# Partial Quotients

The partial quotient algorithm is just a way of organizing student’s work with the distributive property. It’s also called continental division.   The Ontario curriculum does not require this algorithm, so teachers have to decide if it’s useful step for them.

 Pose a problem like : I have 67 candies to divide among you three students.  Record the question like this: How many candies can I give to each of you? Can you each get 10? Write the 30 given out so far under the 57.  How many do we have left to distribute? Subtract to get 37. How many should we give each person from the pile left?  Would 10 work? Write the additional 30 given out so under the 37. How many do we have left to distribute? Subtract to get 7. How many should we give each person from the pile left?  2? The numbers on the right show each person was given 22 in total.  One candy remains in the pile.

In the example above, what you are really doing is splitting the 67 up into 30, 30, 6 and 1 – using the distributive property of division to chunk the number into easier pieces to divide.