Q&A #18187

Teacher's opinions on the use of lattice multiplication

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From: Gail (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Feb 01, 2007 at 20:55:11
Subject: Re: Teacher's opinions on the use of lattice multiplication

>I am doing a short paper on the use of lattice multiplication and I have
>a few questions.
>How many schools are using this method compared to the normal way?
>In what grades is lattice multiplication being introduced?
>Is it easier for students?
>Is it easier for teachers to teach lattice multiplication?
>Do parents have difficulty with it because it is not the way they were
>What way do teachers prefer to teach?
>Any other information you have on lattice multiplication would be
>helpful! Thank you very much!

As a middle school teacher I see some students use this method.  I don't 
mind that they use it, but here is a drawback that I see with the method. 
(Of course, the same complaints could be made for the traditional 
algorithm...)   The lattice method doesn't really help students look at the 
problem as a whole, and consider it that way.  It treats each digit 
individually.  Even though there is a way to think about it as a place 
value-rich method, students rarely think about the place value as they "do 
the math".  

In addition, when the students are trying to multiply two decimal numbers, 
they often put the decimal in the wrong place.  This could be avoided if 
they would estimate their answer, and place the decimal according to the 
estimate, though.

Otherwise, I have no problem with students using this method to find 
 -Gail, for the T2T service

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