Q&A #2797

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Division

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From: Loyd

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2005100413:52:36
Subject: Re: Double Division - ?beter than long division?

Your method of division works as you say. The use of doubling to get trial divisors seems to be an effective method. But whether we should drop the traditional method and use your method is another question. Once long division is learned by most students, they don't use it much after leaving school. I don't, I grab a calculator. Then there is algebra where they teach polynomial division. The method used there uses the same thinking as is used in the old fashioned method. Then polynomial division is extended to synthetic division where algebra II students do the dividing that way. That being said, it is great that people are looking at different ways to solve problems. And your method, would be valuable for many students who like to understand what is happening. So, for some students, maybe teachers should teach the various methods including yours. Re the old fashioned way: When I learned division for the first time, I remember working the problem on the left side of the paper and using the right side for scrap as the teacher instructed (same teacher for first 6 years). I would get the trial divisors by multiplying by various integers and later if I needed that same product, I could find it on the scrap page. That procedure helped me to learn multiplication facts. So, it was not a wasteful procedure.

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