Hello, again. I'm Sarah, the middle child, and I'm going to talk to you about some of the materials used in the classroom both in the earlier Victorian period as well as now.
As previously mentioned (and pictured elsewhere), the classroom is typically a small room with a few windows for light, heated by a small coal burning stove. On the walls hangs a "bible" sampler and a picture of Queen Victoria. The teacher sits at a desk resembling a podium and before the iron-framed wood desks which we use now, students used to sit on benches.
Before books became commonplace in the classroom, the free-standing blackboard was the key teaching aid. Writing materials consisted of sand trays, slates and now copy books which are much like your pads, however, they have no lines. We must use a ruler and draw our own lines on the page. A "blot" in our copy books is something we try to avoid in fear of punishment.
Finding affordable reading material was sometimes a problem. Prior to 1850 the principal reading text was the bible. This were followed by the "horn book". A horn book resembled a wooden paddle upon which a piece of paper was held fast by a piece of thin, transparent animal "horn". By 1875, however, over one thousand school books were available on the market.
"Object" teaching is used in teaching science. An object, natural or man-made is brought into the class and the lesson revolves around it.
Another teaching tool was the abacus which was used to teach arithmetic. Its beads slide up and down on "rods" which are divided horizontally by a "reckoning bar" or "beam". The rods going from left to right are Ten thousands, Thousands, Hundreds, Tens, Ones, Tenths, Hundredths, Thousandths and Ten thousands. When using an abacus, you work the numbers from left to right. Assure that it is placed on a level surface and use only two fingers to move the beads.
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Background, buttons, Sara and hornbook by webmaster, B. Malheiro. Abacus created by a co-worker of mine.