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RIPON TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION.
MR. EDITOR:—The morning session of the Association was opened by the singing of a piece of music from the “ Jubilee,” by the teachers and some of the pupils of the First Ward School. “ Cast thy bread upon the water,” etc., were the words arranged to the music sung, and we deem it exceedingly appropriate for teachers to sing and feel that they are casting their bread upon the waters,” and if done in a proper manner, they may receive “an hundredfold,” if not here, after their labors-properly rendered—may have ceased in this life, and they are called home to a more appropriate reward than will ever be given the teacher here. After the singing a short and appropriate prayer was offered by Mr. Bayley,
The preliminary business over, an essay was read by Mr. Bayley, of Brockway College, on the best method of teaching Orthography in Schools, based upon the premise that mental discipline should be aimed at in every recitation, embracing a thoroughness and accuracy seldom attained in our schools of to-day. Among the means mentioned in the essay, and the discussion which followed it, for securing attention in the recitation and study of the lesson, were: Pronouncing a word but once, and making the whole class responsible for its being correctly spelled-reading a sentence and requiring the words to be spelled in succession, by members of the class, indicated by numbers, or otherwise, at the discretion of the teacher; choosing sides occasionally; spelling down, one spelling, and all in the class dissenting from his spelling of any word, rising in their places and remaining on their feet until the they spelling correct has been given. For more advanced scholars pronouncing sentences to be written by the class-testing not only their orthography, but their ability to use capital letters and punctuate properly. Also the old-fashioned spelling school ;
The subject of Mental Arithmetic was discussed by Mr. Fry, advancing the opinion that children should be early taught the elements of arithmetic, commencing first with very young pupils, by simply counting the objects around them, then counting abstractly until they can count one hundred readily, which but few children can do when they first enter the school.
This being thoroughly learned, advance then to combining the even numbers, 2, 4, 6, etc., teaching them in this exercise to give results rather than processes, i.e., reading and not spelling the numbers, e.g., not 2 and 2 are 4, and 2 are 6, etc., but 2, 4, 6, etc. The next lesson mentioned was combining 1 and 2 alternately, thus, 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, etc. Then
combining the odd numbers, and thus continuing to vary the exercise antil he can combine 78 and 7 with all the preceeding numbers, which will require some length of time,
He here recommended that the pupil be permitted to skip from 7 to 10, and after the 10's are well learned, take up the 9's and 8's they being more difficult to combine than 10. At this point a discussion arose respecting the best method of combining 8 and 9, some claiming that the combination of ten, and substracting one when nine is to be added, and two when eight is to be added, was the shorter, and others claiming that the easiest method, and the one from which the greatest amount of mental discipline could be obtained, was the direct addition of eight or nine, without any reference to the radix. (We would be glad to see a statement, by teachers and accountants, of their opinion of the comparative merits of these two methods, given in the future numbers of the Journal; deeming mental discipline combined with the acquisition of useful knowledge, the end at which teachers should aim.)
Next, the subject of Intellectual Arithmetic was introduced, showing that after the preliminary training exhibited above, is the proper time to take it up in the class. Several simple examples were then given to the teachers, which were solved by individuals designated by the conductor of the exercise, after which he set forth the importance of having a clear and logical solution given of every question, the object of this branch of arithmetic being to induce correct reasoning, rather than to arrive at results.
A method was then given by which any number of units, plus one-half a unit, may be raised to the second power, as follows: Multiply the integral number by a number, a unit greater than itself, and add ž (or the second power of 3) to the product. Thus (3 })?=(3 x 4)+1=124 (41)’=201, etc. The demonstration may be easily inferred by those who wish to use it. This may be applied in larger numbers ending with 5 units, thus (31)? =121=12.25, and by erasing the decimal points we have 35o=1225. The same is true of any number ending with the unit five.
Here the time expired, and the subject was discontinued. More anon. Yours,
PAONOGRAPH. RIPON, December, 1858.
THE CROWN JEWELS OF THE CZAR.—The stones are of the largest and rarest kind, and the splendor of their tints is a delicious intoxication to the eye. The soul of all the fiery roses of Persia lives in their rubies; the freshness of all velvet sward, whether in Alpine valley or English lawn, in these emeralds; the bloom of southern seas in these sapphires, and the essence of a thousand harvest moons in these necklaces of pearl.-Bayard Taylor.
MR. EDITOR:-As you have requested teachers to give their experience in teaching, and as I have been in the business four winter terms before this, and always in rural districts, you will naturally suppose I have had some difficulties to encounter. And one of the greatest inconveniences in some schools is tardiness. I have seen various methods adopted, but they generally consume too much time to be practical in our large mixed schools of from sixty to seventy average pupils. I have hit upon a plan of my own invention, which I think as good as any I have as yet seen tried -both for convenience and dispatch.
