Math Algorithms for Elementary Students


This informational guide lists the main areas of elementary math algorithms. Math algorithms are step-by-step procedures specifying how to solve a problem, and the most common of them are the four basic procedures: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.


  • Acquiring problem-solving skills via math algorithms taught during elementary school sets children up for better problem-solving skills in later school and in the workforce.


  • The basic math algorithms are addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Real World Applications for Kids

  • Elementary school children learn math algorithms more easily by relating math algorithms to real-life situations, which can serve as models for math, such as sharing and borrowing.

Applying Addition

  • A child's understanding of addition can be fortified by a real-life application, such as giving pencils to a friend in need.

Applying Subtraction

  • A real-life situation, such as borrowing a candy bar from a friend, can help a child better understand subtraction.

Applying Multiplication

  • Here is an example model for multiplication for a child: "You have two candy canes, and two of your friends, who also have two candy canes, give you their candy canes, which gives you a total of six candy canes."

Applying Division

  • Sharing a 12-slice pizza among six friends is an ideal way to exemplify division to a child.

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