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JOSEPHINE VAN THOFF
The things of most account accomplished in my class during October: 1. The Band of Mercy organized. 2. How to tell the branch of service to which a soldier belongs. 3. The making of war scrap-books.
4. Collecting the pictures of the candidates for the most important city offices, and all the candidates for the offices in their home borough.
5. Twice during the month the arithmetic, composition and spelling papers were mounted in a blank-book, each child having his own.
6. Knitting sweaters, army blanket, snipping for Red Cross.
THE BAND OF MERCY
After reading the book “Beautiful Joe,” I formed a club suggested by the one in the book, and named it “The Band of Mercy.”
The children sign a pledge which I have printed on a large cardboard. The pledge reads: "I will try to be kind to all harmless living creatures and try to protect them from cruel usage." Around the edge of the cardboard is a border composed of pictures of different animals; of course “Beautiful Joe" occupies the most conspicuous place.
Every Friday during the morning talk the members of the club are asked to tell a true story of how they have helped or protected some animal. Perhaps all these stories are not authentic; some must be taken “with a grain of salt.”
I neglected to state that up to the present time all the boys in the class are not members of the club. When I asked one boy why he did not sign the pledge, he said he would sign for dogs but he could not sign for cats because he enjoyed chasing them.
Some of the results of the forming of the club were rather remarkable; for instance, a bag of mice was brought to school to be buried, and on another day a homeless cat was brought to school.
I hope sometime in the near future to provide for each member a button on which will be printed a picture of “Beautiful Joe" and the name of the
Children who are taught to love and protect dumb creatures will be kind to their fellowmen when they grow up.
How to TELL THE BRANCH OF SERVICE TO WHICH A SOLDIER BELONGS
The above idea was suggested by the boys themselves, who were continually asking what kind of a soldier wore guns, etc., on his collar. Following out this suggestion, I made a chart 20 x 28 inches and called it “Distinguishing Marks of the United States Army.”
I divided the chart into three headings: (1) "Officers' Shoulder Straps and Chevrons,” showing the marks of rank of an officer, from general to corporal, inclusive. (2) “Collar Devices.” In this division were placed the pictures of collar devices most frequently seen. I selected ten. (3) “The Branch of the Army” in which an enlisted man serves as shown by the color of his hat cord. In this division were placed the different colored hat cords corresponding to the collar devices shown above. Underneath this a statement was printed noting the difference between officers' and enlisted men's leggings.
It was not an uncommon occurrence to see a boy, upon entering the room, go to the chart and look for the insignia in which he was most interested.
DISTINGUISHING MARKS OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY
1. Officers' Shoulder Straps
Chevrons First Sergeant, Sergeant, Corporal.
2. Collar Devices Infantry, Cavalry, Engineers, Field Artillery, etc.
3. The Branch of the Army in which an enlisted man serves is shown by the color of his hat cord: Blue, Infantry; yellow, Cavalry; red and white, Engineers.
An officer's leggings are of leather; an enlisted man's of canvas.
The pictures used in the making of this chart were taken from the Literary Digest, Ocotber 6 or 13, 1917.
THE MAKING OF WAR SCRAP-BOOKS The purposes of the “War Books” are: (1) to arouse interest of children in all events, both domestic and foreign, pertaining to war; (2) to try to give to the children a comprehension of the equipment, and different methods of fighting used; for example, trench warfare, the gas masks, etc.
By collecting these pictures the children's vocabulary has been increased; perhaps the greatest of all, a growing patriotism has been inculcated.
Every Monday the children bring to school the picture supplement of the Sunday newspapers. The pictures are carefully selected, cut out, and mounted in books made by the children. The books are made of wrapping paper, 9 x 12, although sometimes an old blank-book is used.
RED CROSS WORK FOR GIRLS
FLORENCE M. BULLOCK
Patriotism and service are in the air. Little foreign-born Americans vie with little native-born Americans in their efforts to help in work for the soldiers. If you have a real soldier who was once in your class as we have, so much the more vital will be the interest your children will take in war work.
The variety of Red Cross work for girls is only limited by the ability of the girls and the time that may be devoted to it. A group of twenty-five
A girls this summer, assisted by twelve boys, working one hour a week for seven weeks, made forty-one trench candles, twelve comfort pillows and contents, twelve covers for hot water bags, twelve knitted wash rags and five knitted scarfs. The girls ranged in age from five to twelve years. The little girls did the snipping of flannel and muslin for the comfort pillows, and the older girls sewed and knitted.
Work requiring a certain amount of patience, but not much skill, is the cutting or snipping of strips of outing flannel and unbleached muslin in equal quantities to make the filling for “comfort” pillows. These are used for convalescent patients and in ambulances or on stretchers. The number that is needed is legion, for each pillow is used for only one person and is then destroyed. The pillows, already made except for a small opening at one end, and the outing flannel and muslin scraps to be snipped, may be obtained at Red Cross headquarters, 411 Fifth Avenue. Even the very low-grade children can do this work as it is very simple, and it is surprising how quickly a large box can be filled by several children working even as short a time as fifteen minutes a day. We use a large cardboard box as a container for the strips, and another to hold the snippings. Children who can sew neatly sew on the tiny red cross and close the opening by which the pillow was filled.
