Thursday, January 17, 2013

Teaching Division (Update on the School by Beth)

6th grader #1, 5th grader #2

SO. I've been trying to teach long division to my 5th/6th graders for the past couple of weeks. These have been the most frustrating days of my teaching life yet.

....For *example*.........

(Don't know WHY it's all black?!)

I'm trying to explain how to do question #1....."How many times can you put 484 in 352?"
 ................*blank stare*.............
"Does 484 fit in 352?"
*blank stare, looking very befuddled*
"Ok.......say you have a box that will hold 352 crayons. You have 484 crayons. Can you fit all of the crayons in the box???"
                    *deer-in-the-headlights, mouths hanging open*

AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!! Do this really be that haaaard?!?!?! 
Can it get any simpler???

"Alrighty honey child, you have THREE garbanzo beans. Can you fit ALL of them up your nose?"

I'm at the end of my rope!!! How else can I explain division?!!!!!! I'm learning that it is so very hard to explain to my kids how to do math that is like second nature to me. Not that I'm some kind of genius, but I'm pretty sure I was born knowing how to do this stuff. Lol.

I've started from the beginning. We've worked our way up. I think it's time to go back to simple simple simple division. I actually printed worksheets for them from a 3rd grade book today. Sigh.

I want to build a good foundation for them so that they are 100% capable of doing basic math, so I'm not going to move on until they can do this stuff backwards and forwards. But it is a little nerve-wracking to think that MAYBE just MAYBE I am not explaining it right, in a way they can grasp. Soon, their parents are going to wonder WHY their child has not had a math test in 3 weeks...Then they will come to me questioning my teaching ability...and I will question it, too. Haha!

Pleeeeeeeease, I just want these kids to grow up to be productive, capable, intelligent members of society!
On a more positive note....
Eddy is in 2nd grade. He is THEE cutest little thing EVER!! I LOVE teaching him. In science, we are learning about "el ciclo del agua". The water cycle, I think that's what it's called in English. Precipitacion, evaporacion, escurrimiento, infiltracion. (It feels weird to know that I can explain all this in Spanish, but I don't remember the lingo in English...) We get to draw and do experiments with ice and steam. It is fun! In math we are learning how to count money. He catches on so fast, I love it!

So for a 2nd grader, Eddy is a capable little boy. Let's see that he stays that way through middle school and high school!



Hayde said...

Conozco la situacion y el sentimiento!! Cuantas veces he visto los ojos como platos de J.......

Anonymous said...

Hi...I'm finishing my degree to become an elementary school teacher, and the way we are learning to teach division is by "repeated subtraction" So... you can do 12 divided by 4 by saying 12-4=8 8-4=4 and 4-4= 0. It took 3 steps to get to zero, so the answer is 3. You can also use manipulatives such as area models and arrays to demonstrate this. Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

I've had this problem with my students before...If the kids know how to multiply, you can teach them it's multiplication backwards. For example if you have 30/5, you can say 5 x what makes 30. If that doesn't work try using a multiplication chart.

The Wakefields: Missionaries to Mexico said...

Thank you guys for your help!! I REALLY appreciate it. I'm definitely going to use these ideas!


Total Pageviews