Tuesday, September 18, 2007
So far I have largely ignored the way Americans write their division: divisor first then dividend. I learned it differently. Mind you, the algorithm is exactly the same, it's just the way it is written that differs: dividend, divisor and quotient are all in the same line, in that order, and the rest is the same. Now that I teach elementary math I have to train myself to do it the "wrong" way. Can anybody explain to me why the order in which these numbers are written in the algorithm seems to contradict what is being done, or is that just my perception influenced by years of drill I was subjected to? Also, whenever I show "my way" to people they say it doesn't make sense even though it is exactly the same process. Does that show the lack of understanding or lack of willingness to understand?