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explain the change? Place a piece of limestone or marble, half the size of a grain of corn, in the solution, and notice what takes place. Compare with the action on the bone. Place a bone in the fire and allow it to remain until completely burned. What is left? Try a piece of the ash in the acid solution. What conclusion do you reach concerning the chemical composition of bone ?—ULYSSES 0. Cox, in School Education.
A Spelling Exercise.
Spell six words that describe a circle and its parts.
Spell the names of the coins in common use in the United States.
3. Spell the names of the divisions of land used in the study of geography; also the names of the bodies of water.
4. Spell the names of the vegetables used for food in your town or city.
5. Spell the names of the varieties of meat eaten by the people of the United States.
6. Spell the names of all the trees that grow in your neighborhood.
7. Spell the names of six flowers you most admire.
10. Spell and give correct abbreviations for a married lady. - Central School Journal.
MEASURING DAYS AND NIGHTS.--This simple rule will work all through the year: Multiply the time of the sun's rising by two, and it will give you the length of the night. Multiply the time of setting by two, and you get the length of the day. It is easily demonstrated at the time of the year when the sun rises and sets at 6 o'clock, and the day and night are of equal duration. It is just as true as the days lengthen and shorten. Thus as winter approaches, take a day when the sun rises at 6.30 and sets at 5.30. Apply the rule, and you have a night of 13 hours and a day of 11 hours. The rule will be found absolutely accurate at any season of the year.
SUPERINTENDENTS, BOARDS OF EDUCATION
A Method of Grading and Promoting Pupils.
The method of grading and promoting pupils in the schools of Colusa County is briefly as follows: There are prescribed accomplishments for each half year's work in the Course of Study, as arranged by the County Board of Education, with sufficient supplementary work to give the teachers amplitude and latitude. Pupils in the primary grades are promoted at the discretion of the principal or teacher, at any time when they are prepared to do advanced work. Pupils in the grammar grades, and in the sixth year primary are examined semi-annually on questions prepared by the Board of Education, covering only the principles of the work prescribed, so that this examination is purely practical, and a test only of the way in which the work has been done. These questions are prepared by the Board in the same manner, and with as great care as are the questions for the Teachers' Examinations. After the questions have been adopted by the entire Board, they are written on neostyle or typewriter and duplicated to the desired number on soft, light paper that is bound into book form by wire fasteners, folded and placed in an envelope bearing only “Questions." This is then put into a larger envelope bearing the address of the teacher, and mailed so it will reach the desired destination just a short time before the days set for the examination. By the instruction of the Board, the envelope containing the questions is not to be opened by the teacher who conducts this examination for the Board, until the morning of the day on which the examinations are to begin. This is supposed to be so carried out by all the teachers of the county, that on the date set for examination, all the pupils in the county of the same grade are having the same questions at the same time.
Unless these questions are used on the day set for their use, they are not allowed to be given. The rules governing the conducting of this examination are the same as are used in the examination of teachers. The teacher is given two weeks after this examination in which to grade the papers and forward them to the office of the Superintendent; ranking and grading the pupils herself.
Teachers are also expected to have monthly examinations; the average of the pupils' standing for the year is found by taking the average of the semi-annual examinations and the average of the monthly examinations for the year and dividing by two.
When these examination papers have all been returned to the office of the Superintendent, the Board meet and canvass the papers on the following: "The work” of the pupil. “The form” of the work of the pupil. "The neatness" of the work of the pupil. "The record of examination,” this is work of teacher. "The grading' whether too liberal, too close, or correct work of teachers, and “the average monthly standing,” whether high or low of the pupil. Pupils frequently rank higher in a Board examination than in the monthly examination of the teacher.
As an evidence of the grade and the standing in the grade of the pupil, after its determination by the above process, the teacher orders from the office of the Superintendent, badges of promotion. This badge consists of a piece of No. 12 ribbon, satin front, four inches long, raveled one-half inch for ornament, and bearing the impression of the seal of the Board, and a certificate on durable paper of the same length and width as the ribbon, fastened by brass fasteners at one end and lying behind the ribbon. On the paper is printed the following: “This certifies, that........... has been promoted from...... Grade...... to...... Grade...... 189... ..... Teacher..... District.” The color of the ribbon badge indicates the grade, and in all grades taking the Board examination, the seal attached indicates the standing on which the pupil entered the grade, as follows: The pupil reaching a general yearly average of not less than 80 per cent is entitled to a badge bearing a gold seal.
