Do you teach the long division algorithm? It can be difficult for students because there are so many steps. Here are my favorite tips!
Using guided notes is one of my favorite strategies. I like to use partially filled in note templates that we fill out together. This helps to keep students actively engaged in the lesson. The best part is that when the notes are completed, they will have a model for reference. I have used paper-based notes and digital notes with my students. They both work great!
Use Lined Paper
Lined paper is my favorite math teacher tool! Simply turn the paper sideways and it creates columns. Place one digit per column to help students organize division problems.
Make an Estimate
The first step in a division problem should always be to make an estimate. Ask students to find a ballpark estimate by using friendly numbers (numbers that end in zeroes). This helps students determine if their quotient makes sense. When finished solving the problem students compare the place value of the quotient to the estimate to see if the answer makes sense. Here is an example:
Division problems can be checked easily by using multiplication. My students check by using the traditional multiplication algorithm. If the check doesn’t work, they know that a mistake was made in the division problem or in the multiplication check.
The best way for students to master the algorithm is to practice. I like to offer a variety of different ways for students to practice. I use paper and pencil practice, digital interactive lessons, and task cards. One of my favorite ways to practice is with Boom Cards. They are digital interactive task cards that are self-checking, so my students receive instant feedback when working on problems. Have you tried them? Sign up below to grab a free deck to try out with your students tomorrow.
What are your favorite division tips? Share them in the comments.