Next in order of difficulty is the making of trench candles. These make very satisfactory substitutes for candles, are made of materials that otherwise would be wasted, and are used by the Italian troops in the Alps as “ration heaters,” for these candles burn without smoke.
The method of making the trench candle is very simple. A sheet of newspaper makes one candle. The sheet is cut very carefully and accurately into strips along the lines separating the columns. The Times and other papers of eight columns make the best candles. Two strips are taken together as one to make the beginning and a tight little roll, the tighter the better, is made as a start. The strips are wound very tightly. When you have rolled to within two inches from the end of a strip, insert one more
until all eight are used, continuing to wind very tightly, and always remembering to slip the new strip in between the candle and the old strip for firmness. The candles may be rolled on a table, or they may be held in the left hand with thumb and finger at opposite ends of the candle, using the right hand to roll and pull tightly. The thumb and index finger, used in this way, keep the candle straight and true at the ends, an important point. When all eight strips have been used, tie the candle securely with a linen thread. When a number of candles have been made, melt paraffin, or wax, or old candle ends, and in this melted material cook the paper rolls for four minutes, until they have absorbed as much wax as they can.
If the wax becomes too hot and smoky remove from fire for safety for a few moments, allowing the candles to remain in it.
For girls who can sew neatly the making of the outing flannel cases for hot water bags, and little flowered or khaki bags for comfort bags is good work. But these are much stronger and more satisfactory when stitched by machine and the Red Cross prefers them this way. Material already cut can be obtained at headquarters and directions for making the bags so that they conform to the regulation standards.
For girls who can knit, the work is only limited by their ability, skill and willingness to work,—and by the material. The article that is easiest made, although it is not the most interesting, is the wash rag. It is made of white knitting cotton and should be ten inches square when finished. The scarf, wristlets, helmet, sleeveless sweater and socks follow in the order of difficulty. Directions for making these follow, and printed directions may be obtained at Red Cross headquarters.
The making of surgical dressings and bandages is a part of the work that may be done by our girls, but it requires the greatest accuracy, cleanliness and care.
1 ball white knitting cotton. No. 3 amber needles. Cast on 60 stitches. Knit plain for 10 inches. Bind off.
2 hanks (1 pound) grey or olive-drab knitting yarn. No.5 amber needles. Cast on 50 stitches loosely. Knit plain for 68 inches. Bind off.
hank (pound) grey or olive-drab knitting yarn. No. 3 amber needles. Cast on 48 stitches. Knit 2 and purl 2 for 12 inches. Sew up leaving 2 inches open space at each end, 2 inches from the end.
1 hank (1 pound) grey or olive-drab knitting yarn. No. 3 amber needles. Cast on 48 stitches. Knit plain for 25 ribs (6 inches). Knit 2 and purl 2 for 35 rows (6 inches). On the next row the opening for the face is made as follows: Knit 2 and purl 2 for 12 stitches; bind off 24 stitches; knit 2 and purl 2 for 12 stitches for 12 rows. The last row should end at the opening for the face. On the twelve stitches the other side of the opening, knit 2 and purl 2 for 12 rows. Cast on 24 stitches and continue across, knitting 2 and purling 2 on the twelve stitches on the other side of the opening. You should have 48 stitches on needle as at first. Continue for 24
Top of helmet: Knit 2, narrow by knitting 2 together, knit 14, narrow, knit 14, narrow, knit 12. Purl the entire next row. On the third row knit 2, narrow, knit 13, narrow, knit 13, narrow, knit 11. Purl the fourth row. On the fifth row knit 2, narrow, knit 12, narrow, knit 12, narrow, knit 10. Purl the sixth row. Continue to narrow in the three places on every plain knitted row, with 1 stitch less between narrowings until 9 stitches are left.
Back of helmet: Work as for front, but omit the face opening.
Sew the two pieces together, leaving the plain knitting open from shoulders down.
SLEEVELESS SWEATER 2 hanks (1 pound) grey or olive-drab knitting yarn. No. 5 amber needles. Cast on 80 stitches. Knit 2 and purl 2 for 4 inches. Knit plain until sweater measures 23 inches. Knit 28 stitches, bind off loosely 24 stitches for neck. Knit 28 stitches. Knit 7 ridges on each shoulder. Cast on 24 stitches. Knit plain for 19 inches. Knit 2 and purl 2 for 4 inches. Bind off. Sew up sides leaving 9 inches for armholes. Crochet 2 rows of single crochet around neck and 1 row single crochet around armholes.
How to Teach. By George Drayton Strayer and Naomi Norsworthy.
The Macmillan Co., New York. The Psychology of Special Abilities and Disabilities. By A. F. Bronner.
Little, Brown & Co., Boston. Teachers who were becoming cynical and pessimistic as a result of the destructive invasion of the class room will be glad to learn that the invader has begun the work of reconstruction and is busy doing research and experimental work which will give a scientific basis for educational practice. Although only the beginnings have been made in this field, two helpful books, "How to Teach” and “The Psychology of Special Abilities and Disabilities," have been based on these scientific investigations. The former discusses the general principles which result from “the measurement of the achievements of children and adults under varying conditions”; the latter shows the need for determining the value of the general principles in the case of individuals having special ability or disability.
In "How to Study," the authors have sought to show definitely the application of principles in the class room. The following are among the