I couldn't possibly be building up this whole "how to do multiplication" thing, just to say that people use calculators, surely not. So what then? Well it turns out that there is another way, a pretty cool way, in fact, that doesn't involve writing numbers at all. At least in the way that we are used to. From my understanding, this multiplication has it's origins in China. So how do you do it?
Well basically it's like writing tallies. Lets say you wanted to multiply 14 and 12, you would start by writing one tally and then four tallies, representing 14. Then you would do the same thing for the 12 except crossing the lines horizontally over the 14 like this:
You then count up the intersections like the illustration below. The red indicates the hundreds place, the blue added up represents the tens place and the green represents the ones place. Of course you can do this same process with larger numbers, but then there is "carrying" involved. But! I thought this was a really cool, visual way to teach students how to do multiplication differently.