We have been working on division 1 digit divisor and 2 digit dividend since last Tues. Yesterday, we moved on to 1 digit divisor and 3 digit dividend. HOLY MOLY!! My kids freaked out! How can I get them to get it???? For example, if we do 542/2, they don't get that you can do 5/2 first. They can't tell me that it is 2. What do I do??? They know the steps, DMSB, but even if we get the divide and multiply steps, we have forgotten how to subtract. How on earth do I teach them how to divide??? BTW, this is my first year teaching math and I teach 4th grade.

You could always try using a post-it note. After you write the problem use the post it to cover the 4 and the 2. Make sure that the post-it also covers where the answer goes. This way you can ask how many times 2 goes into 5 and the answer is marked by the empty space from the post-it. Then move the post-it over to cover the 2 and so on. (I hope this makes sense)
You said that they know the steps, but I use the phrase Does Mcdonalds Sell Burgers with Cheese. (Divide, Multiply, Subtract, Bring Down and Compare). When we get to the subtract part, I have them count up to the other number. For example if you have 40-36 I have them count.... 37...38...39...40. Mine sometimes forget to borrow when they subtract in division and of course the answer is wrong. Home this helps.

I write on the board: (the steps for division)
1. (sign for divide)
2 X (for multiply
3. _ (for draw a line
4. - (for subtract)
5. (an arrow pointing down) means bring down the next number
____ Darn! I can't get the line to stay over the problem.
Then I copy down the problem: 2)542

Then I ask them if 2 will go into 5. Since the answer is yes, we put a
tiny, pale dot over the 5 and one over the 4 and one over the 2. Now
we know the answer will have three digits in it. Next, we say 2 will go
into 5 two times. We put the 2 over the 5. We touch the two in the answer and the 2 in the division and multiply them: 2x2=4. We write the 5 under the five. Go to step 3: Draw a line. Go to step 4: subtract.5-4+1 Write the 1 directly under the 4. Go to step 5: bring down the 4. Now it is back to step 1. 14 divided by 2 = ?

I have used them for years. These have been scanned--I no longer have the originals, but my kids really get it when I use them. Rather than attaching all of them again I am going give the link to the other 7 sheets.

I taught 4th Grade for 8 years, and my lightbulb moment was with using graph paper. I would write out the problem on graph paper, and then using colored paper we would advance across the problem. So 345/2 would be written in graph paper, cover the columns with 4 and 5, have the students do the first part of the problem. Then move the colored paper over to reveal the next step, so on and so forth. Quickly they will do away with the colored paper and have the steps.

It will sink in, eventually. I don't teach my 4th graders the standard algorithm because I think it "messes up" their place value understanding. Instead we begin by working with a concept called clustering. Essentially, this is guess and check. I ask the students to think of related multiplication and division problems that might help them solve the given problem. As they become more proficient we begin to work with the partial quotients system. That leads us to double-double-double. I learned about these systems of division from ProTeacher posters last year. Google them. I think they make more sense for my students.

on the partial quotients. I started teaching it yesterday, and we continued today (it's in our Everyday Math program). The students really seem to grasp the concept...until they go home and their parents teach them the traditional way!!!!! grrrr!!!

I thing I do is to teach that the divide step is when you ask a question. For your problem, instead of asking 5 divided by 2, I'd have them ask how many 2's are in 5? This seems somehow more concrete for kids at this level adn works well.
(Also, I teach that there are 5 steps of division-between the S & B, I have a C for Check. They have to make sure that the difference they got when they subtracted (and the remainder) are less than the divisor...it really helps.)
Good luck!

You might break up the number to show what they are actually doing as they move across. 536/2=500/2+30/2+6/2. Then do the equation in the different steps then put it together and do the same thing. Do it lots of times.

Last year and the year before I taught special ed and had to teach math concepts in new ways to help my kids 'get' it. A teacher I worked with showed me Ladder Division. I started teaching it in my math class and my kids really got it! The shining moment was when they taught it to their struggling gen ed peers. The basic concept that you look at the whole number. For example, in your problem they don't focus soley on the 5, instead, they look at the number as a whole, 542.

i am attaching the sheet that my kids used to help guide them through the steps. Like I said, this is different thinking and it could confuse your class, but if you have a few that just don't get the traditional way, maybe pulling them to the side and teaching them this method will help.

Thanks for so many ideas! My 4th graders can only do BASIC division. Part of that is because I have been told not to teach multi-step multiplication or division. I am only to focus on the tested standards. It is really hard to convert fractions to decimals when you do not know how to divide with decimals or multiply by a number larger than 10!!! I know what I am going to try to sneak into my math lessons all next week!

Thanks so much!! I knew I could count on my fellow PT'ers for GREAT ideas. I'm going to take a break next week and do some review and then I'm going to implement some of these strategies when we get back from break!