Lattice Multiplication

 Lattice Multiplication

by Esa Helttula

Has your son or daughter come home from school asking for help with their math homework?  When you review it, do you sometimes feel slightly confused with the “new” approaches that your child is being taught.   Concerned that you won’t be able to support your child during their nightly homework routine?  All you can hear is your child saying, “I just don’t get this strategy of lattice multiplication.” While you are thinking to yourself, “whatever happened to the normal way of solving multiplication problems; lining up columns, recalling your multiplication number facts, carrying over the tens, and wrapping it up with addition.” With all these questions comes answers. Lattice multiplication is a method of multiplying large numbers using a grid.  Although this lattice multiplication strategy may seem different from the traditional ways of teaching, it is in reality equivalent to solving long multiplication.  When using this method it breaks the multiplication process into smaller steps, which some students find easier.  Have no fear, approaching math in this manner should not cause you to call for a tutor.  Your tutor can come in the palm of your hands as your child(ren) or student(s) learn and reinforce this mathematical skill with their mobile device.  From the developers of many well known educational math apps, Esa Helttula has been improving upon her design of Lattice Multiplicaton.

With a very simple design that is customizable for each mathematician, users will be pleased with the step by step visual approach and its ability to challenge students in a variety of ways.  Those using the application on an iPad might find it helpful to rotate your device.  By doing this, the orientation of the problem will change slightly.   Depending on the users learning style, one direction may be more appealing than the other.  For a teacher, the Lattice Multiplication app will intrigue many as it aligns with a number of mathematic programs currently in schools.  There are several features that Applicable2U loves about this educational app. As my students or even my son games for reason, we enjoy the fact that there are no adds incorporated, that in order to be challenged an in-app purchase isn’t required, wrong answers are not penalized and that a user can take their time to grasp and comprehend the math concept being presented.

Whether you are the teacher, a homeschooler, or the actual student integrating this application, it is important to establish your settings  prior to exploration.  Within the settings button, users can alter a variety of modes, however, when making these changes, be sure that you understand certain math vocabulary terms such as: multiplicand, multiplier, and operands. As you select new options, watch the problem design change in the background. For friends with color impairments, Esa Helttula has that covered, simply alter the screens background color to black, white or sepia.  If users feel that the animation of step by step directions is moving too fast, simply change the animation speed.  These academic accommodations alone has Applicable2U giving the Lattice Multiplication app a standing ovation.

Lattice Multiplication will fit nicely in a multitude of ways at home and in school.  Use this application for one to one instruction or use it in a whole group setting while your iPad device is connected to a projector.  As you incorporate your device, the projector and this educational app, your math class will feel as though they have an interactive whiteboard now in their presence.  Through our exploration, we noticed that the bank of questions or possible combination of numbers was endless and there did not appear to be the same problem twice.  Although this was the case, users can create their own problems by selecting the “set” button.  By double tapping inside each box, teachers, parents or students can build their own question set.  This is a nice feature as the Lattice Multiplication app can now be customized and used in the classroom to go over homework problems done at home.  In addition, to guide users, grids are pre-drawn, the multiplicand and multiplier are arranged around the grid for the players, and circled numbers are available when doing simple multiplication facts and adding. Through the use of highlighting, bigger problems  won’t seem so intimidating as you solve smaller operations.  Immediately, users are aware if they made an incorrect or correct tap of a number.  Those correct will move into place within the grid, however, those incorrect answers will simply sit at the bottom of the page, indicating an alternate solution is to be picked.  As the grid is filled inside, users will move from solving multiplication problems to solving simple addition problems.  When adding multiple numbers, it is important for late elementary players to use such strategies as finding combinations of 10.  At the completion of the problem, those numbers around the left side and bottom of the grid will magically appear as a completed number sentence.  A note to the developers – was there a particular reason that commas were left out?  Academically, Applicable2U would love to see a comma incorporated in the final solution.  This will reinforce place value and the ability to read large numbers.

Lattice Multiplication may seem foreign to many, but after practicing this approach on your mobile device, math will become a great deal easier. If math is a struggle for your child(ren) or student(s), then why not clear up those mathematical frustrations by downloading Lattice Multiplication to your Apple device.  Does your elementary student have other areas of math concern, then you will want to visit   Esa Helttula’s website here as she has 15 additional math applications in the Apple Store that will provide your child a number of “a ha” moments. You will not regret having paid $3.99 for Lattice Multiplication, it’s a lot cheaper than those expensive tutors.  To begin downloading it today simply click here to access it in your iTunes library.

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