This week, I have been teaching my Grade 4’s division. I have been attempting to teach multiple strategies but have been having some resistance from the kids because it seems that they have this notion that there is only one correct way to solve division problems being the “traditional algorithm”. I didn’t have the same issue with multiplication – I think because multiplication is closer to addition that division seems to subtraction? I have a group of students in my class who are very confident with the traditional algorithm, as they have learned it prior to Grade 4 (although they have varying levels of conceptual understanding as to what they are actually doing). This group is someone resistant to learning another method because they already have their strategy embedded – which I understand. My students who are newer to division seem to want to know the traditional algorithm (because they see the other students doing it or their parents have shown it to them?), instead of flexible division or other strategies that I am encouraging.
Have you come across this problem/issue before? Should I continue to encourage the variety of strategies or just focus on the traditional algorithm because this is what they want to know, and what the parents are going to teach them?