Long Division is every teachers’ (and students’) worst nightmare, it seems! Every year, my students come to me with very little number sense. This makes dividing with two digit divisors so difficult. In response to this, I started teaching my students “Easy Breezy” division, a spin off of partial quotients that provides that much needed support for struggling students.

Here is a poster that breaks down how I teach the skill. The main thing that I have added on is the Easy Breezy facts (which you can see in Step 1). As I mentioned above, many of my students lack number sense and desperately need this scaffold. Basically, the students multiply the divisor by their 2s and 5s, then add zeros for their 20s, 200s, etc. They use these Easy Breezy Facts as their partial quotients. This really works for struggling students who are not strong in division. All they need to be able to do is those multiplication facts and subtraction. They pull from those facts to solve the division problem.

**The actual download includes the academic language of dividend and divisor. My first run at teaching this I took the “easy way out” and used the easy language. I have since learned that I was actually holding my students back in their mathematical vocabulary and discourse.** As you can see from the poster, this method does take them awhile in the beginning as they typically only pull from their Easy Breezy Facts. However, as they gain mastery and confidence (and much needed number sense_, they will begin to see patterns and learn to take larger partial quotients to solve the problem sooner.

To help with a conceptual understanding of the process, I always model this process using a word problem. This gives the students a much needed context. The word problem that I typically use involves distributing cupcakes to bakeries. We compare the partial quotients to packages or batches of cupcakes that would be sent out to bakeries.

When we begin, I explain how it would be impossible to distribute one cupcake at a time (or package them in individual packages). We discuss how it would be smarter and more practical to ship the cupcakes in packages or batches. When we go through the process of dividing the numbers, we refer back the cupcake problem the entire time. I have found that by introducing partial quotients this way, the students gain a much deeper understanding of the process, which leads to fewer computation errors.

Here is the word problem that I typically use:

I also created some interactive elements that the students use to practice this skill in their interactive notebooks. Here are some shots of the interactive elements and the students’ work.

*****The actual download includes the academic language of dividend and divisor. My first run at teaching this I took the “easy way out” and used the easy language. I have since learned that I was actually holding my students back in their mathematical vocabulary and discourse.**

**Click here to access all the printables shown in this post for FREE! **

Jessica says

This is incredible kind and amazing of you! I love the INB element and efficiency of using the "powers of ten" tricks. Thanks!

Michelle Spencer says

Thank you so much for sharing!

Now if there was something to sprinkle on the students to help them persevere until the end of the division problem. I have a few that give up because "there are too many steps." {sigh}

Jennifer Findley says

So true, Michelle!

Your Thrifty Co-Teacher says

Very nice product. I bought a similar idea trifold product a few months ago which I had to alter. This one is so much more clear. Thank you for this. I am sure students will totally understand and get some great practice with this product. It is even great for 4th grade who are now also asked to do partial products with single digit divisors. Thanks again.

Cynthia Burrell says

I am so glad I found this! This will help my struggling special needs students. I will, of course, teach the regular algorithm, but this will make it less intimidating for them. Thanks so much for sharing the packet!

Janine Fernandez says

This is great! I willbe new to 5th this year and I need all the help I can get!

Pink Ink and Polka Dots

Schauna says

Thank you so much! You are so kind to provide this for free! I really appreciate it!

Jennifer Findley says

You are very welcome! I hope they are useful to you!

Melissa says

Thank you for this! It is awesome 🙂

Donna says

Thank you very much for the freebie!!

Jenny g. says

Thank you SO MUCH for the easy breezy idea and the freebies!!

Annette says

Is there any way to get this editable? I love it but I use the words “annex your zeros” not add your zeros when teaching this method. Thanks so much for sharing this, it is my favorite way to teach long division as well.

Jennifer Findley says

Hi Annette, thank you for your comment! I stopped using the phrase “add your zeros” a couple of years ago once I realized it was not helping the students conceptually. I have made that change and also a few other changes to the file (number in the house changed to dividend, for example). Thank you again!

Annette says

Thank you for doing this. I really appreciate it!

Gia says

Getting ready to teach long division to my 4th graders. The only thing I’d like to include for the purpose of academic language is instead of “the number in the house” use dividend and somehow using divisor in there as well. Perhaps adding them in parenthesis. I’m evaluated on the use of academic language and my principal is pretty picky.

Great resource!

Jennifer Findley says

Definitely, Gia! In fact, have you downloaded the file? It actually uses that language. I quickly changed it when I realized my language was not helping the students grow in their math discussion. Always learning and growing. Thanks for being here!