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Reviews and Abstracts.
prose or verse, dictated orally by the teacher, as a test of their proficiency in spelling, punctuation, use of capitals, penmanship, etc. In the 4th and 5th grades, the pupils may use either pen or pencil, at the discretion of the teacher ; but in the 1st, 2d, and 3d grades they should be required in all cases to use a pen. These exercises should be strictly extemporaneous, and every paper should be passed to the desk at the close of a specified time.
In conducting written reviews, great care should be taken to remove from the pupils, so far as possible, all temptation to seek assistance from books, or papers, or classmates. When two pupils of the class are seated at the same desk, it is often desirable to have two sets of questions of about equal difficulty
one set for all the pupils sitting at one end of the desks, and one for those sitting at the other end.
Written reviews are among the most successful means that can be employed for securing thoroughness and accuracy of scholarship. They afford a reliable test of the pupil's knowledge of the subject, cultivate habits of freedom and accuracy in the use of language, and afford a valuable discipline to the mind, by throwing the pupil entirely upon his own resources.
In addition to the written reviews, teachers of the higher divisions should require frequent written exercises in connection with the daily recitations in history, grammar, arithmetic, etc.
All written reviews, abstracts, etc., should pass under the critical examination of the teacher; the
important errors should be corrected; and pupils presenting papers carelessly written, should be required to rewrite them.
§ 10. Number of Classes in a Division.—As a general rule, the pupils assigned to each teacher in the Grammar Department, should be divided into two classes; in the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades, into three classes; and in the 9th and 10th grades, into four.
The number of pupils in a division, or other circumstances, may make it desirable, in certain cases, to depart from this arrangement.
It is desirable that each class in the Grammar Department should not number more than 20 or 25 pupils, and each class in the lower grades not more than 10 or 15 pupils; but this arrangement is impracticable where a division numbers more than 40 or 50 pupils.*
§ 11. Number of Branches to be pursued at a time. - It requires the constant watchfulness of teachers to prevent pupils from undertaking too many branches of study at a time. Pupils should rarely be allowed to study more than three branches at once, besides reading, spelling, and writing; and it is generally better to have some of the lessons come only on alternate days than to have even the six exercises in one day.
* "In a large class, each of whom seldom, and at best only for a short time, receives individually any attention from the teacher, the progress is slow, the faculties little developed, and the education altogether very imperfect.”—Reid's Principles of Education.
Order of Exercises, etc.
§ 12. Order of Excercises and Length of Recitations.—Every teacher should have posted up in the room an established order of exercises for each day in the week, assigning a definite time for the beginning and ending of every exercise, and of every interval between the exercises.
It is impracticable to establish a uniform rule respecting the frequency and length of recitations. The following scale will serve as a general guide to teachers in this matter:
Recitations in the Grammar Department from twenty-five to forty minutes in length, except exercises in spelling, which may usually be completed in fifteen to twenty-five minutes; in the 5th, 6th, and 7th grades, from twenty to twenty-five minutes; in the 8th and 9th grades, from fifteen to twenty minutes; and in the 10th grade, from ten to fifteen minutes. *
*“From four to five lessons a day for a Primary school, is better than six, even for mental proficiency. A Primary school that has even five hours of session per day should have an hour or more of interval at midday. Besides, there should be one or two recesses during each session. The exercises of the school should be so arranged as to give a change of position and subject as often as every fifteen or twenty minutes. No child will give sufficient attention to derive much benefit from a lesson that continues more than twenty minutes. Five and ten minute lessons, on some subjects, are better than longer ones. Lessons occupying different senses should follow each other, as the change affords relief to the mind.” -N. A. Calkins.
The following is the programme of exercises for two days of the week, in one of the Primary schools of Oswego, N. Y. It includes only the pupils of a single teacher, in the upper Primary grades,
§ 13. Frequency of Recitations.—The following arrangement will serve as a general guide, but cases may sometimes arise in which it will be necessary to depart from it: Reading Classes in the 1st grade, two or three times a week; in the 2d and 3d grades, three
and is introduced here to show the minuteness of detail, the range of topics, and the arrangement and distribution of time and subjects, that have been adopted in a city that is distinguished for the excellence of its school system :
8.30 to 8.45—Opening Exercises.
Frequency of Recitations.
or four times; 4th grade, four or five times ; 5th and 6th grades, five to eight times; 7th and 8th grades, eight to ten times.
Slate arithmetic, three or four times a week; mental arithmetic, in 4th and 5th grades, four or five times a week; in 3d grade, three or four times; in 2d grade, two or three times. Numbers, in five lowest grades, five times a week.