Let’s talk about what division really is — **it is repeated subtraction**; much the way multiplication is** repeated addition**.

Let’s say I have the basic problem 16 ÷ 4. I could start with 16 and then subtract 4, subtract another 4, another 4, and another 4 until I run out and reach zero. I would have to do this 4 times. If I had 16 cookies that I wanted to share equally among 4 friends, I could do the “one for you, one for you, one for you, and one for you” process and still end up with 4 cookies for each.

But what about 375 ÷ 50? If I don’t know how to divide by double digit numbers, the repeated subtraction process might actually be a good choice . . . at least showing some number sense to know that 375 divided by 50 means **“How many 50’s in 375?”** I know if I subtract 50 six times, I still have 75 left. I can subtract another 50 and I have 25 left over. So 375 ÷ 50 = 7 with a remainder of 25.

### Dividing using the distributive law

**Division** |
**Possible Split** |
**Calculation** |
**Answer** |

69 ÷ 3 |
60 + 9 |
(60 ÷ 3) = 20
(9 ÷ 3) = 3 |
20 + 3 = 23 |

391 ÷ 3 |
390 + 1 |
(390 ÷ 3) = 130
(1 ÷ 3) = cannot be divided |
130 with Remainder 1 |

## Long Division

*Before* a child is ready to learn long division, he/she has to know: Continue reading →