# Teaching Mathematics in Primary Schools

By Robyn Zevenbergen; Shelley Dole et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 10
Written
algorithms

An algorithm is a prescribed sequence of steps that, when executed correctly, results in the desired outcome. Real world examples of algorithms include using an automatic teller machine, building a model plane, putting together a trampoline, and even possibly making a cup of coffee. When the steps are executed in these algorithms in the prescribed manner, the results are favourable. If particular steps are not executed as prescribed, the result may be less than satisfactory. In mathematics, algorithms are procedures for performing calculations to achieve the correct solution to a problem or exercise. In the primary school mathematics curriculum, students meet algorithms as they are taught standard penand-paper calculation procedures for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

The teaching of standard written algorithms has been a dominant component of the primary school mathematics curriculum for many years. Currently there is considerable debate that questions the value of teaching standard written algorithms. The National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (1989) stated that students should be able to choose between mental, written and technology methods for attaining answers to calculations with choice dependent upon the purpose of the computation.

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Teaching Mathematics in Primary Schools

• Title Page *
• Foreword v
• Contents vii
• Chapter 1 - The Changing Face of Primary Mathematics 1
• References *
• Chapter 2 - Theoretical Foundations for Contemporary Mathematics Education 21
• References *
• Chapter 3 - Language and Mathematics 33
• References *
• Chapter 4 - Diversity and Equity 47
• References *
• Chapter 5 - Planning for Teaching 63
• References *
• Chapter 6 - Assessment 79
• References 105
• Chapter 7 - Working Mathematically 106
• References *
• Chapter 8 - Early Number 121
• References 147
• Chapter 9 - Basic Facts and Mental Computation 149
• References *
• Chapter 10 - Written Algorithms 176
• References *
• Chapter 11 - Rational Number 197
• References *
• Chapter 12 - Patterns and Algebra 233
• References *
• Chapter 13 - Measurement 250
• References 280
• Chapter 14 - Chance and Data 281
• References *
• Chapter 15 - Space 310
• References *
• Index 340
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