Describing Division


Division can be a tricky, but understanding some basic terms can help. There are three basic terms to describe a division problem; they are dividend, divisor, and quotient. An example of this is 24/6=4. In this example the 24 is the dividend, 6 is the divisor, and 4 is the quotient.

There are two different concepts to find the solution to a division problem. They are the sharing concept and the measurement concept. The sharing concept uses the divisor to divide the problem into number of groups, and uses the quotient to determine how many parts are in each group. A great way to visualize this is by using fruit. For example, we have a total of 24 apples, and we want to divide them equally between 6 groups. How many apples will each group receive? According to the sharing concept the divisor, 6, is used to find the number of groups, and the quotient, 4, is used to find the number of apples in each group. This means we will have 6 groups with 4 apples in each group. On the other hand, the measurement concept uses the quotient to divide the problem into number of groups, and the divisor to determine how many parts are in each group. If we use the apple problem again, there would be 4 groups with 6 apples in each group. The picture provided may help to clear up any confusion about the concepts.

Drawing pictures is a great way to practice division, but I have also found a fun game that is great for practice. The game is called Alien Munchtime; in the game it allows you to choose the fact families that you need help with. The choices include 2 through 12. After you have chosen your fact families, an alien pops up and says she needs help serving lunch. Once you click the “lets go” button the game begins. Hungry alien students come through the lunch line with a division question like 88/8 and you have to serve them the answer like 11. This is a great way to get practice with division and have fun at the same time!


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