[Numeracy 596] Re: Teaching math and numeracy skills to adultslearning English

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Chip Burkitt chip.burkitt at orderingchaos.com
Fri Oct 22 16:12:36 EDT 2010

Well, that was cool! I had no idea that the method I've been teaching as
an alternative method had its roots in Ethiopia. I got it out of a
paperback book that I came across many years ago. I don't even remember
the name of the book, but I'm fairy certain that there was no mention of
Ethiopia. This was NOT the method used by the student from Russia. I'm
familiar with the Lattice method because it's what my own children
learned in school. I can't say I see an advantage to it over the
traditional method that relies on partial products in the base-10 system.

Chip Burkitt

On 10/22/2010 12:22 PM, Kohring, Aaron M wrote:


> I believe it is called both Russian Multiplication and Ethiopian

> Multiplication depending on the source.


> There's a four minute YouTube video from BBC that describes the

> process: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nc4yrFXw20Q


> Aaron


> Aaron Kohring


> UT Center for Literacy Studies


> *From:*numeracy-bounces at lincs.ed.gov

> [mailto:numeracy-bounces at lincs.ed.gov] *On Behalf Of *Arva Carlson

> *Sent:* Thursday, October 21, 2010 12:45 PM

> *To:* chip.burkitt at orderingchaos.com; 'The Math and Numeracy

> Discussion List'

> *Subject:* [Numeracy 593] Re: Teaching math and numeracy skills to

> adultslearning English


> The student may have been using Lattice Multiplication. It is a common

> algorithm in Europe.


> *From:*numeracy-bounces at lincs.ed.gov

> [mailto:numeracy-bounces at lincs.ed.gov] *On Behalf Of *Chip Burkitt

> *Sent:* Wednesday, October 20, 2010 5:34 PM

> *To:* numeracy at lincs.ed.gov

> *Subject:* [Numeracy 592] Re: Teaching math and numeracy skills to

> adults learning English


> When I taught basic math at Century College here in Minnesota, I

> taught how to multiply multi-digit numbers. I used the algorithm I

> learned as a child: write down partial products in staggered columns

> and carry extra digits to the next column for adding. Most students

> were already familiar with this method, although strings of zeroes in

> the multiplicands tended to confuse them. However, one student from

> Russia came to me after class and asked if he could use his the method

> he learned in Russia. He showed it to me. (I wish I had written it

> down because I can't remember it.) It took only a few moments

> reflection to realize that his method would work just as well, so I

> gave him the go ahead. The method was very different, but the outcome

> would always be correct.


> For students who struggle with the "standard" method of doing

> multiplication, I sometimes explain an alternate method that involves

> halving one multiplicand while doubling the other. After getting down

> to 1 on the first multiplicand, then you eliminate all the pairs

> (halved, doubled) where the halved number is even. Summing the

> remaining doubled numbers gives the correct answer. It basically uses

> binary arithmetic to get partial products and then sum them.


> For example:


> 37 x 82

> 18 164

> 9 328

> 4 656

> 2 1312

> 1 2624


> 82 + 328 + 2624 = 3034


> Of course, for some problems this method can be cumbersome, and it

> always pays to put the smaller number first. However, many students

> find it easier to implement.


> Chip Burkitt


> On 10/20/2010 9:51 AM, Seltenright, Ginny wrote:


> I think that there's a misunderstanding due to the title of the

> booklet referred to here, /"The Answer Is Still the Same...It Doesn't

> Matter How You Got It!"'///


> It does matter how you get there, what doesn't matter is that the

> student uses a different process than what the teacher perhaps is

> showing or another student is using. I went through the TIAN

> training in Arizona which emphasizes student exploration and the idea

> that there are many ways to get to the answer and then having students

> show how and why their answer works (or perhaps doesn't work) and

> making sure it works every time too. It isn't about just getting an

> answer and it being ok- which is possibly how the title may be

> understood now that I am reading this discussion. I agree with you

> Susan, in that we need to be sure the student is making a connection

> to the problem, the process, and what means to them. This is the idea

> behind the TIAN approach and Mary Jane's training involves training

> teachers to think this way also.


> Ginny


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