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THE FIRST THING IN LEARNING TO WRITE.

The first thing that ought to be taught a child when commencing to write is the holding of the pen, and the second is the using the pen. (If the pencil is used, hold it as though it was a pen.)

To give the correct method and establish it requires time and patience, for the pupil may not at first be able to keep the pen in position and make movements, yet it will not take long if a patient and firm course be taken. When this is well learned, and the pupil can, without tiring, maķe the movements, he will have mastered half the difficulties of learning to write.

The teachers will find that the pupil will bear watching with regard to holding and using the pen for a long time, for he may become careless or indifferent.

It is supposed that the teacher understands the correct way of holding the pen, and can teach it, but if he does not, he can obtain the information from the cover of almost any copy book.

If the pupil is very young, give him a pen or pencil rather smaller than the common size, if it is convenient, if not, use the common size, but see that it is of good length.

One of the faults of the present system of copy books is that they require the learning of the correct method of holding and using the pen, and at the same time the development of exact forms. It is best not to give exact forms at first. When the principles of holding and using the pen are quire well fixed then exact forms may with success be given.

Give at first simple oval exercises, then straight lines, connected at the top and bottom, then the m exercise, then the m joined with u and n; from these to loop letter exercises. In this way the pupil will have quite a knowledge of the movements hat are necessary to the formation of the letters. Up to this time give no rules for exact forms. The time for the rules is when the pupil can attend to them and hold and use the pen correctly. Correct habit is in the beginning of more importance to the pupil than his time, so don't hurry him in these exercises.

In regard to movement, a word may not be amiss. Muscular movement is what is meant by correct movement. This should be taught as primary movement. It is quite generally used by business writers almost to a man, teach this movement as a Business movement, and as the business of our Graded Schools is to educate for business, the true business movement should be given in teaching penmanship. This with finger-movements as secondary is called combined movement. These are the only movements necesssary for the business penman. Some use the whole arm movement, yet but a few.

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The muscular movement is obtained by resting the arm on the muscle of the forearm near the elbow, and moving the arm up and down, right and left, with direct or rotary motion, upon the tissues of the muscle, while the skin of the arm remains stationary on the desk. This movement may be slow or rapid as it may necessary for business purposes.

Will not teachers give this a trial? The fact that it is universily adopted by business penmen is an item of importance that ought not to be lightly treated. I ask for the matter treated in this article a fair consideration by educators.

W. W.

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AMERICAN ANTIQUITIES.— In the remote parts of Arizona it is said that well-preserved and extensive ruins have been found which indicate the former existence of populous cities. From an account of these by Colonel Roberts in the Builder, we quote the following description: “It is surrounded by a wall of sandstone neatly quarried and dressed, 10 or 12 feet thick, and originally, judging from the detritus, 15 or 20 feet high. Within are the walls of houses, temples, and markets, all of solid stone and showing excellent masonry. These walls are covered with bieroglyphics, cut deeply into the stone, The whole of the ruins, like most of those of the Orient, and more especially those of Arabia and Assyria, are more or leas buried in sand. According to the account, this city is some 90 miles from the boundary between Utah and Arizona, and an equal distance from the westcrn Colorado line. It is close to the desert, and is surrounded by extensive sandy plains.-Scribner's for April.

PURE DESIRES.—When our aspirations after holiness are mixed up with wordly ambition—that is, when we have desires for holiness and desires for popularity, alternately operating upon us—when we seek God a little and man a little, there can be no substantial progress in the knowledge of the power of God. Those who are trying to overcome their sins and are not ashamed of being mocked for pious talk, but are resolved to win the prize of eternal life, have great need to watch, lest they enter into the temptation of making their own paths. God will direct his children as minutely as their circumstances require. Our hairs aro all numbered and not a sparrow falls to the ground without notice. His system of watch and care is complete. His resources for the supply of all your wants, have no parallel. His love is infinite; His benevolence unbounded.-H. M. Z.

2-VOL. III, No. 5.

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Official Department.

OFFICIAL OPINIONS.

Prepared by the Assistant Superintendent. Q. If a joint district in two towns is to be altered, is it sufficient if one board meets and the other conserts to it afterwards ?

A. No, both boards must meet.

Q. If the clerk of a district cannot read or write, is it his privilege to have whom he may please to do the reading and writing at a school meeting, or shall the meeting select?

A. If a district foolishly elects a clerk who must use the pen and mouth of some one else, it would be fair to let him select his own proxy.

Q. If no election is made of school officers at the annual meeting, will an election at an adjourned meeting, held two weeks later, be legal?

A. No, the power of the district to elect continues only for ten days; after that the board is to fill any vacancy, and if it does not, within the prescribed time, then the power is devolved upon the town clerk.

