Now let's talk about the FUNKY strategies… :)
Funky Division Strategy #1) Partial QuotientThis was just confusing to me. It sounds impressive and looks impressive and rigorous…..but what does it actually mean???? I'll try to explain it….here it goes! For the partial quotient strategy, students need to constantly ask themselves WHAT NUMBER can I MULITPLY the divisor by to get to the TOTAL dividend without going over. Why do I like this strategy? Because they do not need to break up the quotient to do this (like in the algorithm.) They treat the quotient as a total number and I just think that is an easier concept for students to grasp. They repeat this until they can't subtract anymore. If you are a visual learner (like myself) take a look at the visual below to see this strategy in action.
I also have the poster seen below in the room:
Funky Division Strategy #2) Area ModelArea Model. This took me a while! Am I the only one? If I, the teacher are a tad confused with this, imagine how the students feel? I just kept reminding them…..you will get through this!!! With the area model, it is actually very similar to the partial quotient strategy…just written down in a different way. I think you actually need to just look at the model to figure this one out. They start by drawing a box and write the dividend. They write the divisor on the left side of the box and then go through the steps seen on the poster. See the poster below that I post in my room.
Culminating ActivityTo display all of the strategies as a culminating activity I had the students PROVE to me their knowledge. I let them choose a partner. Partners equal IMMEDIATE fun in my room, even if it is for DIVISION (hee hee!) Partner pairs had a job to do. They needed to CREATE their own division word problems. (and write them below on the green post-it note) The only restrictions? I told them that they needed to have a 4 digit dividend and a 2 digit divisor. Students LOVED writing the word problems since they could "personalize" them. Next, students showed their work using 3 strategies that we had focused on. They needed to show their work as seen below. The best part? If one of their answers didn't match the others, they knew that they had made an error somewhere and needed to go back and check their work. Finally, I made them write to explain how they solved the area model and partial quotient. Most groups divvied the work up and each partner worked to explain. This was great because they were really more inclined to use their academic vocabulary in order to explain the dividend, quotient, etc….
Again, click on the picture above to get the labels for this activity.
Do you have any tricks for teaching division?