Multiple ways of multiplication
Back in the 70s, 80s and 90s children were predominately taught to multiply using paper and pencil methods. In the naughties (2000 onwards) the government, rightly, urged teachers to ensure pupils can use mental mathematics to solve multiplication problems using partitioning strategies. This has had a significant impact and in the last 5 years, we've introduced pencil and paper methods to support mental calculations. The Grid method of multiplication is a very successful strategy for children. In fact, three years ago, two pupils in my class produced this guide to the Grid Method.
Of course this isn't the only way, and children find it amazing when they are shown a variety of other ways. I get them trying the difficult methods and evaluating the success of each one.
Here's how the Chinese solve multiplication problems,
and interestingly enough, new this week, how Ethiopians are solving the problem.