Sunday, December 28, 2008

Long Division

Student at Blue Island High School Doing a Math Problem in
Student at Blue Island High School Doing a Math Problem in "Boolean" Algebra
Is there a way to make long division fun, really?

I have always dreaded that I would pass on my indifference for math to my children.
I'm not horrible at math. I made it through pre-calculus. I use it when I need to.
But I have never enjoyed it. It has always been a necessary evil in my mind. Something that has to be done, but isn't pleasant.

Ellie is really struggling this week. We are using Horizons 4 and she's about halfway through it. She understands the concept of division and she was doing fine until we started using larger digits (ie. 23,457 divided by 46) I know that it's going to just take some time and practice, but today was very frustrating for both of us. She needs to go through many more problems before the whole process becomes second nature. The problem is that she's too frustrated to sit and do tons of long division problems at at time. Today's math lesson took 4 times longer than normal. Whew, am I glad that she finally finished!

I know that one of the things that is confusing her is that she isn't keeping her numbers in neat enough rows. That is SO important when you're dividing by huge numbers. Some of her problems are halfway down the page by the time she is done - when they aren't in neat rows, it's all a jumble and she makes a silly mistake.

I guess I don't have any questions. I'm just voicing my frustrations and hoping that we get through this bump in her math studies :)


Sharon said...

Maybe a silly question, but is she doing this task on ruled paper--maybe even graph or ledger paper to keep numbers in their correct line or row?

One of the pluses of parochial school with nuns was their intense demand for orderliness and neatness...I still cut off the edges of binder pages, or edges off checks, etc. Hmmm... :)

Jennifer said...

Actually, NO!! Why did I not think of that?? The problems are in the workbook without any lines - just the problem and she writes beneath it. Thank you for your input!! I think that will really help out :)