Here is a quick screencast about actually using algebra to teach multiplication (and basic operations like addition and subtraction) with base ten manipulatives and the Mortensen Math Method. Using a three period lesson and other basic concepts are covered at The House Of Math just click the basic concepts tab.
x2 + x + 16
We talked about how much easier it was to use 4's than all the little units, and we later talked about how much easier it was to write 20 instead of draw 20 little dots and we also talked about how much faster it was to write
(x + 4)2 than (x + 4)(x + 4)...
You can actually see he wrote it that way on his paper, but above he left off the exponent when he re-wrote
(x + 2)(x+2) = (x + 2) I saw that right after he finished the page and handed it to me to look over. We talked about how important the "2" is in
(x + 2)2
And what it meant again.
For more on Problem Solving and Hero Zero go here, there's a Youtube video at leaste and little more explanation. The page still needs more work, but the video should help. I have been getting email where people ask me for more pages and screencasts and videos on certain topics but oddly enough nobody wants to donate so much as a cup of coffee...note the donate button conveniently located over there to your right....
Also be sure to find me on Face Book. I also am working diligently believe it or not to get some webcasts together for FREE, on the way to doing training via the WWW for an extremely reasonable fee. That way some of you in far flung places like Iran, Singapore, Kenya and Russia to name a few can get training...not to mention all you folks on Oahu and "the Mainland" as we like to say here in Hawaii.
Use one of the contact forms on my website.