Division can be a tricky topic to tackle with your students, especially the first go-round. As one of our favorite teacher-bloggers Meg puts it, “I am always shocked at how students freak out about division…and how much “harder” it is than multiplication!” Help make it easier for them with these fun activities for teaching and practicing division.
1. Read books about division.
There are SO many fun, colorful picture books that tackle the topic of division. Check out two of our favorite division book lists.
SOURCE: Math Geek Mama
SOURCE: Teach Beside Me
2. Act out one of the stories.
SOURCE: Rainy Day Mum
3. Teach your student the The Herding Game.
Kids LOVE this fun and effective game that is terrific for the kinesthetic learner. Teacher acts as leader and students pretend to be animals that are herded into different size groups. For example, the teacher may call out “Buffaloes, form groups of 7” and students must move around the room and form groups of seven. Leftover “animals” go to the holding pen.
The game continues as teacher calls out different animal names and different group sizes. Great activity for understanding not only division, but the concept of remainders.
SOURCE: The Teacher Studio
4. Use food.
Food is a perennial favorite for teaching about division, in part because it involves a tangible way to demonstrate “fair shares” and also because food is a topic to which everyone can relate. Here are two activities using paper food, but if you really want to score points with your students you could use the real thing.
Try this Sharing Cookies activity.
SOURCE: Tunstall’s Teaching Tidbits
Or publish a Pizza Division booklet.
SOURCE: Teachers Notebook
5. Create a Division House.
Designing a house takes a lot of planning! This lesson combines art and math as students use division math questions to determine the specifications of their model home. For instance, to determine the number of windows in the house, students must divide the day of the month they were born by the number of kids in their family. Once all the math is calculated, students create their drawing.
SOURCE: Teaching With a Mountain View
6. Play a round of I have… Who has?
Kids love this fun round-robin type of math game. Use this downloadable deck of division math problems to help your class to practice their division math facts. Great for an end of day activity or as a brain break.
SOURCE: Teacher Sherpa
7. Play What’s My Share or The Sharing Game.
These two games are a fun way for kids to practice dividing objects evenly. Students will divide “goodies” between sea creatures and wiggly bugs as they build the foundation for understanding the concept of division. Both games include record sheets and are perfect for independent practice or center time.
SOURCE: Down Under Teacher
This is a fun hands-on activity for young learners. Download these free adorable templates that give directions for creating objects out of play dough and dividing them equally onto each picture. For example, “Make 8 bugs and show then equally on 4 leaves.”
SOURCE: Sparkle Box
9. Use multiplication to teach division.
Mastering multiplication facts and making the connection between multiplication and division is the key element to mastering division. Any of the activities in this article 22 Fun, Hands-On Ways to Teach Multiplication, can be used for teaching division. After solving the multiplication problem, teach your students to rewrite the problem as a division problem to build out the fact family.
10. Use blocks to solve word problems.
Word problems are a perfect vehicle to create the connection between multiplication and division. Using real-world scenarios and hands-on materials, kids can build a greater understanding of the relationship between numbers and their parts. This lesson from Kids Math Teacher has two fun activities- Dividing the Pie and Pumpkin Carving and that Leftover Gunk, along with tips to help students when they get stuck.
SOURCE: Kids Math Teacher
11. Use money to solve division problems.
Money is an excellent real world manipulative to teach division concepts. Every kid can relate to problems involving the distribution of hard earned cash. This easy-to-follow lesson from Shut the Door and Teach uses white board place value mats and paper money to walk kids through the long division process.
Source: Shut the Door and Teach
What are your favorite ideas for teaching division? Please share in the comments and we’ll add to this list.