Number Stories - Learning Arithmetic Through the Adventures of Ralph and His Schoolmates

Alhambra Deming | published 1916

added May 17, 2024
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First Date of Publication
1916
Original Source
Book
Original Source Type
Book
Medium
Book
Original Language
English
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Summary: A sequence of stories, connected over 200 pages, which very gently and seamlessly introduces young children concepts of arithmetic, geometry, accounting and the like.

Story Tag Line: The story should be kept uppermost and the teachings, apparently, made incidental.


Reviews

  • Vijay Fafat
    Published on

    A simpler, slightly different book than the one by David Eugene Smith (“Number Stories of Long Ago”). This book, instead of speaking of the history of numbers, goes into a connected string of stories which very gently and seamlessly introduces young children concepts of arithmetic, geometry, accounting and the like. I highly recommend it to parents who can use it for their children aged 12 and below, for it is a rather enjoyable tale on its own but with much instructional value, far beyond basic number problems found in texts. As the preface says:

    “These stories are to be read to pupils in the intermediate grades. Their primary aim is drill in the essentials of arithmetic as applied to a child’s experience. In addition to this the vital lessons of system, industry, independence, uprightness, courtesy, school loyalty, generosity, thrift, and appreciation and consideration of parents are taught by suggestion. The story should be kept uppermost and the teachings, apparently, made incidental.”

    The Introduction speaks to the admirable goal:

    “ARITHMETIC as taught in the past has, perhaps, been more abstract and more foreign to the real life of the child than any other subject included in our grammar-school curriculum. The pupil’s imagination might help compass the end in view in the teaching of geography, reading, and history, but in arithmetic the imagination has been offered no opportunity to help. Since school-teaching began children have juggled with the uninteresting symbols which we call figures, without realizing their values and without a suspicion that they could have anything to do with a child’s experience. Even when the abstract was made concrete by the application of figures to actual working experience, the conditions of the problems presented were generally far removed from the child’s interest. Such problems were for the most part made to fit grown-up conditions, and were utterly dissociated from one another.”

    “The past few years have seen much improvement in the teaching of arithmetic, but there is still crying need for methods which bring this subject into closer relationship with the life of the child. These NUMBER STORIES have been written with the object of begetting a live interest in a hitherto abstract subject. Interest begets effort; effort begets accuracy; accuracy begets efficiency, and efficiency is to-day the great aim of elementary education.”