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long division for students who can't multiply

teachcalkids

Junior Member
I'm looking for words of wisdom and advice on how to help my students with long division when they still don't know their multiplication facts. To be more precise, our current unit is focused on long division with decimals. They struggle and are frustrated, but I'm required to teach it.
Thanks for any advice you have.
 
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dee

Senior Member
I have them do all the multiplication first.

If a number is divided by 7, I have them write out all the 7 facts: 2x7, 3x7, 4x7 etc. This gives them the time to do repeated addition if needed.

Then they can get to the dividing. They reference their previous multiplication work and can keep the rhythym of Does McDonalds Sell Cheese Burgers.

It's late, it's vacation, I'm toast- hope this made sense!
 

myoung

Senior Member
I know your hands are probably tied here, but it's crazy to spin your wheels teaching long division when they don't know their multiplication facts. If it were me, I'd (subversively, if I had to!) take a few weeks and nail the facts. I've had classes like this before, too, and instead of assigning homework problems, I assigned math fact practice, did daily speed drill assessments until at least 80% knew them...then we could move on.
 

babyruth

Senior Member
Even if they do not know multiplication I understand that the long division is part of the curriculum that you must teach. I let my students use a mult. chart. I let them check it with a calculator too. They have to show all their work, but having a calculator has helped. I know there are educators who may disagree with the calculator, but I still do x tests once a week and they do get to use a calculator on the state math test. I use an overhead calculator and I go through steps on how to use the calculator as a tool. I talk out the problem in steps like hmm, I need to check this on my chart. That looks right, let me double check it w/ my calculator, etc.
 
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jeanmarie

Senior Member
Calculators on State Tests

Tests that allow the use of calculators are normed differently than those that do not - at least that's my understanding.
 

cjn

Full Member
My weaker students, whether they know their multiplication facts or not, have been successful with the partial quotients algorithm. Generally they are working with multiples of ten and hundred, so that is so much easier. Also not having to "bring down" adds to the ease. I'll be gad to copy directions and samples to anyone. It took me a while to be comfortable with it, but it has been a true life saver for many of my children.
 

smithf1

Senior Member
Multiplication chart

I agree with babyruth, I allow my children to use a mult. chart when learning the process of long division. We are not allowed to use the charts on our state testing, however.

One of the 4th grade teachers has her kids make up their own sayings for the procedure (DMSCB) this helps solidify the order in which things are done.

I hope these help, good luck with division.
 

myoung

Senior Member
I'm really not trying to be a jerk here, but when do they learn how to multiply? When they're trying to learn fractions later? or percents? What I see happening in math instruction these days is pushing more concepts at younger and younger ages without ever building a foundation. In my 3rd grader's classroom, they're "finished" with the multiplication tables...they spent less than 6 months learning them and I know she doesn't know them. She will by next year, because we're going to spend all summer making sure she knows them, but what about the rest of the kids in her class? I know our 4th grade teacher doesn't "teach" multiplication; she just expects them to know it.
AAARG! It just frustrates the snot out of me! There, I'm done : )
 

babyruth

Senior Member
Illinois - calculators - I can not remember if it is for 1 or all, but I remember them using them last year!
I have many kids who come to me (5th) who do not know their mult. facts. Within the curriculum, they are required to already know them! We make mult fact cards, I provide them many sites to practice on, we take tests weekly. I believe they HAVE to know them, but... not everyone agrees and it is something I add in because it is something I feel is important. I still have kids who have a hard time with them and then the division process. Hopefully, in learning the process, soon enough they will be able to use a calculator for a quick check or not at all.
 

Mbo04

Junior Member
Math Facts

Every Friday is spent working on math facts in my classroom. We do a lot of different activities and games to help them learn their facts, but I am amazed at how many of them are clueless! The principal suggested using one of the number charts, but that is just giving them the easy way out and not teaching them to learn their facts. I'm struggling with this just like you :)
 

teachcalkids

Junior Member
Thank You Everyone

I basically did what myoung suggested. I had to continue teaching decimal long division, but changed their homework to basic multiplication and division practice 3x4=12 12÷3=4, etc. They started turning in their homework when I did that. I tried teaching what I call repeated subtraction and several write out the multiplication problems. The class is made up of at-risk and resource students. They are very resistant to anything new and anything that seems like extra work. I am going to continue to use their homework as basic skills practice and save the required content for our class time where I can help them. It is very frustrating to be required to teach something students are not ready to learn. Well, we have left long division for the time being for the equally ejoyable world of fractions. :-)
 
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