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Desperately need Math Help!


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We've been using Fred with games and extra practice to supplement. DD is in 4th grade, and we just finished LoF Honey, which introduces long division.


DD gets the concepts of multiplication, addition, subtraction, and division. She is gradually building facility with remembering her multiplication facts. But the steps of long division (which Fred nicely breaks down into divide, multiply, subtract, bring down) totally overwhelm her.


I see the same thing in language arts: presented with too many steps/processes, she freaks. We're on a wait list to get her a psychoeducational assessment at the university (school psychologist evaluation last year wasn't very helpful and our insurance won't pay for a neuropsych eval without a head injury or sign of a nerve problem).


We are also looking at having to put her in school in 6th grade (and are considering "holding" her in 4th officially for another year, which would affect her slightly at her enrichment program and for testing purposes), because I'll have to start working full time (I'm in school now).


Any suggestions of how to break down/conquer long division? A process, way of presenting the steps, anything like that that worked for your child who was overwhelmed by it at first?

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My older son *really* struggled with remembering the steps. I wrote out a sample problem using a different color for each step. Then I wrote out the steps using words (like you say LoF does) and I used the same colors for this that I did in the sample problem (does that make sense?)


For my older son, this did the trick. He had to use this for MONTHS before he could do it from memory.


I did this with my younger son also.


Oh, and I also spent days sitting with them when they would do a long division problem and talk/walk them through the steps. This helped my younger son more than my older. The visual aid helped my older son the most.

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1) Graph paper and long problems that required doing it again and again, with an arrow to show the bring down step.


2) When it came to multiple digit divisors, partial quotient division helped get over a hump. Now we have gone back to regular method.


3) I also rather like MathMammoth's way which has the child write a list of products out before doing the division.

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first. Once she is very comfortable with that, have her do the long division steps, but write them down on the paper so she can refer to them. If she doesn't do it herself, make the connection for her between short division and long division. It's ok to scaffold complex skills this way. She'll get it eventually.
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