they have put it upon the slate.

After this the teacher calls his numbers as tens, thus, 24 57—42-36----5--90.. When the monitor giving

notice that all have the figures correct, the first child begins by saying loud enough for all at that desk to hear, 2 and I are 3, the next child takes it up, 3 and 6 are 9, another proceeds, 9 and 2 are 11, then 11 aud 7 are 18,-18 and 4 are 22; the succeeding child says, put down 2 and carry 2 to the next line, the Scholars then continue in the same manner with the lefthand column, until the whole is compleated. Every child is expected to have his pencil upon the figure under notice, in order that each may be observing the operation, and the monitor keeps walking round the desk to see that they are thus attentive: if the pencil is not upon the proper figure it subjects the defaulter to the penalty of one ticket, and in order to ascertain whether all understand the business, two or three are indiscriminately fixed upon, who each in turn stand upon the form and perform the work in the hearing of all. This too serves to make them attentive as no one knows who may be thus called upon, each therefore endeavours to be prepared.

So much, Sir, for the initiating part of our plan: having made this progress, their further instruction goes on in profound silence, by means of lessons suspended at each end of the desk, from which they copy the several sums to be added; as the construction of these are entirely new, I must add a few specimens. (The total in the copies are omitted in course.) 2 26









4913 Now, Sir, the utility of lessons thus constructed, will appear if you observe the last line but one of the several

which being doubled or multiplied by 2, adding to the tens of the left hand, (if any) as many as there are columus of figureg * it gives the exact total of the whole. But then, Mr. Editor, you will immediately perceive that not even a monitor, no, not a confidential one is to be entrusted with the important secret, or all is lost. While this is preserved, the teacher can walk up and down the desk, and with a single glance observe if all be right or no, without the trouble of reckoning the whole. I used to put the line to be doubled the last in the row, but was afraid


* Would it not be more simple and easy to place the figure to form the total on the left hand at the end of the top line, or some other sicuation:

the children would at some time or other discover the amount
to be just twice its value: if placed at top, the eye does not so
quickly catch it; if any should think it is now too near the total,
about the middle might serve as well. I hope, Sir, all this is
understood ; in case I have not been sufficiently explicit, I will
request you to look at the first sum 1 as the last figure but one,
twice 1 is 2, then add at the left hand for the number of the
fox, and you have the total. Again, in the second sum, twice
3 is 6, and twice 2 is 4, adding two for the number of the row,
the total is 046. Again, twice 6 are 12, set down 2 and carry
1, then twice 5 are 10, and 1 I carry makes 11, set down 1 and
carry 1, twice 9 are 18 and 1 I carry makes 19, set down 9 and
Carry 1, then add 3 (the number of columns) to the 1 last car-
Tied, this makes it 4, anci the whole is compleated. Upon the
same plan suis may be formed of five, six, or seven figures
wile, si hich will be found increasingly difficult in the addition
as they advance, on account of the necessity of using the higher
figures more frequently; any one sitting down to draw up a few
will quickly discover this. *

I have now to say, that the rapidity of improvement by this
method has been astonishing. The attendance of the teacher
does not deserve the name of labour; I have alone and unat.
tended tad the charge of 80, a great part of whom in about
three weeks would be very ready at common addition. I must
not, however, onit one rule, it is, that a single word uttered
by any Scholar, be the occasion what it may, subjects hiin to
seinoval from the desk for that evening; all is so profoundly
silent, that the working of their pencils on the slates is distinctly

X. B. We use no writing paper, and all sharpen their pencils on leaving


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

An Address to the Teachers of SUNDAY Schools, by
the Rev. H. G. WATKINS, M. A. Rector of St. SWITHIN,

TIIIS address is the substance of a sermon preached before
the Teachers of the Sunday School Union, in London, Mr.

