# I HATE CHUNKING!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by juliejd, Jun 4, 2008.

1. ### juliejd

Sorry - feel better now !
Why are we supposed to teach it? - my Yr 4's all looked at me as if I was speaking Chinese today. Think I will move onto to bus shelter method tomorrow!

2. ### Giggleswick

With you there JulieJD - have had the same reaction from my lot! What the *** is the Bus sheler method - what am I missing out on??

3. ### Giggleswick

'shelter' obviously!

4. ### hawaiiNew commenter

Me too!! I say this at every maths staff meeting but no-one listens!!

5. ### tortugaNew commenter

Me too. Seems like a lot of hard work and hassle to get to the end result. I definitely prefer the bus shelter method.

6. ### redbutterfly

............. laughed and groaned when I read this thread! Chunking for me is the most difficult aspect of division to teach....... would love to watch an expert!

7. ### candyflossgirl

Chunking works really well on a number line, if you do it upwards rather than downwards, saying something like, "we could count up in 8s all the way to 88, but we already know 10 8s are 80 so we may as well jump all the way there!". The one where you take away...yack! It's multiplication, subtraction, addition and division all in one!!! Very confusing! On the plus side though we only introduce it in y4, they do get it by the time they're in y6. I wouldn't introduce bus shelter - they will find that just as confusing, I would just stick to number line methods.

8. ### giraffeNew commenter

Are we talking repeated subtraction?

9. ### Saints 79

I have had class after class after class of y6 who love bus shelter method and don't understand why they have to do chunking (even if they understand it).

They do need to do chunking for division by more than a single unit though - unless they are good mentally with multiplication outside of 'normal tables'.

10. ### Sal 26

As a staff, we kicked out chunking when we agreed the Calculation Policy. Far too much scope for things to go wrong with it, however well it is taught.

Now we stick to the numberline method and 'bus stop' or 'division house' as we call it.

11. ### Sal 26

Saints, the numberline method works well for bigger numbers too.

12. ### Saints 79

Oooh 'division house' - I like that one - would help children to remember it more than bus stop. I will pinch if it's ok?

14. ### tired teacher

Chunking works well but there are some things they need to know really well before they master it.
1 column subtraction and this rhyme helps them get that
MORE ON THE FLOOR AND YOU NEED 10 MORE
MORE ON THE TOP DON'T STOP

The they need to be able to double
1 17
2 34
4 68
8 136
My children write out this table every time and they can get 20 lots or 80 lots from it so they aren't just taking off 10 every time.

If you get the 2 above skills right , then chunking becomes a doddle.
ONly 3 SEN children in my class can't do it yet and they are working on division with no remainders from their 2 to 5 times tables.

15. ### 1000trees

I used to hate chunking. However, in the past 2 years I converted to the 'dark side' and decided I quite liked it. Here is why I changed:

You have to spend at least a whole week teaching it for it to be totally remembered - day after day until they get it. Too many times I've seen people spend a day and that's it. Give up.

Division is always left to last by a large majority of teachers so whatever method children sue, they still don't understand division. Spending time on chunking or 'grouping' as I call it and they will get it. The reason they don't get it is because they don't understand division well enough. they can do the short method but do they understand division? usually not in my experience.

Agree totally with previous comments about the large number of skills needed. these must be in place before doing it.

You need LOADS of cubes to teach it. Do it practically with all the children sitting in the circle, sharing the cubes between children and writing it down. Some children will spend all week with cubes, beacuse they didn't have the practical experience lower down in school. I had a year 5 pupil 2 weeks ago who couldn't share 65 cubes between 5 white boards. What is the point of doing a short way, when he doesn't even understand it in real life?

Finally, the reason I really like it, is because long division the 'short way' is much harder. If you can do grouping, you can do it with larger numbers just as well. Long division can require you to know the 17 times table etc.

So, you can strike me down. but I have been seduced by the dark side of mathematics.

16. ### miss_informed

I too, I'm afraid, am a chunking fan. All my year 5s, apart from SEN, can use this method successfully to do HTU & ThHTU / TU.
I agree that they need to have a firm knowledge of column subtraction first.
I always start them off with questions that have no remainders and do loads of examples on the boards, working through as a whole class with them copying onto whiteboards. When about half the kids have got it I pair them up with kids that aren't too sure. After 3/4 days they normally have it confidently.
Only problem with chunking is that it doesn't work with decimals remainders, which is a skill they'll need in a few years.
I say teach both then the children can decide which they prefer.

17. ### cravingchocolate

Absolutely hate chunking - I don't see it as an easy method so very hard to convince children!

But, thicko that I am, what is the bus stop?

18. ### showman

Why the tussle to get children get to grips with chunking? What for? What is the advantage of chunking over the numberline method? I'm not sure there is one at all..so why bother?

Well done that poster who refused to teach it. I persevered for quite a while because it was highlighted as a key Numeracy Strategy method. I know better now and try to take a balanced view about what is in the best interests of the children I teach. Take the best & leave the rest I say!

Totally agree with the poster who said give children LOTS of practical, hands on experience of division. Perhaps the poster is right that sometimes this is because teachers feel pressured to skimp on practical activities further down the school.

Also agree that it may be that too often division is left to last...but that is down to the class teacher who should make the decision about where to spend the time. If the children's addition is secure for example then don't spend lots of time on it. Surely this is where AFL comes in? Once you've assessed where your children are at, you can plan accordingly. If they need more division, then make sure that is what they have!!

19. ### gillydormouse

I reckon chunking is fine for those kids that know their tables and are confident with number, unfortunately I had the very, very less able and could see no advantage to teaching them a method that they could not use independently because their basic number skills were too weak. I taught them the bus stop method for SATs and provided it was on smallish numbers some of them could just about manage it. The problem with chunking is that it has too many stages for the really less able - they forget what to do if it has more than 2 stages!