
CONTENT/DEPTH Question: Grade 5 Decimal Division
I apologize in advance if this is confusing, but I coach 5th grade teachers and cannot find any literature as to the depth of this standard. My question is very specific related to decimal division in Grade 5. Since long division is not a requirement of the grade 5 standard for decimal division, we use more conceptual strategies like the area model and partial quotients. The standard states decimal division to the hundredths place. Our students love partial quotients and this does not pose a challenge so long as there is no remainder.
<b style=”fontfamily: inherit; fontsize: inherit;”>However, how far do we need to conceptualize decimal division to hundredths in Grade 5 with this strategy? In particular, cases where we need to annex zeros past the decimal point. Once you start annexing zeros past the decimal point it feels more like long division.
For instance…14.4 divided by 32. Our students think of the decimal dividend as a whole number of decimal parts (in this case, 14.4 = “144 tenths”) and then use partial quotients to divide with a 2digit divisor knowing that the quotient will be the number of “tenths.” However, using partial quotients you get a remainder. Is the partial quotients strategy meant for annexing zeros past the decimal point? Is this an expectation of 5th graders? If so, what does this look like? We place our partial quotients above the dividend, but now, lining up place value matters. Should these type of problems be reserved for Grade 6 and the standard algorithm. (see attached photos).
ALSO, once students get this quotient of 4.5, they must come back to the idea that this is actually “4.5 tenths” or “0.45.” We can use properties and base 10 blocks to demonstrate what this looks like, but is this the expectation of the 5th grade decimal division standard?
I reached out to the Common Core to see if they could answer my question but I was unable to get any answers. I know this is very nitty gritty, but I just don’t know how to coach my teachers as to where they can stop. Any guidance/thoughts/opinions would be appreciated.
Thanks so much!
jc