Special thanks go to Penny Williams and the Anchorage, Alaska School District for the use of her material on this site.

What is an algorithm?

An algorithm is a set of rules for solving a math problem which, if done properly, will give a correct answer each time. Algorithms generally involve repeating a series of steps over and over as in the borrowing and carrying algorithms and in the long multiplication and division algorithms.

The Everyday Mathematics program includes a variety of suggested algorithms for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Current research indicates a number of good reasons for this — primarily, that students learn more about numbers, operations, and place value when they explore math using different methods.

How do these algorithms work?

An algorithm is a set of rules for solving a math problem which, if done properly, will give a correct answer each time. Algorithms generally involve repeating a series of steps over and over as in the borrowing and carrying algorithms and in the long multiplication and division algorithms.

The Everyday Mathematics program includes a variety of suggested algorithms for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Current research indicates a number of good reasons for this — primarily, that students learn more about numbers, operations, and place value when they explore math using different methods.

How do these algorithms work?