### Is There an Easier Way for Children to Learn Long Division?

For years I have watched children struggle with long division. I have seen them get more and more frustrated as they rise through the grades. Many times they have given up by the time they get to me in 6^{th} grade. I have looked for an easier strategy – one where all children would be successful dividing large numbers. During my summer break, I dedicated all my free time to developing an alternative to long division.

For many years, we teachers have known that you can use a “Generic Rectangle” to multiply numbers. It is actually a very easy method, and one that I teach to all my 6^{th} grade students. Since division is the opposite of multiplication, you should be able to use the Generic Rectangle to solve any division problem. As a matter of fact, it does work very easily for simple problems. However, when you start working with larger numbers like 45,286 ÷ 237 or decimals like 28.8 ÷ 0.8 it gets very complicated!

That was my challenge. How was I going to take the concept of the Generic Rectangle and come up with a new way to do long division that was easier for children to learn? Well, after hours and hours of trial and error, I believe that I have developed an easier way for children to divide numbers. I will demonstrate this strategy in the following series of video-posts.

### Please go in order

In order to create this new method of division, I had to start with easy problems and then test my strategy on more and more difficult problems. This was important, because I needed to establish a step-by-step process that worked for all problems. The process needed to work for basic problems like 724 ÷ 6. That was easy. The hard part was creating a process that worked equally well for higher-level problems like 28.8 ÷ 0.8.

The video-posts below will start with basic problems. It is important that you start at the first video-post and work your way up. If your child is already in 5^{th} or 6^{th} grade, that may seem too easy. However, it is important that they understand the basic concept of how this new strategy works before they jump to the same problems they’re doing in class. If they take their time and watch each consecutive video, they will understand this new method of division and will reap the rewards of success!

Here are my Eight Video-Posts that take teachers, parents, and children through the step-by-step process of learning my latest strategy entitled, __AREA DIVISION__.

**Break it Down **

Break it Down is a strategy that can be used with Area Division. However, this is **only used when a child does not know their multiplication fact, or if they estimate wrong**. If a child knows their multiplication facts and can estimate correctly there is no need for the Break it Down strategy.

Break it Down works particularly well for students that do not know all their multiplication facts. The video below shows how children can use the “Break it Down” strategy with any division problem.

__Eight Video-Posts __

- An Introduction to Area Division
- Dividing a 4-digit number by a 1-digit number (ie: 4,224 ÷ 8)
- Dividing a 3-digit number by a 2-digit number (ie: 738 ÷ 82)
- Dividing a 4-digit number by a 2-digit number (ie: 2,952 ÷ 82)
- Dividing a 5-digit number by a 3-digit number (ie: 70,864 ÷ 824)
- Dividing a 3-digit number by a 2-digit number with decimal representation of the remainder (ie: 533 ÷ 82) – Coming Soon
- Dividing a 2-digit number by a tenth-place decimal (ie: 325 ÷ 0.8) – Coming Soon
- Dividing a decimal by another decimal (ie: 28.8 ÷ 0.8) – Coming Soon

### How to use these Video-Posts

These Video-Post are designed in a similar manner to how I teach a concept in my class.

##### First

Children will be introduced to a concept with a “WATCH ME” demonstrational video.

##### Next

Children continue developing their skills by working side-by-side with me. They are given a problem and work through that problem, while they watch the “WORK WITH ME” video.

##### Finally

Children perfect their skills by completing problems by themselves. Then they will watch the “ON YOUR OWN” videos. These last videos encourage the child’s independent work, and then review the problem making sure that the child gains understanding.

### On to the Video Lessons

These Video-Posts are designed in a similar manner to how I teach a concept in my class. Therefore, I will be addressing the children directly for the rest of this post.

### Cookies for sale

1 – Watch Me

You love to bake. Your favorite thing to bake is cookies, and everyone says your cookies are the best! So, you decide to sell your cookies. You have baked 524 cookies. Each cookie box holds 8-cookies.

How many boxes do you need?

Will you have any cookies left over?

Your Challenge:

This one is easy. Click on the link below to watch how this problem is solved. Pay close attention. Your next challenge will be very similar to this one.

* *

### Mountain Bike Tour

2 – Work with Me

You and your family love mountain biking. You decide to go on a family mountain biking tour across a 230-mile trail of the Rocky Mountains. Your plan is to ride 7 miles each day.

