An algorithm is a step-by-step procedure used to solve an addition, subtraction, multiplication or division problem. Many of us were taught one way to solve these types of problems. However, we know there are many ways to solve a problem.
Students of Everyday Mathematics study some computational algorithms that are given to them and they invent their own. We know that students develop a deeper sense of mathematics when they are allowed to find workable strategies that make sense to them. Students will solve math problems in a manner that may be new to parents. It is important to keep in mind that the desired outcome is the correct answer, but the strategy for solving the problem will vary from student to student.