Strategies for Dividing Decimals

When dividing decimals by whole numbers, the division process closely resembles that of whole numbers. At first, we do division without considering the decimal point. Next, we position the decimal point in the quotient to align with its placement in the dividend. For example, dividing 18.2 by 2 results in 9.1, where the decimal point in the quotient corresponds to its spot in the dividend.

In scenarios involving division of two decimals, you can use a similar approach. To divide, convert the decimals into whole numbers by scaling them up appropriately using factors like 10, 100, or 1000. This makes sure that the formation of whole numbers for straightforward division. For instance, dividing 13.8 by 0.6 entails multiplying both numbers by 10, resulting in 138 divided by 6, which simplifies to 23.

Dividing decimals by whole numbers

One way to divide decimals is by using whole numbers. The dividend is a decimal and the divisor is a whole number, so this means that quotient will have the same number of decimals as the dividend. Take a look at these steps:

Step 1: If we were dividing 197.7 by 3, first ignore the decimal and divide as you normally would until you get a remainder of 0.
1977 / 3 = 659

Next, place the decimal point in the same spot you would as you would put in the dividend. 197.7 / 3 = 65.9. The solution is 65.9 and the decimal is added depending on the placement of the decimal of the dividend.

Dividing decimals through long division

Another strategy is using long division! This is a familiar strategy when it comes to dividing whole numbers, so most students already have the basics down. Take a look at the steps below to divide decimals.

Step 1: When it comes to the divisor and dividend, shift the decimal point. By shifting the decimal point all the way to the right, you can change the divisor to a whole number. At the same time, move the decimal point in the dividend to the right but make sure you are moving it the same number of places.

Step 2: Add in a decimal point in the answer/quotient on top of the decimal point in the dividend.

Step 3: Divide as you usually do and make sure to keep the numbers aligned so that the position of the decimal point is correct. Match every digit in the quotient with the corresponding digit in the dividend that is used in that division period.

These are some of the many ways Step Up Academy teaches our students to divide. Our teachers provide definitions, step by step instructions, and finally examples to solidify what they have just learned. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3! If you’re still having some trouble, call us today to book a 1 on 1 session with our certified teachers to clarify all your questions. Division doesn’t have to be hard, and we’ll help you until it’s not!

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