Long Division: Division with Decimals

Contributor: Meghan Vestal. Lesson ID: 11811

Does the thought of dividing numbers with decimals devastate you? Don't let that decimate your math progress! There is "zero" difficulty with decimals, so learn the simple steps to decimal success!

categories

Elementary

subject
Math
learning style
Visual
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio:

How would you solve the following problem? What's with that little dot after the "137"?

137.3 ÷ 8 =

Sometimes you will encounter a long division problem with a decimal in the dividend.

Solving a division problem with a decimal in the dividend is almost exactly the same as solving a division problem without a decimal.

Set up the problem the same way you normally would. Then, solve the problem using the same steps you normally would — pretend the decimal is not even there while you are solving. If you need a refresher on the steps to solving a long division problem, go back to the first Related Lesson in this Long Division series, found in the right-hand sidebar.

When you are finished, move the decimal straight up above the dividing line into the quotient:

If you have a remainder, see if you can divide the dividend evenly without a remainder. How? Here's how:

  1. To do this, add a 0 to the end of the dividend.
  2. Bring the 0 down and continue solving.
  3. If you add two zeros to the dividend and still have not found an even quotient, write the remainder at the top of the problem.
  4. If, after adding two zeros, you still do not have an even answer, it is likely the problem will keep going for a while.
  5. It is important to remember that you can ONLY do this when there is a decimal in the dividend. When you add a 0 behind a decimal, it does not change the value of the number. You could add 100 zeros behind a decimal and the value would never change, but adding a 0 to a whole number significantly changes its value.

Adding remainders and decimals to a division problem may just seem like you are adding more steps to an already complicated process, but once you master the basics, adding these steps is simple.

Move on to the Got It? section to practice solving division problems with decimals.

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