The Chunking Method
Division in many Primary Schools is taught using repeated subtraction. The 'chunking' method in maths, uses repeated subtraction to find answers to division problems that use larger numbers, e.g numbers to 100 and/or over 100. It also helps children find remainders when dividing. A good, sound knowledge of times tables facts in maths, will help children use and understand the 'chunking' method, therefore regular time tables practise is essential.
The examples below will give you an idea of the process involved in using the chunking method for division. This process can be used with numbers over 100 as well. However, as children become more skilled using the chunking method, they will begin to use a quicker, more efficient way of using the chunking method for larger numbers.
Division Without Remainders.
Problem: 76 ÷ 2 = 38
-20 (10 x 2)
-20 (10 x 2)
-20 (10 x 2)
16 ( 8 x 2)
Answer: 10 + 10 + 10 + 8 = 38
Why is 10x2 used?
Many children will know their 10x tables and will be able to use this knowledge for the repeated subtraction. They are then left with 16 at the end, which is 8x2.
Division With Remainders.
Problem: 98 ÷ 6 = 16 r2
-60 (10 x 6)
-36 ( 6 x 6)
Answer: 10 + 6 = 16 r 2
In this example only one 10x6 is subtracted because once 60 is taken away from 98, only 38 is left.
The number nearest to 38 in the x6 tables is 36, therefore 36 is the number that is subtracted.
This leaves a remainder of 2.
Refining Division Methods - 'Chunking'Method.
Once children are happy and confident using the above method of dividing, they can start to refine and make the process quicker. Again, the child's knowledge of times tables facts in maths, will help them to understand and use the repeated subtraction (chunking method) more easily. Regular times tables facts practise is very important!
Problem: 457 ÷ 6 = 76 r1
- 420 (70 x 6)
- 36 ( 6 x 6)
Answer: 70 + 6 = 76 r 1
This example shows how you can cut out the need to subtract and write down -60 (10x6) seven times to reach the number 36.
A quicker way is to look at the number 457 and think 'Which number in the x6 tables is nearest to 457?'
Tip: Cover up the 7 in 457, this shows 45. Which number in the x6 times tables is nearest to 45? 42 is. 7x6 is 42. But because we are looking at numbers in the hundreds, we need to make sure the 0 is put into the working out, making it 420, which is 70x6.
The rest of the sum can then be worked out.
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