Friday, January 4, 2013

How to Teach Division to Children

In order to upgrade my teaching skills, I always turn to the Internet for resources on teaching. This is what I found on the website on how to teach kids division. Read on especially for those blogger friends with kids. It's interesting and enriching.

Teaching long division can be challenging, as it builds upon the principles of both multiplication and subtraction. When teaching division, first try to break the process down to its fundamental root, which is repeated subtraction. Show them that what a division problem really asks is "How many times can a number be subtracted from another number?"

Demonstrate the meaning of division by showing how we are just really counting how many times a value can be subtracted. Start with a simple division problem, such as 12 divided by four. Subtract four from 12 and mark that we have subtracted one time. The result is eight. Since eight is bigger than four, we can subtract four again. Now, our count shows we've subtracted two times. This time, eight minus four yields four and four is equal to four, so we can still subtract again, this time getting zero. We've now subtracted four a total of three times. It means four divides into 12 a total of three times. Or, 12 divided by four is three.

Review the multiplication tables. Impress upon the students the importance of memorizing the tables so they can use this knowledge for division problems.

Build upon your first example and introduce the idea of a remainder. This time, take the number 15 and divide by four again. Have students remember their multiplication tables. They know that four times three is 12, which is smaller than 15. They know that four times four is 16, which is larger than 15. Since you cannot take away a larger number, they must conclude that four will only divide into 15 a maximum of three times. Have them write the problem in long division form, placing the three above the 15 and a 12 beneath the 15. Do the subtraction. 15 - 12 = three. So there is a left over value of three, or a remainder of three. Therefore, 15 divided by four is three R three.

Build up to using long division on longer problems with larger numbers. Remind your students that no matter the size of the numbers, the process is the same and the fundamental principle hasn't changed. Division is still about how many times a value can be subtracted (or removed) from another.

I think long division is more difficult to teach than long multiplication. How about you?


Hayley said...

Sounds complicated..

Hmm, gotto keep this as reference cause I'll facing this issue years later, haha!

Willie a.k.a Reptoz said...

all the best!

Vickylow said...

Thanks for sharing.