Are you an upper elementary teacher who is stressing out over long division? Interested in learning how to do box method division? This easy, step-by-step guide will have you doing long division with minimal stress in no time!
Box Method Division; Why Does it Matter?
As discussed in my last post, the box method is an alternative strategy for solving long division problems, including less
headache memorization. You will set the problem up in a ‘box’ format.
This method is more straightforward, organized, and conceptual for students at this grade level. Let’s take a look at the breakdown of each step.
First, draw a large square. Make 1 column per digit of the dividend. Write the divisor just outside the square, to the left of the first digit of the dividend.
Step #1 (optional)
Students will look at the divisor first and list all the multiplication facts for that number. Students should multiply all factors from 0 to 9. I recommend this step because it allows for quicker retrieval in later steps.
Students will consult their multiplication facts to divide the divisor and the first digit of the dividend. At this time, I have students consult their multiplication facts from Step 1 to decide, ‘Which fact shows a product that does not exceed the digit(s) in the dividend column but is closest to it?’
OPTIONAL: Have students circle this fact.
Students will write the remaining factor from the circled multiplication fact above the first column. In the same column, students will subtract the product. Students will move the difference to the top of the next column, right in front of the digit already there. This will form a new, two-digit number altogether.
OPTIONAL: Have students draw an arrow to indicate the placement of this number.
Students will now follow Steps 1-3 over again for each of the remaining columns.
The difference remaining in the last column will be the remainder (if applicable). Students can write this number to the right of the columns, accompanied by an ‘R.’
Easy Enough, Right?
If you are still lost in the sauce, I suggest reading about WHY we implement the box method instead of the standard long division method.
Want to start small and in need of differentiated box method division worksheets? I can help, too!
Interested in a free set of box method division worksheets with self-checking jokes? Click the image to download your copy today!
P.S. – You can check out all my done-for-you box method division resources, set up with color-coding and organization of columns already implemented!