# Interpreting the Remainder- What do we do with the leftover?

Interpreting the Remainder is a new skill for fourth graders.  They are learning to divide 4 digits by 1 digits using area models, arrays, strip diagrams and the standard algorithm.   Last week while planning with some teachers, we really with  how to teach this to kids.  We know that kids struggle with the standard algorithm and I am so tired of hearing about that dirty monkey that smells bad!  I want to teach math not tricks!  So we made a plan!

We decided we would start with an array using smaller numbers- it didn’t make sense to have the kids make 1,234 dots on the page and then try to divide them into groups.  We would start small and practice making groups.

Then we would move to the partial quotient method (using place value blocks for concrete) and add the area model for a visual.  Below is a video explaining what we are doing.

Video

The next step is to teach about what is left over.  We started with problems that asked kids to use the remainder as the answer.  We wanted to have the remainder mean something.  We made an anchor chart and sorted some problems into two categories- Use it or Not Use it.  We worked some of the problems together and then students worked the rest on their own.  we pulled small group to work with kids we knew were struggling and helped them get stronger with the process.  We repeated this for the next two days before playing a whole class game of Quiz Quiz Trade with task cards.  (You can find the product here.)

Here are our exit tickets we used on each day to assess how the kids were doing!