Q. The clerk did not approve the bond of the treasurer for eleven days, nor the director for eighteen days after his election. Is this sufficient?

A. No, a neglect to file the bond within ten days, completed and approved, as the law directs, vacates the office.

Q. Our district, which is feeble, must build a school house, and can have only four months' school; can we draw school money?

A. The power given the state superintendent to apportion money on less than five months' schooling, relates only to “unlooked for causes," and not to the necessity of building a new school-house, which, of course, is known beforehand, and can be provided for.

Q. If a tax is voted to build a school-house and collected, will it be lawful to change the vote and use the money for teachers' wages? HA. A district can change its mind. It ought, perhaps, to know its mind before it raises the money, but it must be held that if the majority finally conclude not to build, the money may be used for other legitimate school purposes, as there is no way to return it to the tax payers.

Q. Our district voted to borrow money of the state to build a school-house. We find that the state will not lend now; can the board borrow from some other source, without calling another meeting?

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A. Not if the vote taken was simply to borrow of the State.

Q. The district board contracted with A. B. to deliver twenty cords of wood, and the clerk afterwards drew an order and the treasurer paid for the wood, although it was not delivered. To whom shall the district look for the money!

A. To the treasurer, or his sureties (see also sections 134 and 136).

Q. Is a vote that no one living in the district shall be hired to teach binding on the board?

A. The board is bound by no vote of this kind — but only to employ a male or female teacher, as the district may direct.

Q. If by alteration of a district, a district officer is placed in another district, does he retain his office in the old district?

A. He does not; voluntarily or involuntarily, he is removed from the district.

Q. If a person is present at the meeting when he is elected a district officer, must the clerk also give him written notice?

A. No, his presence at the meeting is sufficient notice, and his acceptance is taken for granted, if he does not, within ten days, file a written refusal to serve.

Q. If an ex-clerk refuses to give up the register, record books, etc., what can be done?

A. He may be proceeded against by writ of replevin or man. damus.

Q. If the district votes a six months' winter school, and the sickness of the teacher breaks it up, at the end of three months, must the board provide for enough summer school to make up five months the district not wishing a summer school?

A. The board is discharged of any liability in the matter, from the fact that the district provided for more than five months' school.

Q. If money is left on hand from the amount raised for teachers' wages, can it lawfully be applied towards building a new school house?

A. Yes, if the district so votes.

Q. The people in our district, by an informal agreement, set out shade trees around the school house, and the board afterwards paid themselves for what they did. What can be done?

A. The treasurer is liable for all money received by him which has not been paid out according to law. (See also sections 134 and 136.)

Q. In the JOURNAL of February, 1873, it is decided that a foreigner who has declared his intention to become a citizen and has a right to vote, has a right to be elected; and in the school laws, published in 1870, p. 58, there is a decision of the supreme court given (13 W. R., 497), “ that the government is instituted by the citizens for their liberty and protection, and that it is to be administered and its powers and functions exercised only by them and through their agency." Has that decision been reversed?

A. There is no contradiction here; a foreigner who has declared his intention,” etc., is regarded as a quasi citizen, and allowed to vote; if he may vote he may be voted for and be elected to minor offices. An absolute foreigner can neither vote nor be elected.

Q. Please give a form of resignation by a district clerk ?
A. The following will suffice:
To the School Board of District No.

GENTLEMEN: I hereby resign my office as district clerk, the resignation to take effect in days from this date.

Respectfully yours,

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(Dated)

187Q. If a district meeting gives a job to the lowest bidder and it is taken by one of the board, who is to accept the job - can the member that does it also accept it?

A. The other two members may “ accept;" but it is generally inexpedient for a member of the school board to be employed by the board, because it is improper for him to draw, endorse or pay an order in his own favor. If he wishes to work for the board, the best way is to resign, and let some one else be appointed.

Q. If the law provides for a meeting of the district board to hire a teacher or do any other business, does it answer the law to have a contract made, and business all done before the time of meeting? Would it be right to issue orders to pay a teacher hired by two of the board, under the circumstances?

A. A contract with a teacher must be the result of a meeting of the board duly called, as provided in section 46. A contract made without such meeting is illegal.

Q. If a district board contract with a teacher who holds a certificate of the third grade, can they afterward dismiss him for being unable to instruct pupils in a subject not included in third grade branches?

A. Not unless it could be shown that he undertook to teach other branches than those named by his certificate.

Q. When the district board discharge the teacher, for any cause, what constitutes a legal notice of dismissal?

A. A notice signed by at least two of the board.

Q. Can the district board compel the teacher to adopt the methods of instruction which they prescribe? As for instance, that pupils shall

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