Teaching Long Division. I can almost feel the pain just typing the words. I think I have some residual PTSD from erasing a hole through my paper in Ms. Donahue’s fourth grade class in the 80’s. Guessing wrong how many times 37 “go-zin-ta” 566… and not knowing until the end of a traumatic subtraction exercise complete with WAY too much borrowing.
Doing things differently
1. Fact Fluency isn’t the end all. I was sold on the partial quotient strategy for dividing when I realized students would be choosing which multiplication facts worked for them. Now, in my 16th year of teaching, I am finally ready to admit that I will not get every student to fluently know all of their facts by the time we get to that unit where they really need them. So, I better have a few tricks up my sleeve!
2. Mistakes are Easy to Spot. Multiplication is clearly recorded on the rights side of the workspace (with symbols that make sense) and answers to the multiplication are located to the right of an equals sign. Subtraction is organized in a separate space.
3. Students have a conceptual understanding of what they are doing with the numbers. They are pulling out groups of some standard size over and over again. Even better, they can see those groups. And better yet, they can talk about those groups and the decreasing dividend. It’s so logical it almost seems magical. I can say for certain that I had absolutely NO idea why I trying to find the number that “go-zi-ta” the other number in 1989.
I’ve been using videos to flip my math instruction for several years and have found that there are many more benefits than I anticipated. Learn more here. Take a look at all of the video lessons I have created here. If there is a topic you’d like to see added, leave me a comment below or DM me on IG or FB. My goal is to create more opportunities for meet with students 1:1 or in small groups and these videos create the space for that!