• We should be obliged to Jucud to send us a complete and correct copy of

We have for sometime adopted a plan somewhat similar to that
motioned, and have found that it both lessens the labour of the teacher, and er-
perides the progress of the learner, Subtraction, multiplication, division, and
indeed the other rules of arithmetic onay likewise be taught from boards.
VOL. 1



Watkins appears to feel peculiarly interested in the Sunday Schools; hence he enters into many of the minuter parts of the subject, with a knowledge more resembling that of an experienced Sunday School teacher than a minister. He feels quite at home on this occasion, and gives such instructions as cannot fail to be useful, in a plain and affectionate manner.

After introducing the subject by a few remarks on the religious aspect of the present period, and the beneficial influence of Sunday Schools, when conducted by gratuitous teachers, Mr. Watkins directs the attention of teachers to themselves and their services.

The following sentiments on the private conduct of instructors can hardly be too often repeated:

“What is said by St. Paul, in the second chapter to the Romans, is equally applicable to all teachers and instructors. What public ministers are exhorted to regard, other teachers will not act wisely if they neglect." Take heed to thyself, as well as to thy doctrine.” Such portions of Scripture imply, tbat all instructors of babes may not themselves be practically taught, or experimentally understand the lessons they teach others. Teaching Christ Jesus the Lord, is one thing, but feeling my sinfulness, and my need of a Saviour, and loving our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, is another thing. The first may be done, even while the other is unknown. Hence said St. Paul, “ I keep under my body and bring it into subjection, lest, after having preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. Satan endeavours to make preachers and teachers satisfied with a professional sort of religion; and thus to substitute chaff for wheat."

The importance of constant secret prayer, and the influence of an instructive spirit and example upon his children are then enforced. One remark we trust will not escape the attention of our younger readers.

“ Conduct yourselves therefore in the presence of the children with gravity and seriousness. Let then not witness any levity of manners, either toward your fellow teachers or the children; for on this observajíce your usefulness will much depend.”

The evils of jealousy, envy, pride, and censoriousness in teachers are then mentioned, and several important hints dropped, calculated to preserve from these sins. The remarks

necessity of a cautious reserve towards the other sex, and attention to propriety in dress, are dictated by prudence and experience.

on the

Under the second head, the following remarks deserve our constant notice and practical regard.

" The capacities of children for instruction are very different. Some at once receive any information you give them. Others are blessed with very retentive memories, while some are far from ready, either to understand, or to retain what they are taught. These are allotments of the most high God, who divideth to each severally as he will, Those whose intellects are dull, should excite our pity, and encrease our endeavours. These we should take care not to discourage by making comparisons to their disadvantage. On the one hand, the intellect which may only have wanted a larger quantity of excitement, has been completely paralized, by invidious and unkind comparisons with children of more ready capacity: and on the other, many a dull genius, by a little sympathizing culture, has outstripped in goodness, and in usefulness, children of high promise, as to intellectual ability and endowments. " Let patience therefore have its perfect work” in managing the different capacities of your pupils. Beside the difference that God may have appointed, a vast disparity happens through the variety of opportunity which children enjoy. Some grow up in total ignorance and folly, learn nothing worth their learning, see and hear little but the evil conversation and conduct of their elders. In these cases we evidently see how grievously children suffer by the ungodliness of their parents. These cases therefore call for all your sympathy and compassion. Thank God on their account, that their parents are induced to send them to a School on the Sabbath. Take care to act with such mildness towards them, as to make them love the School, and be thankful to the teachers, and that if they are removed from the opportunity, they may carry away as good an impres-, sion of its value as may be."

Mr. Watkins then cautions against mentioning the foibles of parents before their children,-enforces the necessity of inducing the pupils to repeat their prayers regularly at home, and shews the importance of punctuality in attendance. He then shews that the grand doctrines of the gospel should be constantly impressed upon the youthful mind, and whilst teachers are thus einployed, they should possess a constant sense of their insufficiency and aim at promoting the glory of God.

The address throughout displays such good sense, and acquaintance with the subject, that we heartıly recommend it to' all our readers.


« PreviousContinue »