### How to teach long division

Long division is a hurdle to many students. I have written a long article about it where I approach teaching long division in several small steps. It is all also explained in this video:

The video and the article do not delve into the "why" long division works, but suggest a specific sequence of teaching long division. It should also make the process of finding the remainder within long division more transparent to students.

I've also created a page with lots of worksheets for long division plus a generator so you can even customize them to your liking.

What about teaching why long division works?

I feel the algorithm of long division AND why it works presents quite a complex thing for students to learn, so in this case I don't see a problem with first learning the algorithmic steps (the "how"), and later delving into the "why". Trying to do both simultaneously may prove to be too much to many students.

However, once your student has a basic mastery of how to do long division, it is time to also study what it is based on. To learn more about that, please see:

Long division as repeated subtraction

Why long division works (based on repeated subtraction)

Why long division works—a comparison with sharing money (bills) (video)

The Cookie Factory Guide to Long Division by Denise

Blank said…
My thinking is that there is a third element, and that is practice. The steps learned are internalized with practice. That is why I ask my students to print a couple of these long division worksheets and complete them. They are partially completed, so they provide feedback to the students by telling them if they are doing them "ok so far".
TeDWooD said…
I agree long division is one of the hardest aspects of teaching Math. Many students can't seem to grasp the concept of it. Some people learn differently.

How to Make Children Learn Math Faster.
That's terrific!!!

http://www.studenthandouts.com