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Discussion: All Lesson Plans in Math 2 on Android
Topic: Best & New way to teach Long Division


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Subject:   RE: Best & New way to teach Long Division
Author: Annette1
Date: Jun 12 2014
I disagree that polynomial long division is a weak reason to teach arithmetic
long division.  At my university, which is a science and engineering school, the
math faculty view polynomial long division as an important skill for all
students.  Synthetic division absolutely does not suffice as a replacement.  In
the first place, synthetic division only works for a subset of possible division
problems.  More importantly, there is nothing conceptual that students are
learning when they do synthetic division.  It is a trick.  When they do
polynomial long division, there are actual mathematical reasons for what they
do.  Granted, after a few semesters they will probably use Maple or Mathematica
or some other tool for polynomial long division just as they will use a
calculator for arithmetic long division.  However, learning math is not just
about getting a correct answer to a computation. It is about reasoning and
gaining insight into how numbers and operations work.

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