# Talk

## who the chuff thought teaching division through chunking was a good idea???

(65 Posts)
sausagesandwich34 Wed 17-Oct-12 18:31:55

it's stupid, long winded and confusing

that is all!

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Wed 17-Oct-12 18:42:34

What is chunking? (Or more precisely: what the fuck is chunking?)

pointyfangs Wed 17-Oct-12 18:45:27

I must disagree. It let you do sums that would normally require long division on paper in your head. In under a minute. I was an unbeliever too, until I had it explained to me by DD1's maths teacher, and I am now a complete convert.

FromEsme Wed 17-Oct-12 18:46:21

It's the only way I can do it.

Wed 17-Oct-12 18:50:52

It is actually much easier once you can do it!

pointyfangs Wed 17-Oct-12 18:56:57

The example we did:

431 school children are going on a school trip, on coaches. Each coach holds 38 children. How many coaches does the school need.

431 - 380 = 51

You can fit another single 38 into that, leaving 51 - 38 = 13.

So you need 10=1 = 11 coaches, plus one additional coach for the remaining 13 children making 12 coaches in all.

pointyfangs Wed 17-Oct-12 18:57:38

10*+*1, even.

Feenie Wed 17-Oct-12 18:58:45

Except when discussing the remaining 13 children, many children will say eagerly 'they could come on our bus!' thereby spectacularly missing the point.

Wed 17-Oct-12 19:06:00

I like chunking, I find it quite intuitive. So much better than rote long division like I was taught.

yellowvan Wed 17-Oct-12 19:10:44

chunking is fab, except when it is taught too soon, or badly, to kids who dont understand the relationship between division and subtraction.

Waitforit Wed 17-Oct-12 19:18:18

Or suggest that the remaining children will just have to stay at school!

Houseworkprocrastinator Wed 17-Oct-12 19:21:50

I have never heard of or been taught chunking but pointy's example would be exactly how I would work it out anyway so I would say it is intuitive.

pointyfangs Wed 17-Oct-12 19:22:58

Good point, Feenie. And of course there's always the luggage compartment...

On this occasion the teacher was talking to groups of parents only, so that may have influenced his choice of example. And he may indeed have been thinking in terms of the luggage department, he used to accompany all the school trips!

CecilyP Wed 17-Oct-12 20:46:39

The person who thought it was a good idea was the one who met lots of people who struggled with long division because they did not know their 38 x table.

TwllBach Wed 17-Oct-12 20:55:55

Can I ask... In the example above, why do you multiply 38 by ten?

<stupid>

pudding25 Wed 17-Oct-12 20:56:15

I teach chunking. It is fab. Once the kids get it, it makes division so much easier.

Wed 17-Oct-12 21:02:03

TwllBach because everyone knows that to multiply by 10 you simply add a 0 to the end, so 38 becomes 380, and you know that 380 is less than 431. That means that you only have to worry about the remaining 51.

pointyfangs Wed 17-Oct-12 21:09:32

What lougle said. It's all about using the easy multiples - 10, 2, 5 - and using them to make an easy number which is smaller than the original number (or the number you are left with after stage 1).

A confounding factor is that children are often taught to repeat the same step many times (because that is seen as easier), whereas as an adult you would take the identical steps all together in one bite. Once you've got past that though, it really is a great method of working with very large numbers for which you would not have the times tables readily to hand in your head.

sausagesandwich34 Wed 17-Oct-12 21:33:02

but the way DD has been told to do it, she can mange but I still think my way is easier but there seem to be lots of steps

for example....

346/3
100x3=300
15x3=45 (which she worked out by 10x3 and then counting on in 3s on her fingers)
100+15=115 r1

eh???
that's not simple!!!

Wed 17-Oct-12 21:43:46

I love long division on paper, personally. But in my head, I'm likely to say to myself:

3 100s is 300, 3 15s is 45 and one remaining.

The only difference to your DD is that I know my 15 times table sufficiently, or conversely, I know my 3 times table to over 15. Your DD clearly only knows her 3 times table to 10, so had to count on after 10.

She could have broken it down further, if she wanted to:

100 x3= 300
10 x 3= 30
5 x 3 = 15

100+10+5 =115 with one remaining.

sausagesandwich34 Wed 17-Oct-12 21:49:11

I asked if she could and she said no, she had to do 46 in one chunk and they get told off if they use the wrong method

I would have done

3/3 =1
4/3 =1, carry the 1
16/3 =5

Wed 17-Oct-12 21:49:14

Annnd if you look at what we do in long division:

___
3|346

I do the old-fashioned method:

3s into 3 goes 1

1
3|346

3s into 4 goes 1 with one remaining
11_
3|346

3s into 16 goes 5 with one remaining

11_5
3|346

then I'd be putting my decimal point in and getting .33 recurring (but I won't type all that)

That's the same as 115 with 1 remaining.

Yes, maths teachers have invented a method of division that is very difficult and they insist in teaching it just to confuse as many children as possible

It works for many children who struggle with long division. We teach it because it works.

pointyfangs Wed 17-Oct-12 21:51:17

And the way lougle has just broken it down is how your DD should have learned it at her age, OP. The idea is to use only the 'easy' tables wherever possible - 2, 10 and 5. As an adult you can then use the method with more difficult tables and have it come in very handy.

Having said that, the example you have chosen lends itself particularly well to the long division or 'bus shelter' method - but most division does not.

stargirl1701 Wed 17-Oct-12 21:55:18

Suits some kids, not others. Kinda why we teach more than one method.

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