A poll has now been created in the sidebar! Please express your preference. (Thank you, Jonathan, for making this suggestion).
As if the educational fate of our children could be determined by a poll of our readers...
Hey, you never know.
What's even more incredible is that individual teachers, schools, districts, and states still feel that this is a 'local' decision. After over two decades of this debate, children and their parents still have little to say about these kinds of curricular decisions that will impact on the mathematical futures of another generation. After all, the experts know what is best, right? Well, there are many many experts who all feel sure they know the answer to this question. Trouble is, they do not all draw similar conclusions and spend most of their time defending their choices or their particular agenda or favorite set of materials.
Finally, MathNotations will settle this debate once and for all. The results of this survey (assuming a minimum of 3 responses) will be used to influence national policy for years to come!
Here are your options regarding your preference for how multidigit multiplication should be taught in Grades 3-5 :
(A) Teach only the traditional algorithm and expect mastery
(B) Teach the 'partial products' method to develop understanding of place value and the traditional algorithm; teach the traditional algorithm as a more efficient method and require it; expect mastery
(C) Teach the 'partial products' method to develop understanding of the traditional algorithm; teach the traditional algorithm as a more efficient method; give students a choice of methods; expect mastery of at least one method
(D) Model other methods (e.g., 'lattice method') and encourage students to invent their own method; do not require any particular method or mastery
Now, don't miss this opportunity to be part of an historic decision. Your vote does count...
Saturday, January 26, 2008