How many days will it take you to complete your mountain biking tour?

Your Challenge:

This one is a little harder.

__Gather the following materials__:

- A blank piece of paper
- A pencil

Watch and complete this challenge with me. I will take you through a step-by-step process. Together, we will solve this problem.

Pay close attention. Your next challenge will be very similar to this one.

*Junior NASA Club*

3 – On Your Own

You have joined the Junior NASA Club of America. It is a very cool club that teaches you about being an astronaut. Today you get to put on a space suit and fly in a super fast jet. Your jet will fly super fast for 9 seconds. You will travel 345 miles in that time.

How far will you travel each second?

Your Challenge:

__Gather the following materials__:

- A blank piece of paper
- A pencil

Solve this problem just as you did in the earlier one.

Don’t worry if you make a mistake – Some of our biggest leaps in learning come when we __make a mistake__ then __see what we did wrong__ and __fix it__.

Once you have completed this challenge, click the link below:

Keep your paper with you while you watch the video.

If you made a mistake, pause the video and fix your mistake.

That’s the fastest way to learn!

### Professional Frog Catcher

4 – On Your Own

You are a professional frog catcher. You can catch any frog, any time, anywhere! You caught 282 frogs in just 6-days.

You caught the same amount of frogs each day.

How many frogs did you catch per day?

Your Challenge:

__Gather the following materials__:

- A blank piece of paper
- A pencil

Solve this problem just as you did in the earlier one.

Don’t worry if you make a mistake – Some of our biggest leaps in learning come when we __make a mistake__ then __see what we did wrong__ and __fix it__.

Once you have completed this challenge, click the link below:

Keep your paper with you while you watch the video.

If you madke a mistake, pause the video and fix your mistake.

That’s the fastest way to learn!

### Racing Armadillo

5 – On Your Own

You have a pet armadillo that runs like the wind. You decide to enter your pet in the Annual Texas Armadillo Race. The race is 427 miles across the dusty sands of Texas. If your armadillo can run 4 miles per hour for the entire race, how many hours will it take him to complete the race?

Your Challenge:

__Gather the following materials__:

- A blank piece of paper
- A pencil

Solve this problem just as you did in the earlier one.

Don’t worry if you make a mistake – Some of our biggest leaps in learning come when we __make a mistake__ then __see what we did wrong__ and __fix it__.

Once you have completed this challenge, click the link below:

Keep your paper with you while you watch the video.

If you made a mistake, pause the video and fix your mistake.

That’s the fastest way to learn!

Your next challenge will be in the Video-Blog-Post, Dividing a 4-digit number by a 1-digit number (ie: 4,224 ÷ 8). The concept builds from this one, so it is important that you understand all the videos that you have just worked through.

If you need more help, please leave a comment below. I am happy to help and will reply as quickly as possible.

Have a great day – Brian McCoy

### Want more Tutorials?

I’ve created an Educational Fantasy Game called, TeachersDungeon. It is set to the Common Core Educational Standards, and is web-based, so it can be played on any device. Many of the questions are accompanied by tutorials like the ones you saw here.

__Novels by Brian McCoy__

My Adventures with ChickenSpike – A Children’s Fantasy Book intended for readers in 2^{nd} through 4^{th} grades.

RED – an Action & Adventure Novel intended for readers in Middle School

Hi Mr. McCoy, I wanted to thank you for showing me how to do area division. It is a lot easier than doing long division.

Hi there Evelyn –

I am very glad to hear that this blog post has helped you.

If you have another educational topic that you find difficult – let me know.

I will see if I can help.

Have a great day!

I think area division is really cool.

This video helped me understand area division, which is much easier than long division.

Area division is super cool, and I didn’t even know that it existed until I read this post.

Hi there Franccesca –

I am glad to hear that you like using Area Division to solve your math problems.

Good luck to you.

Have a great day!

Hello again Mr. McCoy, I like Area Division so much that I had to write another comment. I think it is so much easier that long division, and I think people can learn it faster. The part I like the best is when you make a mistake. You can just add an other box and keep on going. My math is much better with Area Division!

Hi Evelyn,

I sure appreciate your comments.

Keep up the great work & have a fantastic day!