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Volume 4 Number 1

Corks are popping! January is awards month in the world of children's literature. Esme Codell writes about contenders for the Caldecott award for best illustration in American children's literature, the Newbery for best writing, the Coretta Scott King award, and others...
Teachers.Net Again Joins NEA in a Seussian Reading Celebration! by Kathleen Alape Carpenter, Editor
New Tax Law Provides $250 Deduction for Educators by Kathleen Alape Carpenter, Editor
Maslow's Theory of Hierarchical Needs -- Alive and Well in the Classroom by Chuck Brickman
December 14th update from Operation Deep Freeze by LT. Marshall Branch
Editor's e-Picks - January Resources by Kathleen Alape Carpenter, Editor
A Time for Change by Bill Page
If We Want… by Bill Page
H.O.T.S. Activities for Use With the Classroom Word Wall by Michelle Stankevicius
Mid-Year Mark: Closing the Curriculum Gap for ESL Teachers by Jen Cullerton Johnson
Writing Tips for Teachers by Joy Jones
Practice Doesn't Always Make Perfect - Even For "High Stakes" Testing by Dr. Dorothy Rich
Attention Teachers! Homogeneous is [not always] a bad word! by Janet Chapman
Dividing With a Difference by P R Guruprasad
A Primer for Teaching in the University by Bikika T. Laloo
Bits and Pieces - Various Small Articles by The Teachers.Net Community
  • Chatboard Wisdom
  • Dictionary Skills Activity
  • Understanding Voice Control
  • Person of the Year
  • Snowperson Glyph
  • 100th Day Activities
  • January Columns
    January Regular Features
    January Informational Items
    Gazette Home Delivery:

    About P R Guruprasad...
    After completing his first class BSc Degree with Physics as major subject followed by BEd degree from the Univ. of Madras, he entered teaching. He taught English, Maths, Science, Physics and Chemistry in schools in India, Bhutan, Ethiopia, Botswana and South Africa, and worked as Education Officer in Macmillan India Limited where his career responsibilities included conducting teacher development workshops in Science and Maths, offering editorial assistance and developing curricular support materials. He is now working as a freelance education consultant involved with lesson content writing, curriculum development and teacher training.

    You can learn more about P R Guruprasad by visiting his web site at -

    Teacher Feature...

    Dividing With a Difference

    by P R Guruprasad

    1980. It is dawn in a remote village in eastern Bhutan. The aromatic cup of Assamese tea and the spectacular Himalayan splendour make me ecstatic! But inside me, there is something in contrast: Worry. Yes, I am greatly worried about my previous day's mathematics class in Std II [In Bhutan 'Grade' is called 'Standard']. I was trying to teach single digit division to my children but with no success despite meticulous lesson planning and 'proven' teaching methods. I have failed in my self administered litmus test.

    1995. One morning in a village in Orissa. It is a primary school catering to children of tribal folk. After several years of handling crests and troughs of classroom interaction, here I am, undertaking classroom observation of a young teacher. She is teaching exactly the same lesson that I had taken in Bhutan 15 years back. The difficulty that this teacher faces is strikingly similar to the one that I had encountered. Children cannot understand the concept.

    The teacher is teaching the problem: 122 ÷ 3 = ? I am glad that I am there to witness the difficult circumstance so that I can help the teacher as an outsider. As the academic watchdog I also feel responsible for the issue. That evening I get back to my hotel room with a slightly heavy heart and ponder over the problem. 11.30 PM. Eureka! I get up to scribble down the solution stemming from somewhere in my inner mind. The solution that flashed through my mind is documented below:

    122÷3 = 122÷3 = (90+30+2)÷3 = (90÷3) + (30÷3) + (2÷3) = 30 +10 + (2/3) = 40 + (2/3) = 40 2/3

    Next day the teacher tries my strategy in her class and thanks me that her children understand the concept well this time.

    Though this process is longer than the commonly used methods, it has the following advantages:

    1. The algorithm offers 'transparency' as children progress through the problem.
    2. Children apply their knowledge of 'factors' to split the dividend.
    3. It presents a logic behind fractions [for instance as to how we get the fraction '2/3' in the above illustration]; children not only learn 'what' but also 'how'.
    4. It serves as an effective springboard to teach LCM.
    5. It displays the flexibility [within a framework] that numbers offer.

    - Panamalai R Guruprasad


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