Please read this letter from our amazing Math Specialist:
My name is Melissa Baudoin , the Math Specialist at Timber Creek. This week I was invited into the wonderful 4th grade classrooms to help share a division strategy that helps students to meet the Texas TEK 4.4F The students is expected to use strategies and algorithms, including the standard algorithm, to divide up to a four digit dividend by a one digit number. In order to meet the foundational needs of students regarding large division problems, we begin with a strategy called partial quotients prior to teaching the standard algorithm. This strategy will be taught and practiced in class this week in hopes to set a firm foundation of what division is before exposing them to the standard algorithm which is often a rote memorization of steps. Multiple strategies to solve a problem is a flexible learning skill that helps students to use meaningful strategies that work best for their learning styles, but can often pose a challenge in the school to home connection if you are not familiar with the methods we are teaching. I have listed a very short video and explanation below so that you can see the alternative strategy we are using for division this week.
Partial Quotients videos
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCKd3C4P6Uk (this is what we often see students in the beginning)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLrM1jBsSHo (this video shows more advanced number sense thinking and problem solving to show the problem worked in less steps)
Why this works: Division by definition is the act of splitting something into parts. When we introduce this strategy to kids we reference an example such as splitting a large bag of M&Ms between friends. Rather than give each person one at a time, you "chip away" at the large pile by giving a group of M&Ms to each person, ie 5 for each friend, then another 5, then 3, 2, 1, 1, 1. Although we may choose to group the M&Ms as we split them up several different ways, we will still end with equal divided parts.
I hope you find this information helpful, please feel free to email me with further questions!
TCES Math Specialist