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Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Long division

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From: Hemant Yennawar

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2004121612:31:07
Subject: Re: A suggestion on helping students understand


Seems like, 3rd and 4th graders have difficulty in understanding long
division, especially if a zero appears in the quotient. I think the
following two step approach should make it easy.

First the multiplication tables should be taught starting from X 0
(instead of X 1) as in:

2 x 0 = 0             and similarly 3 x 0 = 0
2 x 1 = 1 etc.                      3 x 1 = 3

Then, when we are dividing say 1212 by 3, we can use 0 in the quotient
just as we would have any other digit:

  3) 1 2 1 2 (0 4 0 4
   - 0
    --
     1 2
   - 1 2
     ---
     0 0 1
       - 0
     -----
         1 2
       - 1 2
        ----
         0 0

Letting them subtract 0, at least initially, will remove the mystery
in their minds as to how they get to pull the next digit when the
first digit is smaller than the divisor (3 in this case). In short a
zero in quotient should not be seen any different from say 1, 2 or 3.

Hemant


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