Monday, February 28, 2011

School Memorization

Mother and Child Reading

Mother and Child Reading
Perry, Lilla...

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The favorite books of Tennyson were the Bible and Shakespeare. He once advised a boy to read daily at least one verse of the former and some lines of the latter. "The Bible," he said, "will teach you how to speak to God; Shakespeare will teach you how to speak to your fellows." It is well also to commit to memory many of these and other precious things, and thus make them our own in a way that the mere reading of them can never do.

"To what extent should the child memorize?" Of all people perhaps teachers are most to be congratulated upon the opportunities their work affords for the good of themselves and others. The best thought, most suggestive and most helpful, of the choice spirits of the ages, in its finest expression, is theirs—if they will have it. But is anything more true of thousands of teachers than that, in the midst of plenty, they starve their own souls and those of their pupils? Shall the memory be merely a sort of refuse chamber of odds and ends of personal experience, a junk shop collection of things of little value, or shall it be a treasure chamber filled with things of inestimable value, and radiant with light and beauty?

Let the habit of committing to memory be formed early. Let it be continued through school days, and all the after years of life... This habit once acquired and steadily followed is one of the most profitable and enjoyable, that can be formed by quiet people who never have occasion to make a public address; while to teachers who must frequently address their schools, to school, superintendents, clergymen, lawyers and public speakers generally, it is of immense value. To exercise the memory in the manner suggested is to strengthen it and to keep it strong. The imagination is at the same time cultivated, the vocabulary improved, and the best expression of the best thought of the masters becomes our own...

Reading in the Shadow

Reading in the Shadow
Blacklock, Kay...

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How many teachers can repeat accurately a half-dozen of the psalms, or a dozen choice poems of moderate length which the world has taken to its heart, or a like number of fine things in prose? How many have their pupils to commit these things to memory? They are the finest of the wheat, and they remain when the chaff and saw-dust of non-essentials in arithmetic, grammar, geography, and other branches are utterly blown away. Securely garnered in the memory, these things lift the life by lifting the thought, the love. They elevate the entire being into a finer and purer atmosphere, make distasteful things that are low and mean, present new ideas and new aspirations. Through them more and more we walk by faith in the unseen. And of all education—all feeding of mind and heart from childhood to old age— this is the rarest and the best...

The Reading Lesson

The Reading Lesson
Green, Richard...

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We like the practical thought of Tennyson, which makes one part of this work all the while moral and religious. Let the selections for the week be, if possible, two in number, the first from the Bible or sacred song, and the second from the world of literature, prose or verse, in other directions—say, the ninetieth psalm and "Lincoln's speech at Gettysburg;" or "Lead Kindly Light" and Longfellow's "Psalm of Life;" or the twenty-third psalm and Lowell's "Once to Every Man or Nation;" or the nineteenth psalm and "Home, Sweet Home;" or "My Country 'Tis of Thee" and "The Chambered Nautilus ;" or the thirteenth chapter of Corinthians, and "The Last rose of Summer;" or any others of hundreds of good things moral, religious, patriotic, descriptive, or sentimental in the best sense of the word, that we should all be very glad to have securely lodged in the memory. And let the teacher always commit to memory what is here required of the pupil. Should two each week be one to many, let the selections alternate, sacred and secular, one each week.

Young Girl Writing at Her Desk with Birds

Young Girl Writing at Her Desk with Birds
Browne, Henriette

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Any good book of varied and choice selections can and should be supplemented by the Bible, and by a manuscript collection of best things dictated by the teacher, and written down by the pupil. In our own school two hours on Tuesday morning are given to this exercise. The selections for the week that have been memorized are first written by all the pupils, effort being made to reproduce them with spelling, capitals and punctuation, as found upon the page. The books are then exchanged, the selections read by the teacher, all errors marked by the pupil, and the work graded accordingly. The selections for the following week are then announced, read and discussed at such length as time may permit, attention being directed to anything new or of especial interest which might be overlooked by the pupil.

Memorize accurately. Get it as the author left it, the exact words he used, and each word in its place. See the capital letters, the spelling and meaning of unusual words, and the punctuation marks, so that you could write it as "copy" for the printer. This requires care, close observation, thought, and encourages the habit of close attention. In committing to memory also try to see the page in your mind as it lay before you.

An aid of some value is to use the pencil and the ordinary "four and tally" count. For each stroke, with the pencil held upon it, repeat the sentence, or line, or verse, or selection. This enables the pupil to keep ready count of the number of times he or she has repeated it. For a time the school might do this work aloud and in unison, so that all would fall in with the method. This means close strain upon the attention, but it means definite result as well.

Each pupil should have a blank book in which these things may be written from dictation or copied from the blackboard. Such book will be highly prized in after years."

