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long division
Posted:
Feb 23, 1995 6:31 PM


As Dr. Tomhave (I hope I remembered the name correctly) mentioned, the example of unit pricing is not an appropriate one for the use of long division algorithm. In fact, many people would not use unit price to find the better deal. For example, $4 for 12 oz vs. $3 for 8 oz. You can get two 12 oz's to get 24 oz for $8 OR you can get three 8 oz for $9. The same amount for cheaper price means it's a better deal, right. So, $4 for 12 oz must be a better deal.
I agree with the Standards in the sense that we should deemphasize long division when the divisor is larger than 2 digit numbers. However, I also happen to believe that the long division algorithm is the only standard algorithm that is "conceptual." It is the only algorithme where you go from left to right, which seems to be children's natural inclination. When using the partition idea of division, along with the base model, your action is clearly reflected in the algorithm. So, I think we can "teach" long division as a "side product" (I can't think of any other word).



