My wife teaches 3rd grade math and she recently learned about the process of obtaining the digital root of numbers. The digital root is a single digit number found by summing the individual digits. So for 15, you would add 1+5 to get 6. Thus 6 is the digital root of 15. The trainer that my wife worked with explained that you can check your answers using the digital root, which will give children another way to find out if their answer is correct. Here is an example:

15 1 + 5 = 6 +12 1 + 2 = 3 6 + 3 = 9 ---- 27 2 + 7 = 9

So here we have two operands: 15 and 12. If you add those together, you get 27. To check your answer using the digital root, you add the individual digits in the two operands as above. So 15 becomes 1+5 or 6 and 12 becomes 1+2 or 3. Then you add those two roots together to get 9. Then you check your answer by adding up its digits, which in this case is 2+7 which equals 9. The rules are slightly different for subtraction, multiplication and division. We’ll be looking at addition, subtraction and multiplication. We are skipping division because I haven’t found a good explanation for how it works and I don’t want to just use formulas that I can’t explain.

At this point you’re probably wonder where Python comes in. We’ll use wxPython to create a simple GUI that will allow us to see how this works. Let’s start coding! Continue reading Using Python to Teach About Finding the Digital Root