Long Division With Beads

Teeny little beads – they can do so much more than just make necklaces and bracelets! Today I want to show you how to help your kids make sense of long division with beads.


After having your child pick out which color beads represent ones and which represent tens, have your child put beads on the paper or table to represent the number inside the division sign.


Have her circle the dividend (5).

Explain that you will be seeing how many times she can get the divisor (4) out of the dividend (5).

Have her group as many 4s as she can out of the 5.

Place the number of groups (1) over the tens place of the dividend.


Take away the groups of 4.

There were 4 beads total so have her write down the 4 under the 5 and subtract it from the 5 to show how many beads are left.


Now replace the one purple bead with 10 yellow beads and pull down the 3 to put it beside the 1 on the paper.

Have her pull down the 3 from the dividend so she shows that she has 13 beads left.


Next have her see how many groups of 4 she can get out of the 13 beads.

Put that number above the ones place in the dividend (3).


Explain that 3 x 4 = 12, the number of beads in the groups she made.

Have her subtract 12 from the 13 and put the remainder after an r in the quotient.

Be sure to praise her as she completes each step. Choose another problem and go through it with her again, helping with the steps only if she cannot remember. Do 2 or 3 more that day. Then do 3 more each day for the next few weeks. Once she has it, keep doing a simple problem without the beads 3 or 4 times a week and go on to more complicated long division!

And remember! Kids have jello brains! Your child may remember all this perfectly for a week and the next day, you will have to start from scratch! Don’t get upset! Just shake your head and call her a jello brain. She will get it eventually!

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue


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