Q&A #2797

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Division

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From: Loyd <Loydlin@aol.com>
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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