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2 ÷ 3
No, you did not read that wrong. No that is not a type o. Yes, this problem is actually very easy to solve. Easier than you think.
I remember as a math coach presenting a problem to a group of fifth graders. It was actually simple, but it stumped them. The problem went something like this.
There are 4 rabbits, but you only have 3 carrots. How can you feed each of them the same amount of carrots?
The children were very puzzled, and the majority of them were quite stumped. They didn’t even have a clue how to start.
Today, is a quick post on how to teach this concept with a little hands-on, interactive notebook.
I created four word problems involving food. Children relate to feeding themselves, and I’m sure they have figured out in the past how to share something when there wasn’t enough. If you want to start even more hands on, you could provide the actual cookies and let them figure out the first problem with real food.
However you decide to do it, here are a few things you will want to remind your kiddos before you start.
- When you divide, your answer must be in equal parts.
- The dividend, or what is being divided up, is ALWAYS the first number in a division expression or equation. This will throw them if this is the first time seeing this. We are most comfortable seeing the first number of the expression as the larger number, not the smaller number.
- Yes, you could simply teach them that the dividend becomes the numerator and the divisor becomes the denominator. What have you really taught them though? Do they understand why this happens? A month down the road are they going to remember what to do when there are more rabbits than carrots? Probably not.
So how do we teach this? I’m so glad you asked.
Simply work through the problems with the kiddos on the free download.
Start by creating an expression with the pictures. I have to divide up two hotdogs. That is my dividend, so I will glue on two hotdogs and write the number two on the first line of my expression.
Three people want a hotdog. That is my divisor, so I will glue on three people next and write the number 3 on the second line of my expression.
Now I have 2 ÷ 3.
I will then fold my paper on the dotted line and solve underneath. I will place my three people on, and then put under them the correct amount of food. For this problem, I need to cut each hotdog into thirds because there are three people. On each piece I will write 1/3, and then glue a piece under each person. I will do the same with the next hotdog. Now everyone has two-thirds of a hotdog underneath them, and that is the answer. (I wouldn’t recommend telling your students this, I would suggest you let them try to figure it out on their own. But this is the result you want at the end.)
At this point, I would highly recommend using the algorithm. If you have talked about changing remainders into decimals, then the students will quickly see how this works.
Complete these steps for each of the four problems and you will be on your way to helping your kiddos understanding this “new” way of dividing.
You’ve Got This
Download your FREE printable HERE, and make sure you have
- math journal or construction paper
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