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Using Division Houses and T-Charts to Teach Division


This year has been a challenging school year for me, however it has been very rewarding at the same time. Every 4th teacher knows that division can be and sometimes is a difficult skill to teach students every year. Believe me this year was not any different for me! One day at the beginning of the year I was talking to my students about all the different topics that we would cover in 4th grade. They were all okay with everything until I said that horrible word DIVISION! As I looked around the room I could hear the students mumbling underneath their breaths about division and one student yelled out “I don’t know how to do division”. Well, it’s March and I must say that most of my students are progressing nicely with division. Markayla is one my 4th grade math students who has been doing a magnificent job with using a t-chart  and division houses to divide! When I taught my students how to divide I began showing my students that division was necessary because it would take forever to complete a division problem using repeated subtraction. Most of the students bought into the idea that division was necessary and they had to learn how to divide.

Markayla began her division problem by using a t-chart with the divisor 3 for multiplication facts
Markayla began her division problem by using a t-chart with the divisor 3  and multiplication facts

I knew that my students were struggling with division so I decided to teach them how to draw a t-chart for the divisor beside each division problem they solved.  I figured that this would provide them with more practice with multiplication and help them solve the division problem at the same time.  This proved to be very beneficial over time because it took a while for the students to get use to writing the facts down and to become fluent with the skip counting. Once they understood that this was a tool that would help them to solve the problem it was smooth sailing! Markayla’s division problem shows how the student’s first write the problem and then immediately draw the t-chart to show the multiplication facts for the divisor. The facts are only written up to 9 because the divisor is a single digit and can only be divided into one digit at a time. Before using the t-chart I explained to my students that factors are written in the left column and multiples are written in the right column. This cleared up a lot of confusion for my struggling students at the beginning because they were not sure where to write the numbers or which column the quotient came from.

3 division houses
4 division houses

After writing her t-chart Markayla divides using the first division house  and circles the fact on the t-chart that is used to divide. Zeros are not listed on the t-chart because my students understood when a number was too small to be divided by the divisor 0 groups could be created. To help some of my struggling students to realize when they were through dividing I taught them that there should be a house for each digit in the dividend. So, if there are 4 digits then there should be a total of 4 division houses in the problem when they were finish dividing. After going through the steps of division for the first house another house is drawn using the bar and the divisor 3 is brought down and the division process begins again! After students become comfortable with dividing using the t-chart and the division houses then these 2 scaffolds will no longer be necessary and they will stop using them. Yesterday I had a student say, ” Look I didn’t have to use the t-chart to solve my problem.” I looked at him and  smiled because I knew that he had truly learned how to divide.

5 thoughts on “Using Division Houses and T-Charts to Teach Division”

  1. What a great way of teaching long division! My daughter is just now starting to learn multiplication, but, I will keep this in mind as she moves into long division!

  2. I am going to share this post with my 7th graders who say “I don’t DO division! It’s too hard.” Tell Markayla she is motivating and teaching some big kids. 🙂

  3. This is awesome, what a great plan for division. I can not wait to get started using this way of learning division with my kids. Thank you!!!

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I help math teachers who teach high need students to effectively manage their classrooms and deliver high quality math instruction. Learn more about me


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