Printer Friendly Version

 Beverly Mackie BellaOnline's Math Editor

How to Explain Division?

Division is about separating one group into smaller groups with the same number of items in each group.

Examples:

1. In PE class, one class splits into equal groups to play a game.
2. A bag of candy shared with friends. Each friend receives the same amount of candy.
3. Christmas gifts for friends – Jim has 50 brand new one dollar bills to spend on five friends. He writes each friend's name on envelopes. Each envelope represents a group. Jim places a dollar in each envelope until the money is gone. He has just divided his \$50 into five equal groups. If the money is counted in one of the envelopes, there will be \$10 in the envelope. In fact, each envelope will have \$10 in every envelope. Hence, 50 divided by 5 equals 10.

Will the groups always contain the same amount?
The nature of division is to determine how many equal groups can be formed. So, the answer is yes. However, when one big group is split up into smaller equal groups, there may be a few left over. In other words, there were not enough to form a group with the same predetermined number. Those leftovers are referred to as the remainder.

Activity –
Materials needed – beans or other small counter objects or use small edible objects such as M&Ms
Notebook paper or construction paper, markers or crayons
1. Create one big group of 12
2. Remove four beans and put aside to form the first group
3. Remove four more beans and put aside elsewhere to form the second group
4. Continue to form groups by removing four beans at a time. Another way to say this is to say, "Continue to form groups of 4". The student should become accustomed to saying and understanding the meaning of "groups of __".
5. Draw a picture to illustrate steps 1-4

Repeat the above instructions with:
* 8 divided into groups of 2
* 10 divided into groups 3 (Your results should show one leftover. It's referred to as remainder 1.)

Now, make up your own division problems.

Math Site @ BellaOnline