Short division

Because division is often taught after multiplication, this can lead to pupils setting calculations out in the same way and trying to use a similar method.

Example 1
Example 2
Example 3

In example 1, the pupil has set the calculation out as for column multiplication and then has multiplied instead of dividing.

In the example 2, though the pupil has set the calculation out as for column multiplication, they have divided and achieved the correct answer. However, it is quite likely that they began with the units (as they would in multiplication) instead of working from left to right, as they need to in division.

In example 3, though set out correctly and with the right answer, the pupil mistakenly worked from right to left. In such simple calculations without remainders, the only way to know that a pupil is working correctly from left to right is to watch them.

Where the calculation involves remainders, this type of mistake is easier to spot.

Example 4
Example 5
Correct working

In example 4, the pupil has incorrectly worked from the units to the hundreds. This can be easily noted by the remainder in front of the hundreds digit.

In example 5, the pupil has worked correctly from left to right. However, they placed the remainder after the next digit instead of before it, making it impossible to continue.

Click here to see 'How To: Short division' video
Click here to make a worksheet to practise short division.