# Mumsnet Talk

## bus stop/short division or long division

(20 Posts)
BaBaSheep Fri 24-Jan-14 14:35:19

Which method do schools prefer to use?

spanieleyes Fri 24-Jan-14 17:55:58

Short division when dividing by less than 10, long division for 11 and over!

BaBaSheep Fri 24-Jan-14 19:47:51

Thanks and agree. What about chucking?

spanieleyes Fri 24-Jan-14 20:04:40

Chunking ( although I do think chucking is a better term!) we do before short or long division ( so currently around year 4/5 depending on the ability of the child) to enable the children to understand the method behind short/long division. Once they have grasped the concept-of removing chunks from the original number-we move onto the quicker methods.

BaBaSheep Sat 25-Jan-14 21:05:37

Am I right to say to my dc that to use short division when the number being divided by is between 2 - 9 but use chucking when the number is too big and outside her timestable knowledge.

spanieleyes Sat 25-Jan-14 21:16:24

Different schools have different ways of doing division but I would be quite happy with long, short or chunking division, as long as they understands what they are doing and why!

Sun 26-Jan-14 11:43:26

Bus stops discouraged here; it's L6 stuff, really, save it for secondary.

Sun 26-Jan-14 11:43:40

ps: and I HATED bus stop method myself, so good riddance!

spanieleyes Sun 26-Jan-14 12:01:14

Short division is now Year 4.

PastSellByDate Sun 26-Jan-14 12:49:22

Hi all:

This is especially for parents:

example of division using repeated subtraction: www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/factsheet/ma12pape-l1-f-division-using-repeated-subtraction

example of chunking division (video example): www.youtube.com/watch?v=eF4h76R99_Q

example of long-division: www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/factsheet/ma12pape-l1-f-long-division

example of short-division (using bus stop method): www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/factsheet/ma12pape-l1-f-short-division

----------------------------

I think debate between lljkk & spanieleyes speaks to the fact that people have their preferences.

Personally I find thinking how many times a number can go into another number is easier - so like short division - but you tend to like the method you were taught which works for you.

I think you can see with the 'chunking' verison of division video - you are in fact doing a number of different mathematical calculations simultaneously - it does require you to be very organised/ methodical. Frequently in DD2s Y4 class - children get muddled about what to add up at the end of chunking (partly because if working with multiples of '3' as in the first example - they will write it 3 x 10 and 10 x 3 instead of keeping the '3' in the same place. After working out the answer - especially if there is a remainder - DD2 reports a lot of kids are completely confused.

Bus stop method (short division) is forbidden at our school - children teach it to each other secretly during breaks (which I find hilarious - and rather proves the point if you make something 'illegal' it becomes attractive).

I think it is great to teach different methods - what I think is unfortunate (at our school at least) is there is a very negative attitude to pupils wanting to use a 'non-approved' method - as in teachers ripping up their work in front of them for using short division.

Perhaps teaching unions could encourage more constructive approaches - surely if a method works for a child and they are successfully and repeatedly getting correct answers - does it matter if they use a different method to what you prefer?

vjg13 Sun 26-Jan-14 19:27:10

My daughter really struggled with chunking but is fine with short or long division. I find the chunking method really clunky and long winded and I think she was losing the will to carry on when using it.

BaBaSheep Tue 28-Jan-14 11:52:17

Thanks ladies. My dd find chucking very confusing. However she once was very familiar with long and short divisions. But then the teacher keeps insisting that all children have to use chucking. Then dd got confused and muddled up with all the methods. Often she cannot decide on which method to use. What I find hard to accept is that why some teachers are so rigid about which methods the children use as long as they get the answers right quickly and accurately. I just wish her school would spend more time and focus on problem solving and metal maths rather than over emphases which method any individual child prefer to use. I thought what matters the most is that children understand why and how to use division.

PastSellByDate Tue 28-Jan-14 12:13:32

Hi BabaSheep

I also have observed that some teachers get really hung up on certain methods at certain points - and don't like children going 'off plan'.

My view (although I've got issues where this is concerned) - is that the more 'hung-up' on insisting they use a particular method, the more likely the teacher is weak mathematically.

If the kid understands what they're doing, consistently gets the right answer and can demonstrate what they're doing in steps (so talk the teacher through it or show each step on paper) - I don't see what the problem is.

One of the good points of the many many changes to the national curriculum is long & short division are being reintroduced in primary (now I admit some schools never abandoned this) - but for our school this will be a major change, for the better I believe.

BaBaSheep Wed 29-Jan-14 10:13:06

After I used chunking several times I've found both the concept and the method are actually not at all easy to grasp. I think chunking has its place when one has to solve a division problem that is outside one’s timestable or long multiplication knowledge. But for someone who is able to instant recall timestable then I just don’t see the point of learning it unless she really wants to. I already informed her teacher how much I disagree that dd has to use the methold. I sometimes almost want to shout at the teacher telling him to “Please stop confusing my child with any more chunking!”. As I truly believe that many children will be benefited with more practices on metal maths and problem solving. Why so many schools seem to waste a lot of times on teaching various methods rather than how to apply maths in solving problems. I just believe maths can be a more interesting subject if children can apply maths in real life problems more. But many school manage to make the subject so very dull and confusing.

BaBaSheep Wed 29-Jan-14 11:07:26

In secondary schools do teachers use chunking?

MilkRunningOutAgain Wed 29-Jan-14 18:28:31

I'm coming on to sympathise Baba, don't know the answers to your questions. My DS hated maths in yr 4 and yr 5 and was moved down tables. Now he has a teacher with good maths ability in yr 6, and he's back on top table. She lets him work out using the method he wants to, and if he can work it out in his head, he is allowed just to write the answer down and he gets it marked right, and she then gives him something harder that requires workings. He is so much happier now he doesn't have to use chunking and other methods that he found to be long winded and sole destroying, yes, they may help some kids, but they don't help them all. He's also gone up 4 sub levels in one term , well of course he hasn't actually but he is now showing what he can do so has been marked up, he just lost the will to complete work in yr 5 and so didn't progress in levels as the teacher didn't see his improvement.

BaBaSheep Wed 29-Jan-14 21:09:52

Thanks Milk I wish my dd is in your ds's class. I have nothing to against chunking in itself if it works for my dd but it doesn't. Outside school I have to keep telling my dd to just stick with the method that she feels confident with. I don't think chunking can help her in the long run anyway. In school if the teacher wants chunking then do little bit of chunking just to please him but don't get too upset about not getting right. There are other more important things to learn than chunking. Of course my concern is she may not be able to move up level or try harder work if she hasn't grasped the method.

noblegiraffe Wed 29-Jan-14 22:29:51

I'm a secondary maths teacher and we don't use chunking. Bus stop all the way. They will need to divide decimals and this is a piece of cake with bus stop, a nightmare with chunking. There are always a couple of kids who claim never to have seen a bus stop but they soon catch up.

I'm surprised that there are some primary teachers actively discouraging it, chunking is only a stepping stone method IMO, to encourage understanding of what is being calculated, but which can be binned in favour of a more efficient method once mastered.

spanish11 Thu 30-Jan-14 08:48:07

When my son was in year 4, the teacher will not give him sticker because he used the bus method or short division. My son does not like chunking because takes too long.

BaBaSheep Thu 30-Jan-14 13:41:07

Thanks noble that's reassuring. I am a older mum we never learned chunking in our school days however we were very focus on learning times table. My dd used to find maths very hard but after I helped her master her times table ever since she is able to see a whole new world of maths. It may sound a little mad but dd can make sense of the things in shops thanks to her timestable.

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