How to explain division to a third grader

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Use some of the same strategies khổng lồ teach multiplication for teaching division in 3rd grade.

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Teaching division in 3rd grade can result in the case of the guzintas. What bởi vì you mean, you ask? You remember…4 guzinta 36 or 5 guzinta 25. How many of us use lớn say it out loud as we learned how to divide?


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For example, most kids like to bake. If you baked 24 cookies, how many friends could you give cookies to if you gave each friend 8 cookies? or 6 cookies? How about 4 cookies? or 12 cookies? Using dividends (the starting number or total quantity) with multiple divisors (the number that divides) allows students lớn explore how division works. After all, we want khổng lồ be fair and share the cookies equally!

Scenario for Teaching Division lớn 3rd Graders

Start with presenting scenarios such as the one above khổng lồ students. Use the CRA (concrete-representational-abstract) approach for teaching division.

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Give students math tools such as tiles, counters, beans, or any other object which can be easily grouped. Provide sentence frames such as I had 24 cookies so I gave my _____ friends _______ cookies each (I had 24 cookies so I gave my 3 friends 8 cookies each).Have students make visual representations of their solutions. In other words, go from concrete lớn represenational.Finally, teach the abstract by showing students how to model their solutions with math24 ÷ 3 = 8; 24 ÷ 6 = 4; etc.introduce the academic vocabulary of dividend, divisor, quotient and the symbol for division.

Making the Connection khổng lồ Multiplication with Arrays

Students must find the connection to multiplication when learning to lớn divide. Some students might immediately connect when they start making equal groups khổng lồ divide cookies. But some may not, so we need lớn make the connection explicit for those students.

Since students used arrays to multiply, we can teach division in 3rd grade the same way. In 2nd grade, students lined up objects in rows to use repeated addition to find the total. We can vì chưng the same with an array by having students start with a total, then use repeated subtraction lớn see how many rows (or columns) we can make. This is also a form of partitive division.

The Same Scenario but Using Arrays

What if instead of giving out cookies, we gave out brownies?

Have students work in pairs lớn find solutions khổng lồ divide 36 brownies among 2, 3, 4, 6 and 9 friends. Students should use math tools (tiles, paper squares, beans, counters, etc.) khổng lồ make rows depending on the divisor (2, 3, 4, 6 or 9).Emphasize to lớn students they are khổng lồ construct an array so rows & columns should be lined up properly và evenly.As the students construct the rows or columns, they are conceptually subtracting from the total such as taking 4 more away from the total to make another row/column.Provide sentence frames such as 36 brownies arranged in rows of _____ makes _____ rows (36 brownies arranged in rows of 4 makes 9 rows).Once the array has been built, have students make a visual respresentation of their solutions.Then, ask students to model the solution with mathematics by creating a division equation.Finally, ask the students to write a multiplication equation matching the array.
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