In this blog post I will share with you division strategies, example activities, and a free printable that you can use with your third grade students.
Start with word problems! Why?
It is very important to introduce division using word problems. This is a great opportunity for students to visualize what is happening and to notice how you can model an equation two different ways depending on the situation.
The two types of division problems problems are listed below:
- Measurement Division – the number of groups is unknown
- Partitive Division – the size of the group is unknown
1. Use Math Manipulatives: Equal Groups
The same equation can be modeled differently depending on the word problem.
The first problem is a Partitive Division problem, because we have to partition the cookies equally to find out how many each friends will get.
The second problem is a Measurement Division problem, because we need to figure out how m any plates or groups are needed.
2. Repeated Subtraction
In this strategy, you keep subtracting groups until you’re left with 0 or a remainder (a quotient smaller than the divisor).
You know the size of the group in the following problem (4 treats per day). It’s an example of a Measurement Division problem, because you need to figure out how many days (groups) the treats will last.
3. Draw a Model
Tape diagrams are useful in helping students see the connection between multiplication and division. Below, I drew a rectangle which has an area of 56. I need to figure out 8 groups of what number will equal 56.
8 x ___ = 56
Some students may not yet be fluent with their multiplication facts and that’s okay. Have them start with a fact they know.
- 8 x 5 = 40
- 8 x 6 = 48
- 8 x 7 = 56
In next week’s blog post, I will share with you division strategies for upper elementary grades. The blog post will include the printable shown in these images plus one for 4th and 5th graders. Stay tuned!
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You may be interested in the following blog posts.
- 7 Activities to Practice Multiplication Facts
- 4 Activities to Review the Distributive Property of Multiplication
- Multiples Bookmark, Prime & Composite Numbers Activity
- Multiplication Dominoes Game
Need resources for your math centers?
Click the images below to view third grade paper and paperless math centers.