my math world

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

How to Teach Division

Division is often a difficult subject to teach among the 4 basic operations. Students always face the problem that they do not understand the concept of division. 

Hence, to make it easier, teacher should make the connection between multiplication and division so that students are not just memorizing facts or steps, but they understand the process and concepts.

1.      Write on the board a fact family for addition and subtraction. For example, you could write 4+6=10, 6+4=10, 10-6=4, 10-4=6. Tell students there are also fact families for multiplication and division. Multiplication and division go together, just like addition and subtraction do. Show them a multiplication and division fact family such as 2 x3 = 6, 3 x2 =6, 6/2=3, 6/3=2. Explain to them that it is time to start learning about division.
2.      Start with a real-world problem such as: "I have eight kids who want to play volleyball. I need two teams of equal players. How many will be on each team? How should I 'divide' them up?" Discuss the problem with your students, then show them the equation on the board for this problem: 8/2=4. You can also draw a picture of something like twelve cupcakes and four friends, and show how the problem 12/4=3 cupcakes for each person.
3.      Show the fact family to go with the real-world problems and equations you discussed in Step 2. Once they understand what division means, you can show them how to figure out the answer quickly. For example, if students know that 4x3 =12, then they can see the relationship between 12/4=3 and the multiplication problem. Give students a problem such as 20/4=?, and then ask students to solve this problem to find the quotient: 4x?= 20. Explain that whatever numeral replaces the ? in the equation (in this case 5) is the answer to the division problem.
4.      Discuss how some division problems will not always have a whole number for the answer. For example, give your students a realistic problem such as, "I have 22 cookies and 5 cookies can fit in each box. How many full boxes will I have, and how many left over cookies?" Then show the equation 22/5=?. Work on the problem together with illustrations or even manipulative until students figure out the answer 4 boxes with 2 cookies left over or 4 R 2. Again, make sure students understand what the R stands for (remainder) and what remainder means. It is important for students to make connections with multiplication and real-life applications when learning division.

Read more: How to Teach Division |