# trouble teaching division by dbl digits

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#### janeen baile

##### Guest
I am a future la/ss teacher. Not a math teacher. my son has trouble with division by a two digit number. Any ideas?

#### tia

##### Senior Member
division

this is a hard concept for kids--they get really overwhelmed with it and scared by the "big" numbers.

1. does he have the process down--divide, multiply, subtract, check/compare, bring down? (Or...Does Mcdonalds Serve CheeseBurgers?)

2. help him estimate with rounding---he is probably stymied because he doesn't know his 54 or 32 or 77 times tables! (me either!) but if he realizes that all he has to do is get a good guess started (and he doesn't have to do 54 x 3, nope that doesn't work 54 x 8, nope that doesn't work.....). if he says, hey, 54 is close to 50--i can count by fifties or do some mental math multiplication with 5 and i see that only 4 50's go into that number. therefore, only 5 54's should go in there. (now, depending on the number, that might actually be high or low---but he's know for certain once he multiplies 54 x 5 if the actual answer is 4 or 6 and no more guessing.

3. what usually works for getting this concept down is repetition, repetition, repetition....practice, practice, practice.

good luck!

M

#### maryteach

##### Guest
I agree with tia

Repetition is the only way. I completely remember sitting there in school for several weeks (I don't get it, I don't get it, I don't get it). My teacher just kept up with the over and over again and pretty soon--I GET IT, I GET IT, I GET IT!! It was a total ah-ha! experience. I don't see how to get a child to get the hang of this without doing it and doing it and doing it (my, what a sort of annoying, repetitive post this is).

I don't teach math, but tia, you teach a contained sixth grade, don't you? Maybe you can answer this for me--how can kids who plain don't know their multiplication facts ever learn this? When I try to help kids with division and fractions in homebase (which is supposed to be homework time), I just cannot believe how many of these sixth graders don't know their math facts. This was a THIRD GRADE TASK when I was in school. Do we not worry about that anymore, or don't parents enforce it, or am I thinking in the dark ages here? Have we decided that it doesn't matter? This is puzzling to me. I find I simply don't know how to help these children when they can't even tell me what 8x3 is, without counting on their fingers.

#### tia

##### Senior Member
times tables

maryteach--are you the person who used to post as "mary" before the new boards?

this year i have more kids who don't know their times tables....which is a DRAG right now since we're doing fractions. i've resorted to allowing kids to use their times tables charts (some kids, some times).

my thought on why kids seem to know their facts less and less (i couldn't figure out how to word that, and at 9:00 PM, that's what you get...) is that we have so many other demands....primary reading assessment that focuses on phonics, then intermediate reading testing that stresses speed (the first done 3x year; the second 2x), Direct Math Assessment for 4th and 6th, state testing (for most 2x a year--for us, lucky school! 3x year), the state writing assessment and the district writing assessment...now i don't even mention the crap we have to have them do for junior high assessment....and their are SOOOO many math concepts that we have to squeeze into a year---who has time to practice with them on times tables? they should do it at home. (yah, right, like that happens---i can't even find time to quiz my own 3rd grader on his--and he's bright at math)

so, when they do long division, they just figure it out slowly (which doesn't help with the repetition because it takes so long!)

i guess, if what's important is the process of division, i would sit by a kid (if one-on-one is an option) and have him work through the problem and just tell him the multiplication part to speed it along and get him into the "dividing routine"---maybe he'll start remembering some of the mult. problems!

M

#### maryteach

##### Guest
Thanks,tia!

That makes sense. Never having taught math, except in student teaching, I really don't know what the thinking is. It makes sense to worry more about the steps involved in division than letting them get bogged down by multiplication. You teachers in contained sixth grades are amazing individuals to teach all the subjects you do. I'm a really good lang. arts teacher, but I would suck as a math teacher. I understand sixth grade math just fine, but understanding it and being able to actually teach it are two very different scenarios. So I guess I'm lucky I'm in the middle school.

Yes, I'm the same Mary, and dumb as ever. I registered as Mary, got my password and everything (after I got over whining that the new boards were, God forbid, DIFFERENT). Then, the first time I went to post, it told me that Mary was taken and to choose another name. It was taken--by ME, but I lost my password. Being lazy by nature, I just started posting as maryteach.

Nice to catch up with you again.

#### tia

##### Senior Member
Omg!

i love it, mary! that is classic (classic ME!) my catch phrase is:
"HEY! somebody stole my...." (this is my "sixth grade voice" and my way of saying, da**, i've misplaced something AGAIN!

it doesn't help that we need passwords for:
the alarm code at school
to get into computer/server
to get into email
to get on proteacher
to get into 5 or so other teacher websites/worksheet generators/video libraries!
to pay for our lunch....

i came up with the brilliant idea for our tech coordinator to create a little list for us with passwords we all shared (school-wide licenses like BrainPop and Enchanted Learning) with spaces to fill in our other personalized passwords. our principal had the same idea at the same time, so our techie put it together for us....don't ask me where the heck mine is!!!

M

#### maryteach

##### Guest
tia, you crack me up

I know just what you mean. To make it worse, we have to change our computer password every three months. It can't be something you've used in the past year, must contain capital letters, lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Every Monday morning, I swear I have to sit there and try to remember it so I can log on! And poor me--I just had to change it today.

#### tia

##### Senior Member

yah, our computer password changes every so often, too....i'm sure it's an exact number of days...i've only figured out that it's almost every quarter--so for the last several years, i've used the same word with a 1 behind it for first quarter, 2 for 2nd..... now for all my other passwords, i use the same number...except when the bank requires me to have letters, too--i just added an A behind it. (oh! and my master's college required 2 letters, so i added 2 A's behind it.) they're out to get us, i swear!

hang in there, girl! when we die, we will most certainly leave a landfill of passwords behind! (oh, no, i hope there won't be one to get into heaven!)

D

#### Dawnalise

##### Guest
regarding mult. tables

It is amazing how many students don't know their mult. facts.
One thing I've found useful is to have them skip-count during down time. Even two minutes a day is SO helpful. They already know how to count by two's, fives, tens. Challenge them to count by three's to thirty-six, then four's to forty-eight, and so on. If you chant it over and over to a certain beat, they remember it and they will be competitive about who can do it fastest or whatever. Then you say "what is four times seven," and they count by fours to seven and can quickly tell you the answer. This way they remember the answers, rather than the whole fact, which I guess is questionable to some, but it has worked for me when I don't have time to re-teach them the whole mult. table.
We quietly skip-count in line, or whenever there is a minute or two of transition. This also helps keep them out of trouble, because they are occupied. You can even use it as an exit-slip.