Long Division for Beginners can be challenging and frustrating for some students. But, it doesn’t have to be with a few clever and engaging strategies. We all know our students learn in different ways, so it’s important for us as teachers to make sure we are presenting lots of differentiated instruction when introducing a new concept to our kiddos. I’m excited to share with you some of my most successful strategies for teaching long division you and your students are sure to love.
Partial Quotient Strategy for Multi Digit Long Division
Although this strategy may seem strange at first, many of my 4th grade students actually ended up preferring this division strategy.
This strategy is all about breaking numbers into smaller numbers and thinking “friendly numbers”. This makes it easier for students to understand the process one step at a time. Because the problem is broken up into pieces, this partial quotient strategy helps to keep students from feeling overwhelmed.
Check out this example using the number 520. This is a great visual example for students to help them understand how to break 520 into smaller friendlier numbers.
Breaking the process up into four steps really helps students grasp the concept in an easy way.
The steps I use include:
- Rename the number and break it apart into friendlier numbers.
- Rename 520 to 400 in this example.
- Start a new division problem using the friendly number 100 instead of 120.
- Repeat and add your three quotients together to arrive at the final answer.
Ready to try this technique in your classroom today? Check out this Partial Quotients FREEBIE!
Long Division Traditional Strategy
This is also what we call the “mom and pop” way because it’s generally the same way we were taught by our parents when we were in elementary school. I know this is the same ol’ long division strategy I used when I was younger.
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. Because of this, I know that generating a list beforehand and referencing it throughout the problem will help make things easier for your students.
Then, we draw lines between the place values of the dividend. Therefore, 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! Each time your students start a problem, they’re practicing multiples and recognizing patterns.
Long Division can be fun and Easy
Long division can be simple for beginners when you use one of these two tried and true methods! I would love to know if you use one of these strategies or something else! Comment below to tell us your favorite way to teach kids long division!
If you need some ready-to-print 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 for Long Division for Beginners. One packet is long division with no remainders and the second packet includes simple remainders.
Use these pages for quick check assessments, math centers, buddy activities, peer tutoring, small group, homework, independent review, or even enrichment.
You can always “COUNT ON ME” for engaging, differentiated math resources to help every student shine!
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