Discussion in 'Special Education' started by rockangel312, Jan 13, 2013.

1. ### rockangel312Companion

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Jan 13, 2013

Any tips for how to teach long-divison to students with learning disabilities? I have a couple that make mistakes over and over again. I have re taught. I have taught with partial quotients (this is difficult for children with poor number sense). I tried this other way too. Still we went back to the standard DMSB. Still I see mistakes. I am not a special education teacher, but a regular education teacher. I don't know if any special education teachers out there can enlighten me on this? I teach fifth grade so the students have to know two-digit divisors with 4- digit dividends. However, these two students haven't even mastered one-digit divisors. How long do you keep going over it? How many times do you retest? I feel that we need to move on. However, they need to know how to divide! It is a life skill!

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Jan 13, 2013

As a SPED teacher, I will tell you that there are some times that you just have to accept that a student will not be able to master a particular skill or concept... at least not for a very long time and without a LOT of repeated drill and practice. Then your job becomes not teaching them how to do that skill or understand that concept but, instead, teaching them how they can still be a successful and contributing member of society without the ability to perform that particular skill or knowledge of that concept. In other words, you would need to teach them how to use tools and/or strategies to get around their lack of skill or understanding. In this case, that might be teaching them how to use a calculator to solve division problems. While understanding the concept of division (what it means to divide a whole into parts) is an important concept to understand, the ability to solve the long division algorithm isn't typically necessary. In the real world, most of us just grab a calculator when the division problem is too difficult to solve in our heads. I would suggest allowing your students this accommodation so that they are able to continue learning more advanced math skills rather than being stuck at long division.

With that said, I have come across a couple of tools/strategies I would suggest you try with your students, if you have not already tried them, in order to help them learn to solve the algorithm. 1) The first is a color-coded long-division graphic organizer. One example can be found here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Long-Division-Graphic-Organizers. 2) The other is this strategy found in the PowerPoint attached to this previous A-Z Teacher Stuff post: http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showthread.php?t=63099.

Good luck!

4. ### a2zVirtuoso

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Jan 13, 2013

What kinds of mistakes? Process or computation or both?
What supports are they using? What accommodations do they have and how are you implementing them in your classroom? What does their IEP goal say for this skill and what does the special education teacher suggest as specially-designed instruction for the students?

5. ### FourSquareFanatic

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Jan 13, 2013

:thumb:

Calculators. It kills me too...really....but sometimes you just have to move on. Think about what is essential to life. Manipulating money....measuring ingredients in a recipe (capacity)....I have discovered it does not make sense to drill my kids to mastery on most things. I just constantly spiral back and review essential skills. It's very difficult coming from gen ed.

6. ### brosPhenom

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Jan 14, 2013

Try the simplest of problems first

1/1

8/2

things like that

7. ### rockangel312Companion

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Jan 14, 2013

Thank you for the direction to the graphic organizer!
It is a combination of both really. We do DMSCB and have the students list multiples as well. A student will say for 180/2 for example that the answer is 100 and something. Sometimes the student lines the numbers up incorrectly, other times they simply multiply wrong. I've seen so many different kinds of mistakes. Yes, after the test I will have to make sure to review with students how to divide with a calculator to check. It is frustrating to see that student just hasn't grasped it yet. Actually, it is even more frustrating to watch a student complete problems with almost 100% accuracy the one day and then not remember the next. The special education teacher I work with hasn't really done anything different....

8. ### FourSquareFanatic

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Jan 14, 2013

Ha, story of my life! Try having twelve kids like this. Basically all test data is invalid and I can only generally tell you what they know at any given time. I've decided it's the best and worst thing about SPED. Best-Puzzles are fun. Worst-I feel like a total fraud when I teach.

9. ### brosPhenom

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Jan 15, 2013

From what I remember, it took pretty much the entirety of fifth grade for me to learn long division and that was after spending all of fourth grade learning how to do single and some double digit multiplication.

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Jan 25, 2013

Divide.
Multiply.
Subtract.
Bring down.

My words of choice.

And make it graphic!

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Jan 25, 2013

Btw I did terrible in long division in fifth grade! My teacher at the time was mean to, was called the R word for not being able to get it. Don't know why she DIDN'T get fired...

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Jan 31, 2013

Long Division is a tough one. Teach it gradually, and practice it intensively. Start with manipulatives, 1 digit quotients, then "break apart" method - easy ones that are tens and ones like 24 divided by 2, then introduce zeros in the quotient, then 2 digit quotients, then remainders, etc. For 2 digit quotients, I teach them to estimate. Estimation works great for some kids so they can at least get close and make a good guess on a multiple choice test.

Also, before doing anything else, make sure they know their division facts first!

Then, lots of drill and practice!! I love Math Fact Cafe! It's a site where you can print custom worksheets. I'll make a bunch of them, with increasing difficulty, and have the students complete 2-3 per day as bellwork. Check and make the student correct. They will eventually get it - even my Autistic and MI kiddos can do it with that much drill and kill. When you think they have it, retest. If they do, add another digit or remainders, etc.