The pupil reaching a general yearly average of from 75 to 80 per cent is entitled to a badge bearing a silver seal.
The pupil reaching an average of from 70 to 75 per cent is entitled to a badge bearing a red seal; which is conditional promotion.
These colored seals are placed on badges of those grades only that take the Board examination. The minimum standard for graduation is 75 per cent.
Honorary promotion is given those pupils who make a general average for the year of 80 per cent, and who have reached 90 per cent in deportment. This excuses the pupil from the final semi-annual Board examination.
Pupils are graduated from the grammar schools, only when they have completed all the work of other years, and passed an examination in the subjects of the third year grammar department.
The examination papers of graduates must be graded by the teacher, then sent to the County Board to be approved by them before the pupils may receive their diplomas of graduation.
Tbis diploma of graduation from the grammar school admits pupils to our high school without further examination.
The State Arithmetic in Small Schools.
BY G. F. MYRICK, SITES, CAL.
Since the revision of the California State Arithmetic is now in progress, I venture to ask the JOURNAL to grant space for presentation of some of the difficulties iu teaching, in accordance with the system of the arithmetic now in use, to the average boy in the country school, -very bright boys and schools of more than one teacher barred from the discussion.
The well-known difficulty of the multiplicity of classes and consequent brief recitations is more unavoidable than ever, owing to the gradivg of schools by the county boards. The teacher cannot give sufficient instruction to the average boy, unless from a book so arranged that the pupil can do nearly all the work himself.
One difficulty is the lack of rules, valuable as a concise, accurate statement of work done; not waiting for the pupil to formulate a rule, which, alas ! too often never happens unless the teacher does what the book could as well-make the rule.
Another weak point is lack of printed analyses for oral work in exercises, as Nos. 110, 121, 123, 137, 139, 201 (in the latter a formula and some oral work), 213, 215, 229.
In these and other cases an accurate, full analysis would be of vast help to the average boy in directing his mind along the right channel and in riveting a knowledge of the principles involved, to the end that the systematized training may be available for use in written work or for a rapid review. Exercises like No. 108 are sometimes confusing, but are not so bad as the arrangement of work in parts of exercises Nos. 141, 192 and 198, where abrupt changes from reduction of fractions to one number as a fraction of another, then to reduction of decimals, throws the average boy off the track, whereas ten or more examples of like kind would tend to fix the method.
In avoiding the numerous cases of some arithmetics, chaos is frequently produced in the mind of the slow pupil. The natural bent of the boy's mind is often toward arithmetic, but if he cannot proceed without the teacher's help, and thus makes no independent progress in his favorite study, may not the much-deplored absence of the boy from school be partly traceable to that fact?
In some cases under “Percentage," the problems are too much involved and complicated for the average boy.
It is earnestly hoped that a mental arithmetic will also be provided, with full analysis for examples under each new principle, in order that the oral work may both precede and supplement the written work.
Free Text-Books in Pennsylvania. The following from the sixtieth annual report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the State of Pennsylvania is of educational interest in California at the present time: “To the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of
“GENTLEMEN: During the school year which closed on the first Monday of last June, the act of May 18, 1893, which provides for the introduction of free text-books and school supplies was carried into effect in all the districts of the Commonwealth, with the exception of Pittsburg. The obstacles which in that city prevented immediate compliance with the act, were overcome during the progress of the year, and in the summer vacation of 1894 upwards of 125,000 textbooks were purchased and prepared for use at the fall opening of the schools.
“Without doubt the introduction of free text-books has been the most important step of progress since the year 1867. One of the immediate effects was a large increase in attendance. Several superintendents specify an increase ranging from twenty to thirty per cent. Others report better classification, better graduating and better teaching as the result of free text-books. Pupils can no longer plead a lack of the necessary books as an excuse for not studying all the branches required by law. The care of the books has been an important lesson in the care of public property—and from this point of view an important help in preparing the pupils for the duties of citizenship. In one borough which adopted free text books two years ago, the average cost per pupil for text-books and supplies during the