Monday, March 5, 2012

36 club Division Tips

One of the best ways to help kids understand why math is important is to let them use it in a practical matter.  In this case, they use division to cut a birthday cake.  (My husband baked this cake and my kids frosted and decorated it for me. They even picked the flowers. So sweet.)

Make up a variety of questions for them based on number of guests and how many pieces each guest should get.  For example.  If we have a family of 4, plus grandma and grandpa, plus six friends.  How many pieces should we cut the cake into? What if everyone wanted 2 pieces?

Small candies and cookies are also fun to use for teaching division.

Once the child understands what division is, you can move on to the cards.  They should have their multiplication facts down before you teach them division.  This is especially helpful since division is multiplying backwards.

Start with the twos.  Explain that to divide by two, you are just cutting the number in half.  They can also use the same tricks they used when they learned multiplication.

If their problem is 8 divided by 2 then they count by 2s on their fingers until they get to eight and then count the number of fingers it took to get them there.  (4) They should be able to count by 3s, 4s, and 5s also.

It gets a little tricky when they get to six.  This is where knowing their multiplication comes in handy. When they get stuck on a division problem I turn it into a multiplication problem. If they draw a blank at 42 divided by 6, I'll ask what times 6 is 42? If they are still stuck, I'll ask what 6X5 is.  (30)  I ask if they should go higher or lower. (higher) What is 6X6? (36), 6X7? (42.)  Then they have their answer. It can take time for them to learn division.  Be patient and they'll get it.

Use whatever tips they liked for multiplication with division. (Be sure to read my tips on multiplication. The link is below.)  For example: My son remembers 7 and 7 went to heaven to see the 49ers.  With dividing I'll say: 7 and who went to heaven to see the 49ers? Then he'll yell seven.  Eventually they remember it on their own. Same with 8X7=56.  (5,6,7,8) When we see 56 divided by 7 I'll point to the numbers and count out loud to remind him of the tip.  Then I'll ask what's missing.

This next tip is my favorite.

When you see numbers set up like the example above, the answer is always 9.  This goes back to the multiplication finger trick for nines.  Go ahead and try it out.  It works for every problem 2-9.

If they accuse you of leading them astray when they hit 21 divided by 3, ask them if 2 and 1 make 9.  It has to fill both criteria. They can turn this around too.  If they have 63 divided by 9 then the answer is one more than 6. 

So there you have it.  I hope this makes sense.  Leave a comment if it doesn't.  Every child can learn these facts!

Subtraction tips
Humdinger tips

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