We thought we'd share how we teach traditional long division when you use a good ol' paper and pencil. First things first, teaching is all about "borrowing." We have to give credit where credit is due. We got this idea from a 4th grade teacher at our school and it's been a life saver. We swear by this little acronym!
We introduce to you E.D.M.S.B.A or Every Dirty Monkey Should Bathe Always or Estimate, Divide, Multiply, Subtract, Bring Down, Again. We might as well stamp it to our foreheads for the week because we have said it 1,000 (and counting!) times. Learn it, live it, love it. That's what we tell our kids. Those 5 words make all the difference!
Here is a pic that we use to introduce this messy little guy to our kiddos. Over the years, students have named him/her and made up stories about how he got in the bath. Regardless, year after year they crave the consistency and reliability of this saying.
We practice long division on grid paper ONLY. If we were stranded on a desert island with 20 third graders, forced to teach long division, and could only bring one thing....it would be grid paper! And pencils. Oops, so two things!
The grid paper keeps things nice and neat. Let's be honest, every teacher has a little "control freak" in them. There will be no shouting, "Line up the digits!" when you use grid paper. We have blackline masters in the back of our teaching manual, but you can find it pretty easily on the internet. We photocopy the grid paper WITH the practice problems for almost a week before we let them loose on notebook paper. It makes a huge difference!
Check out this little FREEBIE if you are starting long division. The scaffolding of the picture and the grid paper will help your kiddos feel confident. We modeled it on the SMART board and our kids were really into it!!
So, that's what we do in our little third grade world! Eventually we move on to three digit dividends. Then the real fun starts when we get into problem solving and interpreting the remainder! :)
Enjoy the week, friends! Thanks for reading!