Prior to grade 6, students reasoned about division of whole numbers and decimals to the hundredths in different ways. During this lesson, they revisit two methods for finding quotients of whole numbers without remainder: using base-ten diagrams and using partial quotients. Reviewing these strategies reinforces students’ understanding of the underlying principles of base-ten division—which are based on the structure of place value, the properties of operations, and the relationship between multiplication and division—and paves the way for understanding the long division algorithm. Here, partial quotients are presented as vertical calculations, which also foreshadows long division.This lesson then introduces students to long division. Students see that in long division the meaning of each digit is intimately tied to its place value, and that it is an efficient way to find quotients. In the partial quotients method, all numbers and their meaning are fully and explicitly written out. For example, to find 657÷3 we write that there are at least 3 groups of 200, record a subtraction of 600, and show a difference of 57. In long division, instead of writing out all the digits, we rely on the position of any digit—of the quotient, of the number being subtracted, or of a difference—to convey its meaning, which simplifies the calculation.In addition to making sense of long division and using it to calculate quotients, students also analyze some place-value errors commonly made in long division (MP3).

- Subject:
- Mathematics
- Material Type:
- Lesson Plan
- Author:
- Angela Vanderbloom