From the Northwest journal of education: Volumes 2-3 - Page 134 1890

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fun Paper Tea Wallets Tutorial

Top: Folded Tea Wallet. Below, Tea bag-shaped Tea Wallets
Tutorials below!

I noticed on the blog stats that someone was looking for a tea wallet to make without sewing. I hope that someone comes back because I think I figured out a couple of no-sew tea wallets!

It is helpful that I have been called in by the interns to help make some very complicated origami-type paper airplanes this week. I got to thinking I could fold a tea wallet. I am not an origami expert by any means-- I am an amateur at the art-- but I did have an old set of origami instructions for a folder, and a free Sunday afternoon. Here are the instructions for a tea wallet using the folder twice-- on each end of a paper-- for a double-folder tea wallet! It is just a wee simple bit of origami, so give it a try!
(And no, there is nothing wrong with your eyes. The photos actually are blurry at times!)
You will need a 12x12" piece of pretty scrapbook paper (an 8.5x11" works just as well, but it is nice to have the little bit of extra roominess of the bigger sheet), double sided tape or regular tape or glue, a ruler and a ribbon. 

Cut the scrap paper so it will be 9x12". Save the strip of leftover paper. 

 You will need to make some creases in this paper, to get your bearings. Now Turn it over to the blank side and make these creases:
 A vertical crease in half, then unfold.

Now a horizontal crease in half, then unfold.

 Now crease another vertical crease, taking the outside edge and placing it on the center line.

 Do this to the other side so that the edges meet in the middle.

 Now open it up. You should have 3 vertical creases and 1 horizontal crease.

 Now fold the top half down to meet the middle mark. Crease.

 Fold the bottom half up to meet the middle mark. Crease.

 Now, fold down the corner like this. The top of the paper should be folded to match one of those side creases you had earlier. You'll see what I mean when you do it better than I can explain it!

 All four corners should be equally folded down. It will look like what you see above. To make the next few steps easier, fold the corners to the back and to the front again, several times, to make the corners really flexible.

 Now fold in the edges to the middle again, crease again, then unfold.

 Now here comes the tricky bit, but since you have such flexible corners, it should make it easier. Open up the corners...

 ...and flatten like so.

 Do that to all the corners. It will look like this.

 Now flip it over.

 Fold each side in towards the middle.

 It should look like this (sorry for the blur). You might want to put a bit of tape on this now, in the middle, to keep the ends down. Then flip it over to the other side.

 On the other side, you will discover that if you lift up the narrow paper ends in the middle of the wallet, that they are free flaps. Fold each of these up twice to make a nice, clean edge.

 The result should be what you see above. Take a bit of glue or some double-sided tape and tape these folded flaps flat.

 You can be an eager beaver and put a couple of tea bags in it now-- but there's more! Unless you used double-sided scrapbook paper, which gives you a pretty inside and outside, you will have a rather unfinished looking back to this tea wallet.
 This is what the extra strip of paper is for. I found the unfinished middle of my tea wallet (mine is not taped yet) to be about 1 3/4" wide. I trimmed the leftover paper to that size.

 Tape or glue it to cover the back (if you want to add a ribbon, now is the time- put it across the middle before you glue or tape this strip down).

 Wrap it around, if you want, to cover the inside white. Remember to leave your folded white edges free! Tape or glue it down neatly.

 Voila! Here is the finished wallet. I had a lot of fun making this for you!

 Here's what it looks like folded.

 Here's what it looks like if you add some ribbon. Gift wrap ribbon was handy so I used that. Real ribbon or pretty trim would be nicer.

FOR the next tea wallet, I examined a real tea bag to see what I could do. This one is also very fun to make, and the prettier the paper the better! You will need scrapbook paper, or a rubber stamped paper would do as well, tape, string and staples.
 This paper is cut 6x9".
 Fold each edge towards the center, the long way. Tape down the middle with regular tape.

 You can see the opening where you will be putting your tea bag.

  Fold this up about 3" or less, depending on your tea bag's size.

 Here I have placed a tea bag in the spot so you can see what I mean.

 Now fold the top corners down towards the center.

 And fold the top triangle point down as shown.

 Cut a length of string about 10" or so. Put the string over this folded corner, and wrap the string around the back of this spot as well, and staple.

 Now you need a tag for your tea bag! fold some paper over to make the tag. Cut a tag shape, a square, or a circle (I used the pattern of the paper for a shape). You just want to make sure that the top edge is a fold.

 Open up your tag that you cut out, and loop the other end of the string and lay it down at the fold.

 Staple through all layers on the outside.

 Now fold down the top of your "tea bag" over the real tea bag, wrap the string around the front and up around the back...
 ... and tuck the tag around the string to hold it down.

 Isnt' this CUTE? It was so much fun to make!
 Make half a dozen of them!

I hope these instructions are clear enough for everyone !
Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day!