# Addition Algorithm for Children - Cuemath

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### July 14, 2020

Suppose that we have to add 47 and 89. From grade-1 onward, children can solve such problems by arranging the numbers vertically, and following the addition algorithm, which is shown below for this particular case:

However, children do not have an inkling of why this algorithm works. They can do all the addition and carry-over steps fluently, but have no idea why they are doing what they are doing. In this article, we explore the Cuemath approach to the addition algorithm.

## Cuemath Approach to the Addition Algorithm

Let’s represent 47 and 89 on the Abacus and think about adding them. Note that each bead on the ones wire represents 1 unit (let’s call any such bead a one-bead), while each bead on the tens wire represents 10 units (let’s call such a bead a ten-bead):

Now, if we add the one-beads from both the models, we get 7 + 9 = 16 one-beads. 10 of these one-beads can be combined to form a ten-bead, while the remaining 6 can be placed on the ones wire:

Final, the hundred-bead goes on the hundreds wire, and we have the resulting number as 136:

Compare this sequence of steps with each sequence of the addition algorithm:

The first carryover is simply 10 one-beads combining to give a ten-bead. The second carryover is simply 10 ten-beads combining to give a hundred-bead.

That’s the why behind the addition algorithm. In math, learning the why is more important than learning the what. That’s the foundation of the Cuemath approach to math learning.

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