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Do you teach these 4 important division strategies?

Your students have memorized 24 divided by 3. But can they explain how to solve it? Before memorizing division facts, kids need to understand basic division strategies.

In this post, I’m going to go over each of the main division strategies and give examples of each. 

Make Equal Groups

When we multiply we put equal groups together. When we divide we separate into equal groups. To help kids understand this, I give them counters and a division fact. They use the counters to show how to separate them into equal groups. 


Make an Array

When we divide, we can create an array of rows and columns to represent the number of groups and the number in each group. For example, if you have 12 counters, you would make 3 rows of counters with 4 counters in each row. Or vice versa with 4 rows and 3 counters in each row. 


Repeated Subtraction

You can use repeated subtraction to subtract the number being divided by. For example, if you divide 12 by 3, you would repeatedly subtract 3 from 12 until you reach 0. The number of times you subtract 3 is the answer to 12 divided by 3. 

To help kids see repeated subtraction, you can combine this strategy with making equal groups. For the example above, they would need 12 counters. Each time they subtract 3, they take 3 counters and make a group. When there are no counters left, they count how many groups they have created. 


Related Multiplication Facts

Division strategies are usually easier for kids to learn because they most likely have studied multiplication before this unit. 

If they know 3×4=12, they can use that to figure out 12 divided by 3 by using what they know about the related fact. Lets look at  3 divided by _______ =12. If we know 3×4=12, the missing number from that equation is 4. 


Choosing Division Strategies

During our lessons on basic division understanding, I require kids to use the strategy in their independent practice after I teach it.

But I know that not every strategy works for every student. So after making sure they understand the division strategies I let my students choose which strategy works best for them.

One of the activities they use to practice division strategies are Boom Cards. If you’d like to try out some free 3rd grade Boom Cards, sign up below!

Get Sample Boom Cards

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