Fun way to teach long division tips and tricks for beginners fourth grade math

If your memories of math in 4th grade are anything like mine, you might remember struggling to memorize the long division method.

Can you believe I never really understood long division until I became a teacher? Yep. That’s right! 

To unlock the secret to making long-division easy for my students (and for me), I had to remember a few simple concepts. I’ll share my essential concepts for teaching long division, a few of my favorite long division strategies, and a print-and-go long division resource with plenty of space for your students to work carefully through problems appropriate for their level. These are perfect for centers and independent work!

5 Essential Concepts for Mastering Long Division:

 

Long Division Made Easy – Concept One

Numbers follow a pattern.

When students understand patterns, they can start to identify key relationships during long-division practice. They’ll be excited to notice how numbers are related. You can begin with basic concepts like teaching the patterns in multiples. 

In these long-division practice pages, I’ve given students lots of space on the side of each problem to record the multiples.

Long Division Made Easy – Concept Two

Multiplication is putting equal groups together.

 

It’s essential for students to understand the concrete concept of multiplication. Students who are struggling with this concept would benefit from using number discs or beads to make copies of a number, keeping them in equal groups.

 

Long Division Made Easy – Concept Three

Division is splitting apart equal groups.

 

Likewise, students need to understand the concrete concept of division. Using manipulatives to show how numbers can be split into equal groups will help any of your students who are struggling with the concept of division.

 

Long Division Made Easy – Concept Four

Break numbers apart into smaller numbers (partial quotients) and think friendly numbers

 

For example, think MULTIPLES of 10 or 100. See example below.

 

Long Division Made Easy – Concept Five

Make a Ballpark Estimate before solving a math problem.

 

If students get into the habit of estimating before they divide, they’ll notice major mistakes before they’re through the entire problem. 

 

Long Division Made Easy – Concept Six

There are MANY ways to solve a math problem.  

 

As teachers, we have the job of showing students several different ways to solve a problem, but in the end, the students use which way works best for them because everyone thinks differently. Encourage your students to share how they arrived at their answer! Getting students involved in discussions about long division can lead to a deeper understanding of division.

 

Now that you understand the 6 key concepts to teaching your 4th graders long division, here are two of my favorite strategies for teaching long division.

 

long division practice activities for beginning division 4th grade math

 


Long Division PARTIAL QUOTIENT STRATEGY
Believe it or not, many of my 4th grade students preferred using this division strategy.
This strategy is all about breaking numbers into smaller numbers and thinking friendly numbers (tip 4)
Here is an example using the number 520.  This is just one way to break 520 into smaller friendlier numbers.

 

long division for beginners partial quotients FREE activity for 4th grade math
To grab this Long Division Partial Quotients freebie, click here

Long Division TRADITIONAL STRATEGY
I think the key to using this traditional Mom and Pop Strategy is to present it in a methodical and organized way.
1. Before beginning a problem, I have students generate the first 9 multiples of the divisor. When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what multiples were close to the dividend.  Generating a list before hand and referencing it throughout the problem will move things quicker.
2. Draw lines between the place values of the dividend.  This will help students see each place value  and line up the numbers in the quotient correctly.

 

FREE Long division for beginners long division practice strategies for fourth grade math
Click here to grab this Long Division Practice freebie.  (same as above)

Long division doesn’t have to be hard for beginners if numbers are broken into smaller numbers (partial quotients) or using the MOM and POP way in an organized planned way.

If you found these long division strategies helpful, check out one of my most popular resources.

To Sum it All Up


Long division can be simple for beginners when you use one of these two tried and true methods! Numbers are broken into smaller numbers (partial quotients) or using the traditional long division method with the habit of writing multiples to the side, and BAM! Long division is easy peasy. Do you use one of these strategies? Or something else? Comment with your favorite way to teach kids long division!


If you need some ready-to-print long division activities, you’ll love this long division bundle! There’s even dedicated space for your students to keep track of the multiples off to the side. (Anyone who teaches grades 3, 4, and 5 knows how important it is to give students plenty of SPACE to work!)

Long Division Activities for beginning division for 4th Fourth Grade and 5th Fifth Grade Math

This Division Bundle contains 2 Division Practice PAPER Packets for Long Division for Beginners (with no remainders). One packet is long division with no remainders and the second packet is long division with simple remainders.

Your students will gain division confidence and fact power with these packets of long division practice and long division no remainders.

A place is provided on each page to list the first 9 multiples for each problem, and lines are provided, so numbers are contained in the correct place value. Each 3 digit problem has a one digit remainder.

Use these pages for quick check assessments, math centers, buddy activities, peer tutoring, small group, homework, independent review or even enrichment.

Long Division for Beginners Activities for 4th Fourth Grade Math

 

You can always “COUNT ON ME” for engaging, differentiated math resources to help every student shine!

2 Simple Ways to Teach Long Division to Kids:


  • The Unconventional Way: PARTIAL QUOTIENT STRATEGY

This strategy may seem strange at first, but many of my 4th grade students preferred using this division strategy.


This strategy is all about breaking numbers into smaller numbers and thinking friendly numbers, like I mentioned above in Long Division Made Easy Concept 4.


Here is an example using the number 520.  This is just one way to break 520 into smaller friendlier numbers.


STEP ONE: Rename the number and break it apart into friendlier numbers.

STEP TWO: Rename 520 to 400 in this example.

STEP THREE: Start a new division problem using the friendly number 100 instead of 120.

STEP FOUR: Repeat and add your three quotients together to arrive at the final answer.


 

To grab this Long Division Partial Quotients freebie, click here

Ready to try this strategy with your students? I know they’ll love learning long division this way! Here’s a free long division worksheet using this strategy to help you get started. CLICK HERE to download this free printable long division worksheet.

  • Long Division TRADITIONAL STRATEGY

This is the same ol’ long division strategy we’ve used since way back in the day! But the KEY teaching students to use this traditional strategy is to present it in a methodical and organized way.


  1. Before beginning a problem, have students generate the first 9 multiples of the divisor. When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what multiples were close to the dividend.  Generating a list beforehand and referencing it throughout the problem will move things quicker.

  1. Draw lines between the place values of the dividend.  This will help students see each place value  and line up the numbers in the quotient correctly.

This is a simple shift in the way you teach long division to your fourth graders, but it is the ONE THING that will change the game completely when it comes to long division… and multiplication! Each time they start a problem, they’re practicing multiples and recognizing patterns. 


 

Click here to grab this Long Division Practice freebie.  (same as above)

To Sum it All Up


Long division can be simple for beginners when you use one of these two tried and true methods! Numbers are broken into smaller numbers (partial quotients) or using the traditional long division method with the habit of writing multiples to the side, and BAM! Long division is easy peasy. Do you use one of these strategies? Or something else? Comment with your favorite way to teach kids long division!


If you need some ready-to-print long division activities, you’ll love this long division bundle! There’s even dedicated space for your students to keep track of the multiples off to the side. (Anyone who teaches grades 3, 4, and 5 knows how important it is to give students plenty of SPACE to work!)

-___________________

This Division Bundle contains 2 Division Practice PAPER Packets AND a 1 GOOGLE CLASSROOM version for Long Division for Beginners (with no remainders). One packet is long division with no remainders and the second packet is long division with simple remainders.

 

Your students will gain division confidence and fact power with these packets of long division practice and long division no remainders.

 

A place is provided on each page to list the first 9 multiples for each problem, and lines are provided, so numbers are contained in the correct place value. Each 3 digit problem has a one digit remainder.

Use these pages for quick check assessments, math centers, buddy activities, peer tutoring, small group, homework, independent review or even enrichment.





 

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