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12 Division Activities That Boost Understanding Across Grade Levels

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  • Teaching Activities

Division is the trickiest of the basic math skills to learn, but it’s an essential step before diving into fractions and other higher level math. We actually use division often in our daily lives, from shopping to cooking and schoolyard games. And by keeping this in mind, you can help division feel more accessible.

Though lessons can feel daunting, there are many great games, resources, and teaching tips to help your students master this important skill. It’s time to tackle the final hurdle of basic math with confidence using these fun division classroom activities.

Strategies for teaching division

Young student shows his teacher his division work.

Emphasize the relationship between division and multiplication

Division is basically multiplication in reverse. When you’re first starting your division lessons, help them feel more familiar by relating them back to all the multiplication facts your students just mastered. 

This is also a great way to give students who struggled with multiplication more practice time. By showing how these facts are related, your students can easily jump between basic multiplication and division problems, gaining the confidence they need for the bigger numbers and concepts to come.

Use models like arrays, number lines, area models, and bar models

Memorizing math facts does not equal understanding. To give your students a stronger foundation for future math studies, use different visual models to help explain division. 

Grouping objects into the rows and columns of an array makes it easier to see the relationship between multiplication and division while also cementing understanding.

Area models are great for practicing division with grouping because they give a visual representation on a base 10 model. And number lines help students who are still working on their skip counting skills. Discover more about how to use these division models here.

Don't skip over manipulatives

Even though your students are getting older, manipulatives are still an important way to help their understanding. We use division all the time in our daily lives. Take advantage of the learning all around by providing plenty of word problems with corresponding manipulatives in your classroom.

Break out the play money, divvy up candy into small bowls for sharing, and bring on the Lego blocks to keep your students engaged and learning.

Division games & activities to help elementary students practice division skills

Child uses an abacus during division activities

Division skills are usually taught beginning in the 3rd or 4th grade. These young students can thrive with fun games and unique approaches to math learning.

1. Use storybooks for teaching division

It’s easy to bring integrated learning to your classroom — just find a few great math books to help introduce your next math topic. And because division can be thought of as sharing or grouping, these books often have strong SEL elements as well. Check out this great list of children’s books to jump off your next division lesson.

2. ​Create task cards students can work through individually or in small groups

Task cards are a simple way to mix up your division practice. Hand out task cards to individual students, or set up stations throughout the room with manipulatives corresponding with each task.

Your cards give students a series of problems to practice, with each card defining a division strategy to use. Have students create arrays, solve word problems, roll dice to create equations, and share items within their group. As they complete each task, they learn different ways to think about division.

3. Try Prodigy Math to teach division

In math, repetition is key. But constant worksheets can bore your students. And always thinking up new, creative ways to engage them in practice is time-consuming. When you need to work in more practice time, try Prodigy Math!

This game uses a fantastical story and fun rewards to keep your students motivated. They can work at their math level, getting plenty of practice before moving on to the next skill. Just use your free teacher dashboard to send them practice questions in a few clicks! It’s a simple way to differentiate your lessons while keeping math fun.

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4. ​Play a classroom game of Around The World

This popular game is a fun way to practice any math skill! After your students learn the basics of division, it’s time to work on a quick recall of division facts. Give them more memorization motivation by introducing a game of Around the World!

Have your students sit in a large circle, and invite someone to start the fun by standing behind another student. Break out your division flashcards and challenge these two students to quickly shout out the equation’s answer. The winner moves around the circle until they make it all the way around or are defeated. Who can complete the circle? Play to find out!

5. Let students be artistic with the Division House

Bring some extra creativity to your math lessons with the Division House. In this fun activity, each student is given a set of equations they can personalize with facts about themselves and their family. 

For example, the number of windows on their house equals the day of their birth divided by the number of kids in their family. As they solve their equations they draw their unique home with the correct number of windows, doors, bricks, trees, and more!  

6. Help students visualize division with jelly beans and an egg carton

This super simple activity is a great way to showcase the sharing aspect of division. Give each student or group of students a couple of handfuls of jelly beans, then ask them to divide the candy out. 

Can they evenly fill up all 12 spaces? How about 8? Or two? Challenge them to discover all the different ways they can divide their jelly beans, writing an equation for each. This activity is also a yummy way to introduce remainders.

7. Don't shy away from division math worksheets

Practice is key, especially when it comes to division. And math worksheets are full of great practice problems. 

Keep your students engaged by providing manipulatives to work with as they solve their equations. Or encourage them to draw the problem out. Just because it’s a worksheet doesn’t mean it has to be boring.

8. Have students create division fact family flowers, trees, or windmills

Just like in multiplication, having a quick recall of basic math facts is helpful for later division lessons. Help your students quiz themselves in creative ways by creating division fact family activities using flip-up flower petals, leaves on trees, or windmill blades.

9. Try this divisibility rules dice game

Grab a bag full of dice and work on division rules with this fun game. Students can work in groups or individually, rolling a set of three dice to create a three-digit number. For example, if they roll a 4, 1, and 7 they can create 147, 174, 417, 471, 714, and 741. 

That one roll gives them plenty of opportunities to play with division rules! Which numbers (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, or 10) divide evenly into each three-digit number? Check out the activity here and print out the handy rules chart to get your students practicing. 

Math activities & games for practicing long division

Student plays with math manipulatives and numbers.

Long division doesn’t have to be nightmare-inducing. With the right kind of practice, your students can actually enjoy tackling long division. 

The following games can be customized for your students’ math level, from 4th graders just diving into long division, to your middle schoolers tackling more advanced problems in the 5th and 6th grade.

1. Remainder task cards

Long division means remainders — but what do remainders mean? Well, it depends on the problem you’re solving. 

Pass out task cards to help your students learn how to handle remainders. Do they need to round up, or turn it into a fraction? Or is the remainder the answer they’re looking for? Find a variety of scenarios to help them see the purpose of remainders.

2. Create division word problems using real-world examples

If your movie theater makes $63,485 in one weekend, how many tickets did you sell? Do you need to purchase more popcorn? Which movie grossed the largest amount of sales? Give them some numbers and put their entrepreneurial brains to work to gain some real-world experience. 

3. Have students work individually or in groups to solve long division puzzle mazes

Create mazes (or keep it simple with a download) to help your students practice long division. They can solve equations, following the correct path to find the end. It’s a fun, self-correcting activity that your students will love working through.

Designing an engaging math curriculum for your students

Finding new ways to keep your students engaged and happy while learning is a challenge in any classroom, but especially during math topics. We hope this article helps you find ways to incorporate more fun division activities into your day.

If this week is too busy for gathering supplies or researching printables, give yourself a break with Prodigy Math. It’s free for teachers and easy to sign up, and you can relax knowing your students are getting the practice they need to build their division skills.

Sign up today to learn how Prodigy Math can help boost your students’ achievement in math.

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