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ERIC Number: EJ768912
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-0025-5785
The Same Difference
Sugarman, Ian
Mathematics Teaching Incorporating Micromath, n202 p16-18 May 2007
At the heart of the debate about the place of standard arithmetic algorithms is the practice of teaching subtraction through decomposition. One welcome feature of the national numeracy strategy in both its initial and current incarnations has been the introduction of a focus upon a variety of mental strategies supported by jottings. In this article, the author demonstrates the use of a mental strategy for subtraction that offers a more child-friendly alternative to decomposition. He calls this approach "same difference." The strategy is consistent with the principle already established in primary schools, which is to encourage children to adopt sensible mental approaches, where the numbers involved influence the choice of strategy. An indication of a confident understanding of this strategy would be the flexible use of rounding up and rounding down, depending on the numbers involved. (Contains 1 note and 11 figures.)
Association of Teachers of Mathematics. Unit 7 Prime Industrial Park, Shaftesbury Street, Derby, DE23 8YB, UK. Tel: +44-1332-346599; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)