Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Long Division

Over the next few days we will be learning how to divide large numbers. Specifically, we will be learning how to perform long division, which is often very challenging for students because of the many steps involved in the process.

There are two things that affect a students ability to do long division:

  1. Knowledge of basic multiplication facts - I cannot emphasize enough how important basic facts are for children to understand a variety of math concepts, and this is another one. In order to perform long division, students need to be able to use multiplication facts to figure out at least two of the four steps. I highly encourage students to work on Xtramath as much as possible!
  2. Having a systematic process - having a checklist-type system to follow helps students see and perform each step. 
Here is the system that I use to teach students how to do long division. This example is what would be expected at a grade 5 level. 

In this system, we use the acronym "Da Monkey Sells Bananas" to remember the steps of Divide, Multiply, Subtract and Bring down.

For grade 6, students are expected to be able to divide a 4-digit number by a 2-digit number. To help students understand how to do this, we watched a video from Khan Academy. I highly recommend this website for review of concepts and extra practice. Here is the video we watched in class:

Here is another video from Khan Academy that might also be helpful:

To practice we used the practice problem in Khan Academy, and we did some problems step by step together on the smartboard. This continues to be a challenging concept for many students, so we will be doing questions over the next few weeks to review.

Of course, there are other methods, such as the "flexible" method of long division, which I will also teach in class. Here is an example of the flexible method (Taken from Effective Guide to Instruction- Ontario Ministry of Education Document for Division):

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