Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Is Subtraction Really That Hard?

Edu-blogger Darren Miller over at Right on the Left Coast offers an interesting juxtaposition on the "New Math" and the multi-step approach that is apparently guiding math instruction under the Common Core. By now we've all seen examples of the "Byzantine" way of performing basic addition and subtraction problems that are frustrating both elementary students and their parents. As a math teacher, Darren wonders "is the standard algorithm really that difficult for most kids" and are any of the new ways of math really easier or more effective for kids. He doubts it. But along with the discussion of algorithms, he reminds us of this compelling argument for understanding the algorithm:

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