“The Traditional Algorithm”

“The Traditional Algorithm”

I’m sitting here listening to Steve Leinwand state that everyone in the room wishes we could return to our districts and ban the traditional algorithm. In my case, he’s right. Because the truth is, there is no such thing as THE traditional algorithm. He is inspiring, energetic, and makes conceptual math teaching feel urgent. I’m ok with missing Dan Meyer and Tracy Zager because my lovely colleagues will share those sessions with me.

Here is my proof that he is right, there is not one single traditional algorithm.

In no order whatsoever:

Equal Addition & Subtraction

Subtracting into Negative Numbers

Jesus’ strategy aka Partial Sums & Subtrahends


Add up to Ten to Subtract

Number Lines (which aren’t an algorithm, but it goes along nicely)

Know of another algorithm!? Share it in the comments below…

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