I'm reading a book chapter (written in 1992) about the teaching of mental arithmetic and estimation techniques in elementary school. The author refers to a particular series of books as "Out-of-print American Program," with a grade 3 book dated 1962 and a grade 5 book dated 1956.

The third-grade text has a story of a boy named Joe Bates who estimates that a 49-cent hat and a 29-cent ball will together cost about 80 cents. Then it has a little rhyme: "A wise boy is Joe Bates. When he adds, he estimates."

The fifth-grade text suggests three methods of estimating the quotient 1215 ÷ 52.

I'd like to know the name of the program so that I can investigate it further. I've tried searching Google and the Internet Archive for this text, but to no avail. Thanks for any help!

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Is the book you’re reading by Judith Sowder? [Googling the phrase “A wise boy is Joe Bates” gave exactly one hit to Sowder’s book.] If you don’t get a response here, you could try asking the author via email. $\endgroup$
    – Nick C
    Jan 20 at 23:52
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @NickC Yes, that's right. Thanks for the suggestion. $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Jan 20 at 23:59


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