Q&A #4824

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

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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 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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