4th Grade Frenzy: January 2021
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January 19, 2021

Teaching Long Division

Teaching long division requires patience and practice! The following steps take students from the concrete to the abstract so they have an understanding of what long division actually is.


Step 1

Step one involves manipulatives to remind students that division is actually just making groups. I'm partial to Skittles, but other options could be: fish crackers, mini-pretzels, small crackers, etc.


Step 2

For Step 2, explain to students that it wouldn't be practical to sort items into groups when dealing with larger numbers, but base 10 blocks will help them visualize the division. 


Step 3

For Step 3, use the same problem that was used in step 2 to introduce the algorithm.


Step 4

For Step 4, continue working through a few problems together, increasing difficulty based on students' needs.


Step 5

When students are ready, show them how to check their answer with multiplication. Then, practice, practice, practice! Since some students get overwhelmed by a page filled with problems, consider having students work through one long division problem per day until confidence builds. 


Here you'll find a set of 15 worksheets where students complete one long-division problem per day. It's a great way to get students comfortable with long division!

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January 5, 2021

A Strategy For Leaving School On Time

Leaving school on time and not taking work home at night and on weekends is one of the biggest challenges teachers have. The simple truth is that teachers are often assigned more work than can be completed during prep and whatever time can be salvaged from lunch. Although being organized and systematized certainly optimize efficiency, try thinking beyond the sticky notes and routines in order to eliminate time spent outside of contractual hours.

One of the best ways to get your time back could be hiding within your grade-level team. Many tasks are assigned to all teachers. Working as a team, these tasks can be divided up, shared, and then adjusted by each teacher. An initial investment of time would include a meeting to discuss the concept and begin dividing up tasks. Consider tasks that could be completed by one teacher and shared with the others: 

Lesson Plans

Hallway Displays

Meeting Notes and Minutes


Learning Centers

Field Trips


Parent Communication


Class Parties

Focus Walls 

Review Games


Homework Assignments

Behavior Management

Assessment Creation

Each situation is unique and this is just a guide to get started. Brainstorm your own list and consider dividing up the larger tasks into smaller ones. For example, one teacher may write the math plans and another may write the science plans. Tasks can be taken for the month or for the school year as desired.

Some teachers may struggle with giving up control, but each individual teacher can adjust a final product to their liking. For example, if one teacher creates a hallway display for the month, the basic project is done. An individual teacher can add their own spin to it. 

Letting go of control can be difficult at first, but the reward is great. Once this system is in place, a team can work more efficiently resulting in teachers who have a life outside of school!

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