The Common Denominator: Dividing Polynomials

In a relatively recent article, "Does your teen remember long division?" Posted on 06. Aug, 2010 by Joan Azarva in Articles, she writes, "In our high-tech age, when solving math problems is as easy as pressing the buttons on a calculator, many students haven’t had enough experience working with numbers on their own; thus, they never develop a feel for numbers or a “math sense”. This becomes an issue as students cross the threshold from high school to college. Many colleges prohibit the use of calculators on their placement exams. A student accustomed to relying on a calculator since the primary grades often forgets the process of long division. In college, this deficit often results in having to take developmental math where they must re-learn all the basic skills by hand in just a 15-week semester – YIKES!" 

I couldn't agree with Joan more. This is partially why I started writing a math book several years ago and ultimately creating this blog as a means to start publishing some content so that students can have access right away. So instead of complaining or just talking about the problem, I have posted a video here to revisit long division of integers and show an example of how to divide polynomials in a similar fashion. To view the video and audio in the highest quality, HD, select the highest pixelation of 720p. This can be adjusted in the bottom right-hand corner of the video next to the cc (closed caption) icon. The player normally defaults to 240p or 360p. Leave comments are ask questions. You can do this in the "comments" section of this page. Your comments let me know that this is adding value to you or someone in need. Enjoy! If I can be of more assistance, let me know.

By the way, if you find that someone is having trouble with long division, I would suggest checking a couple of things: First, make sure that the student understands the alogrithm (i.e. the process or steps invovled); Secondly, verify that they can multiply. I know that this seems trivial, but while I was teaching math at Anniston High, I found that once I had my students master their multiplication tables, they were able to tackle long division without a problem.


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