Teaching Division Question

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by AdamnJakesMommy, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Nov 14, 2013

    I know there are several methods of teaching division and technically long division isn't really emphasized until 5h grade. But we are covering it in 4th because even when they weren't supposed to solve with long division (because I hadn't taught it) students were coming in having solved it with long division because that's how their parents' showed them the night before.

    Okay. So. Is there any thing inherently wrong with teaching them long division this way--it's the way I think through it.

    8 l 73

    How many times does 8 go into 7? None, so I put a 0 above the 7 and multiply 0 times 8, put the 0 below the 7 and bring down the 3.

    --- 0
    8 l 73
    ---0
    -------
    73

    And then say how many times does 8 go into 73? And then solve like normal from there out.

    So I'd have 09r1 above the division house and then write 9r1 for my answer to the equation.

    I know it's adding a step, but for me it keeps the procedure consistent throughout and it's the way I've always done it, but I can tell just from looking around for instructional ideas that this doesn't seem to be common practice.

    *I had to put those ridiculous dashes because the zeroes showed up in the wrong space in the actual post on the forum*
     
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  3. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Nov 14, 2013

    I don't think there is anything "wrong" with it. I choose to teach them to look at numbers instead of digits. So I would have them look at the 73 right from the start and not even bother with the digit 7.
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Nov 14, 2013

    This is the procedure of long division, but this procedure definitely takes away from the concept of place value and numbers. I have my students look at the 7 as a 70 to maintain the place value concepts.
     
  5. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Yeah, my personal opinion is that it is a bit tougher for kids early on, but by the end of the year it has really helped with their number sense and ability to use and understand place value.
     
  6. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Nov 14, 2013

    When (back in the old days) I was taught that's how we did it 8 doesn't go into 7 so the 0 is like a place holder, especially since there's a remainder. Then as we grasped it we looked at it more as mental 8 goes into 73 how many times?

    Which ever way you go...stick with it....
     
  7. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    As a 5th grade teacher, I hate having kids come to me thinking that dividing is 8 going into 7. When you divide you are splitting into groups. You are pulling groups of 8 out of 73. It seems minor, but phrasing it to be how many groups of 8 can you pull out of 73 helps them understand the concept better. Vertical alignment is so important, especially in skills that build upon each other. Divining decimals and fractions can be a nightmare if they don't understand basic division. Have you talked with the 5th grade teachers in your school to see how they will build on what you do?

    Many students are not ready for the traditional steps of long division at this point. I find that teaching them to multiply up or chunk divide first, helps them understand the concept of long division, and by the end of the year I can scaffold that into the traditional recording system.
     
  8. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Nov 15, 2013

    I understand what you are saying about preferring to teach them with chunking, but like I said when I send the kids home to practice a certain method---they come back with long division. I have 43 kids, and most will follow directions when they get home. But I have 10-15 whose parents insist upon them doing long division. I don't feel it's my argument to make because ultimately the students lose by seeing one thing and then getting reinforcement another way.

    I like your suggestion about working with the 5th grade to see how they will prefer it.
     
  9. Barbd

    Barbd Rookie

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    I agree. I teach high school math to kids that are below level. "How many groups of 8" is a much easier concept than "8 goes into".

    As far as sending them home to practice, a lot of parents may not understand how to do it. Perhaps a letter explaining how to chunk divide for the parents.
     
  10. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    That'd be great except these are the same set of parents who think the old way is the "right" way. Not to mention they did the same thing with multiplication last unit--regrouping is the only "right" way. When I try to explain that common core wants them to understand it with multiple methods rather then memorizing an algorithm...well let's just say it's not readily received. This is by far not most of the parents--but a sizeable minority. Tough crowd :)
     
  11. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Nov 16, 2013

    What do you do when it's a 4 digit dividend in long division? I know how you would be able to look entire dividend with partial quotients (which I will teach), but what would you do with a 4 digit dividend? Place value in inherit in division because you start with the largest place value. I have been EMPHASIZING maintaining their columns and their place value--the importance of which can not be understated. That's why I made sure they are keeping the 0 as a placeholder for now. Once they get to 3 digit and 4 digit dividends I am concerned they will start tossing those numbers up there willy nilly---unless there is some other way to teach 3/4 digit dividends in long division by the whole number that I'm just unaware of (other than partial quotients--which chunks the division process and I am teaching them at the end of this week coming up). Even more complicated, how would you teach (in a later grade) with larger divisors?
     
  12. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I started off teaching them it's either 8 groups of 32, OR it's the number in each group--how many groups total?

    I can't imagine their EOG will only ask them questions like: there are 28 dogs at a shelter. There are four rooms. How many are in each room?

    I imagine it will also ask them: There are 32 dogs at the shelter. There are exactly 8 dogs in each room. How many rooms are there total?

    In this case the number of groups is unknown? Do you just stipulate that there could be an unknown number of groups OR an unknown number in each group (whole/part = part) in division and you just always refer to "groups of" for simplicity sake?

    I have been saying to them: How many fours can I fit into 32 without going over. They all immediately said 8. How many fours can I fit into 33 without going over...etc etc.

    I just want to give them the concepts that will help them down the road and really respect that you teach a higher grade and want to explain it to them in away that they will not get hung up on words.
    Thank you for all of your advice!
     
  13. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Nov 16, 2013

    I stipulate it could be how many groups or how many in a group. I also teach 4 digit dividends and we multiply up or use partial dividends to maintain place value.

    I also experience parents who don't understand methods beyond the traditional method. However, for most, once I send home examples, along with work their child did correctly using another method, most come around. I have 56 students this year, and only 1 parent who still argues about methods to use. The bottom line is common core expects an understanding of place value. I tell parents I am required to teach these other methods and their students are required to show they understand those methods. Once they demonstrate they can work the other methods, I am happy to let them choose whichever way works best for them. On our district wide test for multiplication, there were questions such as, "Which partial products were used to multiply 654 x 37? If a student didn't know partial products, they missed the question. Like anything else in your curriculum, the parents don't have to like what you teach.
     

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