Long Division Made Easy

In these examples I will use the common 1,2,4,8 method that kids are being taught in school today.  It's probably not how you learned long division, but it makes a lot of sense!

Before embarking on long division it is important that your child fully understand the concept of division.

As well as the concepts, your child must be able to compare numbers, multiply by 2, add and subtract.  That's it!  

So let's dive in immediately with a problem that is probably not easy to do mentally!

In this worked example we are going to deal with this problem:

Divide 137 by 17

First and foremost, what are we being asked here?  We are being asked how many groups of 17 are there in 137.  We could actually simply subtract 17 from 137 until we cannot subtract it any more.  

This is correct, but of course not in the least bit efficient.  Remember in math really we are only working with addition and subtraction!  We could go down the road of using guess work.  Multiplying by 10 is easy, so we can say 17 x 10 = 170, but that is too large.  Lets half that, and we have 17 x 5 = 85, this is too low, and now we are finding this method inefficient also.  

We need to establish an efficient method, that will work for all Long division problems. And here it is.

Step 1:

Write the numbers 1,2,4,8 as a column to the left of the divisor (17). Your problem should now look like this -

Step 2:

Multiply 17 by these numbers i.e. 1, 2, 4, 8.  

Tip:  Multiply 17 by 2, then multiply your answer by 2 (as 2 x 2 = 4) then your answer by 2 (4 x 2 = 8) 

and write these numbers vertically under the 17.

Step 3:

Look at the answers you get (the numbers in purple in the image above) and compare to your 137.  

You must choose the largest number that is LESS than 137.

In this case it is 136.  Write this number under your 137 and write 8 in brackets after it.  Subtract 136 from 137.

Step 4:

Is the result of your subtraction equal to or greater than your divisor?  That is, is 1 equal to or greater than 17 ? NO, so we are done.  

Add all the numbers you have in brackets (we only have 8) and put above the line of the original division problem.  The number you are left with after subtraction is your remainder, in this case - 1


The answer to 137 divided by 17 is

8 Remainder 1.

What now?

Ensure you offer your child enough practice by offering them our free printable math worksheets. Math practice makes perfect math!

If this division method is new to your child, you might also find My 1-2-4-8 Long Division Template a useful starting point.

Explore all that Printable Math Worksheets has to offer.

Keep In Touch!

You can send me a quick message, subscribe to K6Math Fun & Update, or join my Facebook Page - K6Math. Choose all the options so you don't miss any of the new material added to this site.