Teacher2Teacher 
Q&A #4824 
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From: Frances Richardson To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion Date: 2003043021:27:38 Subject: Re: A different way to subtract than normally taught. I wonder if this little girl's teacher is British. We used a different method from the one taught here. I find it much easier than the American method. I'm told the British method is more algebraic, but I'm not a good enough mathematician to judge that. Here's how it works: 6 3 _ 4 8 You "borrow" 10 from the tens column, but from the 4, not the 6. You don't bother to rename it 3. You then have 138 in the ones place. Then you "pay back" the 10 to the 4, making it 5. Then, you have 65 in the tens place. Result: 15. It cuts down all that crossing out and renaming. I teach 4th and 5th grade special ed. Even though I teach the U.S. method, when I'm checking my students' work, I revert to my old ways because for me it's much quicker.
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