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HINTS RESPECTING BLACKBOARDS. The upper portion of the standing blackboard should be inclined back a little from the perpendicular, and along the lower edge there should be a projection or trough to catch the particles detached from the chalk or crayon when in use, and a drawer to receive the sponge, cloth, lamb’s-skin, or other soft article used in cleaning the surface of the board.
Blackboards, even when made with great care, and of the best seasoned materials, are liable to injury and defacement from warping, opening of seams, or splitting when exposed to the overheated atmosphere of school-rooms, unless they are set in a frame like a slate, or the panel of a door.
By the following ingenious, and cheap contrivance, a few fect of board can be converted into a table, a sloping desk, one or two blackboards, and a form or seat, and the whole folded up so as not to occupy a space more than five inches wide, and be easily moved from one room to another. It is equally well adapted to a school-room, class-room, library or nursery.lat
fs Under side of the swinging board, sus
A pended by rule-joint hinges, when turned up, painted black or dark chocolate.
a d Folding brackets, inclined at an angle of 75 degrees, and swung out to support the board
hon when a sloping desk is required. b c Folding brackets I
I to support the swinging board when a bench or flat table is required.
eeee Uprights attached to the wall.
gg Form to be used when the swinging board is let down, and to be supported by folding legs. The under side can be used as a blackboard for small children.
h A wooden button to retain the swinging board when turned up for use as a blackboard.
n Opening to receive inkstands, and deposit for slate, pencil, chalk, &c.
27 m Surface of swinging board when let down.
86. Zn. i Surface of form or
When not in use, or let down, the desk and form should hang flush with each other.
A cheap movable blackboard can be made after the following cot (Fig. 3.
Slate Blackboard. In the class-rooms of the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb, and all similar institutions, where most of the instruction is given by writing, and drawings on the blackboard, large slates from three feet wide, to four feet long are substituted for the blackboard. These slates cost from $2 to $3, and are superior to any other form of blackboard, and in a series of years prove more economical.
Plaster Blackboard. As a substitute for the painted board, it is common to paint black a portion of the plastered wall when covered with hard finish, (i. e. plaster of Paris and sand ;) or to color it by mixing with the hard finish a sufficient quantity of lamp-black, wet with alcohol, at the time of putting it on. The hard finish, colored in this way, can be put on to an old, as well as to a new surface. Unless the lamp-black is wet with alcohol, or sour beer, it will not mix uniformly with the hard finish, and when dry, the surface, instead of being a uniform black, will present a spotted appearance.
Canvas Blackboard. Every teacher can .provide himself with a portable blackboard made of canvas cloth, 3 feet wide and 6 feet long, covered with three or four coats of black paint, like Winchester's Writing Charts. One side might, like this chart, present the elements of the written characters classified in the order of their simplicity, and guide-marks to enable a child to determine with ease the height, width, and inclination of every letter. Below, on the same side, might be ruled the musical scale, leaving sufficient space to receive such characters as may be required to illustrate lessons in musio. The opposite side can be used for the ordinary purposes of a blackboard. When rolled up, the canvas would occupy a space three feet long, and not more than three inches in diameter.
Directions for making Crayons. A school, or the schools of a town, may be supplied with crayons very cheaply, made after the following directions given by Professor Turner of the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb.
Take 5 pounds of Paris White, 1 pound of Wheat Flour, wet with water, and knead it well, make it so stiff that it will not stick to the table, but not so stiff as to crumble and fall to pieces when it is rolled under the hand.
To roll out the crayons to the proper size, two boards are needed, one, to roll them on; the other to roll them with. The first should be a smooth pine board, three feet long, and nine inches wide. The other should also be pine, a foot long, and nine inches wide, having nailed on the under side, near each edge, a slip of wood one third of an inch thick, in order to raise it so much above the under board, as, that the crayon, when brought to its proper size, may lie between them without being flattened.
The mass is rolled into a ball, and slices are cut from one side of it about one third of an inch thick; these slices are again cut into strips about four inches long and one third of an inch wide, and rolled separately between these boards until smooth and round.
Near at hand, should be another board 3 feet long and 4 inches wide, across which each crayon, as it is made, should be laid so that the ends may project on each side-ihe crayons should be laid in close contact and straight. When the board is filled, the ends should be trimmed off so as to make the crayons as long as the width of the board. It is then laid in the sun, if in hot weather, or if in winter, near a stove or fire-place, where the crayons may dry gradually, which will require twelve hours. When thoroughly dry, they are fit for use.
An experienced hand will make 150 in an hour.
DIFFERENT KINDS OF BOOKS IN USE IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
In Spelling, Reading, Definitions, &c. Russell's American School Reader.
Elocutionary Reader for Young American First Class Book.
Ladies. American Popular Lessons.
Introduction to American Preceptor.
Lessons in Enunciation. Angell's Union Series, No. 1. Town's Analysis.
Tower's Gradual Reader. 3.
Webster's American Spelling Book. 4.
School Dictionary. 6.
Worcester's First Book. Bible and Testament,
Second “ Bumstead's First Reading Book.
Introduction to Third Book.
School Dictionary. Cobb’s Spelling Book.
Comprehensive Diction ary.
Emerson's First Part.
Second Part. Historical Reader.
Third Lee's Spelling Book.
Greenleaf's Mental. Murray's English Reader.
Documents referred to in the Report of the Commissioner of Public Schools,
submitted November 1, 1815.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN CITIES AND LARGE VILLAGES. When references were made in the Report to this number of the Appendix, it was intended to present the history and condition of the public schools in various cities and large villages, where they had been organized on a plan of gradation more or less similar to the one presented in the Report. In connection with the schools which are universally recognized in a system of public instruction, a brief notice was intended to be taken of such educational institutions, as “ Infant Schools, "« Reform Schools,” “ Industrial and Farm Schools,” and “ Schools for Juvenile. Offenders.” But for want of room, most of the matter intended for this Appendix, will be omitted, except such portions as relate to the operation of a Public High School.
The establishment of this grade of public schools, is often opposed on entirely different grounds. By some it is claimed, that while the pecuniary burden of its support will fall mainly on the property of the wealthy, their children will not derive any benefit from the school; and on the other hand, it is regarded by many with jealousy, as affording special advantages to a few professional and wealthy families, or as educating the children of the industrial class, is above the business for which the wishes or circumstances of their parents may have destined them. Since that portion of the Report in which this subject is discussed, was printed, information has been collected to show the operation of this grade of public schools in cities and large districts in this and other states, where they have been established,
long enough to show their appropriate fruits. Extracts from which is given below.
BRATTLEBORO, Vermont. " The organization of the present school system in this village, dates back over a space of nearly five years, at which time, for a population of fifteen hundred people, there were four district schools, taught as usual,