Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Teaching Long Division

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Long division is one of my least favorite things to teach, but as I tell my children, "It doesn't have to be fun, it just has to be done."

So, I charge ahead every couple of years showing one of my fresh faced offspring the maze of steps.

One of the difficulties for them is remembering what step to do next.

Here is a handy little rhyme to remind them of the order:

Daddy, Mother, Sister, Brother

I point out that the beginning letters will remind them to
1)Divide 2)Multiply 3)Subtract 4)Bring Down

For example:

Let's start with this simple problem.

Since "Daddy" comes first, we divide first.

Next comes "Mother", so we multiply.

"Sister" means we subtract.

Last comes "Brother", so we bring down and start the process again.

If that helps just one other person get through the grueling process of teaching long division, then it was worth every head banging, hair pulling, tear inducing minute.

Not really, but I'm glad to help anyway.

Check out some other school related posts:

Place Value Chart
School House Rock
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
A Sample Reading Lesson


Jenny said...

That's pretty cool. I may just copy you and use that to teach the next three how to do the dreaded L.D.

Erin said...

How did you know we introduced long division today? It was horrible...there were tears (and head banging) and the insistence that "I'm not smart like the boys!". She will definitely like the DMSB way to remember...thank you, thank you, thank you!

Harmony said...

I must be weird, because I've always loved doing long division. I never heard of the DMSB acronym before, though. It sounds like it could definitely be helpful!

Donna(mom24boyz) said...

I could not help but chuckle at your phrase of not being fun just being done. I am sitting next to my 10 year old who despises long division. He got a chuckle too. I never heard of this tip! Thanks for the post!

Kirstin said...

Great acronym, but I was really impressed with how you got the cute numbers on your post.....do tell (C:

Aunt LoLo said...

Thanks for that!! I can STILL remember sitting in my little classroom and trying to learn long division. Thank GOODNESS for an itty-bitty country school. There were 10 kids in my grade, and we'd all meet at a huge table to learn our lessons, then go back to our desks to do our homework. Every day, for two weeks, I made the teacher explain AGAIN the steps in long division. A rhyme like that would have made things SO much simpler! I'm a "musical" learner. That means I can't tell you what comes after Q unless I sing part of the song. ;-)

Erin said...

We used it today and it did help (once I got her willing to listen!)...thanks again for posting that tip!

karen b said...

good one! it's amazing how things like that stay in your head forever!

Nikki said...

Very clever! And I like the demonstration. It helped me think it through. hehe

Tiff said...

OH now that is a GREAT help. I am horrible with math and as my daughter gets older I am constantly trying to figure out ways to help her with math!!

Smockity Frocks said...

I'm glad some of you found this helpful!

Kristin, I searched for a sample long division problem, then saved the images to my computer and pasted them on my post.

Noel said...

My unmathed daughter thought long division was going to be sooooo hard, but divide-multiply-subtract-bring down WORKS!!!! I"m not the only mom out there doing this :)

Melissa H said...

"It doesn't have to be fun, it just has to get done." I thought I invented that saying! :D

A happy heart at home said...

Excellent! Thanks!


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