Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The new math, lattice multiplication

Is anybody else surprised by the way our kids are learning math? 

It isn't that it doesn't may indeed be easier than the way we learned multiplication, and even addition.  It's just that when I think of math, I think of it in a way that is absolute, which I thought included the method with which it was resolved.

Today my third grader brought home a new way of solving multiplication problems.  It is called the lattice method, and it works like a dream.  Although, it is so easy, that I worry my son isn't learning to calculate, he's just learning how to solve large multiplication problems with smaller addition problems.  Easy, but is he learning enough about the process?

I'm not an education major, so I'm sure the developers of the curriculum know exactly what they are doing, it just takes some getting used to.  I learned my multiplication tables on a grid I made out of tongue depressers and masking tape.  I loved that grid!