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Q&A #4824

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: A different way to subtract than normally taught

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From: Frances Richardson <fmjowitt@ntelos.net>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2003043020:27:38
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 13-8 in the ones
place.  Then you "pay back" the 10 to the 4, making it 5.  Then, you
have 6-5 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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