I generally get to the school-house before sun rise-start the fires, and make, or try to make, the house comfortable. At precisely nine o'clock I ring the bell, allow three minutes to find seats, then write “Late” in large letters on the black-board. In the evening, before dismission, I call the names of the pupils, when those who were present when late was written answer present, and those who come in afterward answer late, which I denote by placing & , after the usual present mark, unless they have a good
The last school day of each week I read off the “ black marks” as the pupils call them, and the last day of the term I intend reading off the number of late marks each pupil has received during the term. I speak to them often on the importance of being punctual in all our doings —that tardiness shows an indolent disposition, and that indolent people never accomplish any thing in the world.
H. W. SIGWORTH.
OPINIONS, ETC., FROM THE OFFICE OF THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT
(Continued from the January Number.)
Q. If a district levies a tax, and it is collected by the Town Treasurer, to whom must be pay it ?
A. It must be paid to the District Treasurer. In no case should it be paid to the Town Superintendent.
Q. If a town levies a school tax in addition to the tax levied by the County Board, to whom should such tax be paid by the Town Treasurer ?
A. To the Town Superintendent, and by him it should be apportioned between the districts in proportion to their valuation by the assessor. The only moneys to be apportioned per scholar are those received from the State, and the school tax levied by the County Board, in accordance with the law, in order to entitle each town to share in the apportionment. All other moneys being, as it were, voluntary contributions, should be, as nearly as possible, refunded to those who have paid them in. It is recognized as the duty of the State to educate her children, and all the assistance given by the State, is given to scholars without any reference to taxation. The requirement of the law that the County levy at least half the amount, is cnly a means of increasing the State fund. When towns levy a tax, it should be paid to the districts composing the town, according to the valuation on the assessment rolls. This point is very generally misunderstood.
ALTERATION OF DISTRIOTS.
Q. If on appeal it is decided by the State Superintendent that the alteration of a district was illegal, has the Town Superintendent the right to alter the district avoiding his former illegalities ?
A. A decision of the State Superintendent applies to the case as stated, and if his objections are obviated, there is nothing, so far as the former decision is concerned, to prevent the Town Superintendent from changing the boundaries of the district.
Q. In case town lines are altered so as to run through districts, are the districts to be treated as joint districts ?
A. In such cases the districts become joint districts by sufferance but as they were not erected by the action of two or more Town Superinten. dents, they are, at first, subject only to the Superintendent of one townthat is, each Town Superintendent can immediately re district his own territory, but if the Town Superintendent allow the matter to rest, it will become a joint district, the same as all other joint districts.
DUTIES OF OFFICERS,
Q. If a Town Superintendent annuls a teacher's certificate, does his contract become void ?
A. It is a condition of the contract that the teacher shall keep his certificate good. Any failure to keep his certificate good, will work a forfeiture of his contract.
Q. Can a district report children from undistricted territory, who have attended their school?
A. There is no law authorizing such a course. It is upon the reports of the District Clerks that the apportionment is based; therefore, children in undistricted territory can not draw public money.
Q. Is a contract made with a teacher, who has no certificate, binding apon the district after he gets ope?
A. It becomes binding by sufierance. If the district wish to repudiate such a teacher, they should take action at once, as any undue delay will be taken as waiving their objection, But a contract never should be made with a teacher who has not at the time a certificate of qualification,
Q. Is a Town Superintendent's decision binding, it an appeal be taken against it?
A A decision is always binding until it is reversed by the State Superintendent.
Q. Does not the fact that the Town Superintendent is elected to that office pre-suppose that he is qualified as a teacher ?
A. It does not. He is selected to qualify others, and this does not qualify him. The law is imperative that he can not teach in his own town.
Q. Is a contract binding which requires the teacher to board around ?
A. The Board can not thus bind the district. It exceeds their authority; but although such a clause is null and void, it does not necessarily make the contract void.
Q. When is a district legally organized ?
A. When any two of its officers are elected and qualified. There is nothing in law requiring them to wait any term of years.
Q. Can a Town Superintendent declare a district unorganized ?
A. The law never considers territory once districted as disorganized, for it makes no provision for such a case. If a district neglects to elect officers the Town Superintendent should call a special meeting for that purpose.
Q. Can a district locate their house on government land ?
A. Such a location would never be advisable, but their is no law to prevent it. It is not necessary that the district should possess the tittle to their school-house site.
Q. Can a Clerk refuse to call a district meeting when requested so to do by five legal voters ?
A. He can not, without subjecting himself to a fine for neglect of duty. The Clerk is not a judicial officer to decide upon the business proposed to be acted upon by a special meeting.
Q. Can a Town Superintendent fill any vacancy in a District Board ?