Long Division Trouble? See How It Can Be Resolved
Last month, we found ourselves struggling with long division and I was really taken by surprise because my older one has always been good with math and conceptually he already knew division quite well. Absolutely baffled, I was quick to judge that it must be a small issue, just resistance from my son for some reasons. But when the struggle continued I had to identify and fix the underlying causes. I realized that long division is quite different from division in general. It’s an algorithm with definite steps. After thinking over this for quite sometime, I made some conclusions. Here they are
1. We need to practice mental math with more consistency especially the tables.
2. He needed to understand the steps in the algorithm in a logical way.
3. The order in which we divide the number is opposite the order in which we do other arithmetic operations.
We did a lot of different examples where we used concrete materials to divide up the number and simultaneously used the algorithm to make sense of each of the steps involved. We did this several times to cover all the different scenarios. We also used other math aids and tangible materials to make it an ‘experience’. Watch the video above to get a clear idea, it has real time lessons I covered with him.
There is a general principle in math which I follow and it has always worked. This principle gives a larger perspective and an overall strategy for teaching math. Read that post and watch the video here
Coming back to this strategy, If we find ourselves struggling with any concept, I simply put it aside for a few days and try again later. This works if the child is young and if the issue exists mainly because the child is not developmentally ready. But in our case I knew it was something else. So I addressed it accordingly.