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  • rzonshine

Division from a Distance

When I was student teaching a while back, I had to teach long division to third graders- so hard (and that was live in the flesh teaching) With common core, luckily, long division is now a fifth grade standard, but as a fourth grade teacher, I have to introduce long division. We introduce division in relationship to multiplication. I am teaching 100% remotely and will be for the entire school year. I started with the area model because we had just finished using that same model with multiplication so I was hoping connections would be made. The struggle wasn't really from the students, but from me. I made area model way more difficult that it had to be because I had never used area model for division. I was learning from the students. I definitely took ownership and had to apologize to my students. The next week we did a total reset. I retaught area model, using friendly multiples and it made life so much easier for all involved. I also taught them how to use the box model and the partial quotient or "big 7" model.

It has been interesting to watch my students learn and gravitate towards one strategy. Most seem to prefer the area or partial quotient, which are essentially the same except on is in a box and one looks like a traditional division setup. What really surprised me was that most parents only know the standard algorithm which they used to help their students, but I didn't allow since it isn't our standard. Because of this, I thought more students would use the box model since that goes through the steps of division in almost the same way as the standard algorithm. We have now been working on division for about three weeks and I have strong confidence that most of them are getting it. The truth will come out next week when we wrap up this unit and they show me what they've learned. Then we will move onto our next battle of fractions.