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PUBLISHED BY WM. J. REYNOLDS & CO.
COLBURN'S FIRST LESSONS IN ARITHMETIC.
“No one can hold Colburn's First Lessons in higher estimation than I do; and I think whoever undertakes to furnish a substitute for that little book, which shall better answer the purpose, will fail in his pur. pose.
E. JOCELYN, Principal of the Female High School, Salem, Mass., 1845.” WORCESTER'S ELEMENTS OF HISTORY, Ancient and Modern.
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Colburn's First Lessons in Arithmetic.
E.ctract from Mr. Page's Lecture before the American Institute,
August 1843. Mr. Page is now Principal of the Normal School at Albany. I shall venture to mention The book which I consider the proneer in this country, in the great reform in school books. It is a book of small size, of no very loud pretensions, but it is The Book which has done more in this country, not only for the particular branch on which it treats, but for most other branches, by its indirect influence upon the character of teachers and authors, and the method of imparting instruction in general, than any other that has been written in our language. It is that little volume called . First LESSONS IN ARITHMETIC, BY WARREN COLBURN.' In this book of 172 pages, Mr. C. has opened the principles of Arithmetic in a strictly analytic way, as he says, after the manner of Pestalozzi.
The reason, the understanding, is addressed, and led on step by step, till the whole is taken into the mind and becomes a part of it. The memory is little thought of, yet the memory cannot let it slip; for what has been drunk in, as it were, by the understanding, and made a part of the mind, the mind never forgets! To how many a way-worn and weary pupil under the old system; to how many a proficient, who could number his half dozen authors, and twice that number of manuscript cyphering books; to how many a teacher even, who had taught the old system, winter after winter, and yet saw but as “through a glass darkly; to how many such, was this book on its appearance. Their First Lessons in Arithmetic ?' WARREN COLBURN's name should be written in a conspicuous place, in letters of gold, for this service. Extract from the Report of the Committee on Arithmetic, of the
Essex County Teachers' Association. Nov. 30, 1838. Colburn's First Lessons,' it is admitted by all who have made themselves thoroughly acquainted with them, are beyond all estimation. It is the opinion of the Committee, that the Analysis of the principles of Arithmetic is as perfectly presented in this little book as it can be done. There is just enough of it; neither foo much nor too little. They are further of the opinion, that it should be text book in every school, not to take the place of written arithmetic, but to take its own place. * * * It is no perishable fame to have been the author of COLBURN'S FIRST LESSONS.
The Annual Report of the School Committee of Cambridge, as submitted, March, 1941, in speaking of the Text Books used in the schools, says, Colburn's First Lessons - perhaps, all things considered, the best Elementary School Book in the language used in the Middle Schools.'
BY WARREN COLBURN, A.M.
New Edition, Revised and Improved.
No. 20 CORNHILL.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1847, by
WILLIAM J. REYNOLDS, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
ADVERTISEMENT TO THE REVISED EDITION.
The character of Colburn's First Lessons is too widely and thoroughly known to make it necessary to give, in this edition, any extended statement of its principles and method. Ideas which were new at the first publication of this work have now, through the “great change” that has taken place in elementary instruction in Arithmetic, through its influence, become the common possession of all intelligent teachers.
The careful revision of the work which has now been made has suggested very few points in which any changé seemed to be required. It has been thought that a more easy and gradual introduction would render the work more useful to the most youthful beginners. *
The use of the book with beginners demands of the teacher considerable labor in the way of proposing original questions, and devising modes of illustration ; and a short course of Introductory Lessons is prefixed, which the teacher may use as materials and hints in the first steps of the study.
* In the city of Lowell, where this book has been used from its first publication, the School Committee passed a vote in December, 1846, excluding all other Arithmetics in their Primary Schools; thus showing, in the opinion of intelligent men who acted upon their experience, that Colburn's First Lessons is sufficiently easy for the most juvenile scholar.
GENERAL VIEW OF THE PLAN.
Every combination commences with practical examples. Care has been taken to select such as will aptly illustrate the combination, and assist the imagination of the pupil in performing it. In most instances, immediately after the practical, abstract examples are placed, containing the same numbers and the same operations, that the pupil may the more easily observe the connection. The instructer should be careful to make the pupil observe the connection. After these are a few abstract examples, and then practical questions again.
The numbers are small, and the questions so simple, that almost any child of five or six years old is capable of understanding more than half the book, and those of seven or eight years old can understand the whole of it.
The examples are to be performed in the mind, or by means of sensible objects, such as beans, nuts, &c. The pupil should first perform the examamples in his own way, and then be made to observe and tell how he did them, and why he did them so." *
Several examples in each section are performed in the Key, to show the method of solving them. No answers are given in the book, except where
* It is remarkable, that a child, although he is able to perform a variety of examples which involve addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, recognizes no operation but addition. Indeed, if we analyze these operations when we perform them in our minds, we shall find that they all reduce themselves to addition. They are only different ways of applying the same principle. And it is only when we use an artificial method of performing them, that they take a different form. # If the following questions were proposed to a child, his answers would be, in substance, like those annexed to the questions. How much is five less than eight? Ans. Three. Why? Because five and three are eight. What is the difference between five and eight? Ans. Three. Why? Because tive and three are eight. If you divide eight into two parts, such that one of the parts may be five, what will the other be? Ans. Three. Why? Because five and three are eight.
How much must you give for four apples at two cents apiece? Ans. Eight cents. Why? because two and two are four, and two are six, and two are eight.
How many apples, at two cents apiece, can you buy for eight cents ? Ans. Four. Why? Because two and two are four, and two are six, and two are eight.
We shall be further convinced of this, if we observe that the same table serves for addition and subtraction; and another table which is formed by addition, serves both for multiplication and division. In this treatise the same plate serves for the four operations.
This remark shows the necessity of making the pupil attend to his manner of performing the examples, and of explaining to him the differenco between them.