This is the first of several free math videos that show how to do long division usingĀ Cuisenaire Rods to aid in conceptual understanding. Most people have no idea WHY the long division algorithm works. They’ve just memorized the steps without understanding. This may work for many people, but there are a whole lot of children in school today who have sequencing issues, who struggle with memorizing the steps to math formulas that have no meaning to them, who simply want to understand WHY all this stuff works. Those children will be better served if their teachers understand why and can teach from a conceptual framework instead of a formula-driven approach. Even for those students who are willing to just “memorize the formula,” this method will be beneficial because it builds a clearer understanding of the decimal system and the distributive property which will give them confidence that they really do understand and are “good at” math.

I discovered this way of teaching long division through Crewton Ramone’s House of Math. I’ve changed his method very slightly to what makes more sense to me, but it is essentially the same idea. This method is ingenious. I don’t know why more people don’t know about it!

For more practice, click here to download a worksheet.