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Divide to Conquer?

As presented in the posting of April 10th, there is another way to approach long division.  However, since many of you are required to present it the long way, here are a couple of ideas to make it easier for your students.

First of all, have the students use graph paper.  The squares help to keep the numbers aligned which seems to be a problem for many students.  If you don't have graph paper, you can download free templates at Donna Young's Free Graph Paper and make your own.  I like the idea of separating the problems with lines to ensure there is no cross over from one problem to another.


Secondly, try using the mnemonic of Does McDonald's Sell Cheese Burgers.  I've  see this acronym many times on Pinterest, but usually the C is omitted.

Check means that after the student has subtracted, they should check to see if the remainder is smaller than the divisor.  If it is equal to or larger, then they enough was not taken out of the dividend.  This is a step often skipped when long division is taught; yet, if the student doesn't check and make the needed correction, the answer (quotient) will be wrong.

In order to learn division, the student must first have a good understanding of multiplication. Students don’t need to perfectly know all of the times tables, but a majority of the facts or having a reasonably quick strategy to figure out the answer is necessary.

Start by practicing division using the number series the students can easily skip count such as 2 and 5. Then gradually move up to nine.  After that, move to division by double digit numbers using 10 since most students know how to skip count by 10.  Once the concept is understood, teaching division will become more about guided practice to help your child to become comfortable with the division operation which, in reality, is a different kind of multiplication practice.

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