5 Ways to Make Teaching Division ENGAGING
Are you teaching division… but not sure how to make it fun and engaging?
Division is a concept that can be surprisingly challenging to teach.
Multiplication seems to always immediately “click” with students (I mean… learning the times tables is a whole other topic….), but I’ve noticed that division is not the same.
I’ll never forget the time that I passed out a worksheet with division facts on it (after working on multiplication/division for two weeks), and being met with stares that “but we don’t know division.”
This made me realize that I needed to separate out my multiplication and division units and to really focus on division as a whole, instead of an add-on after a long multiplication unit (“GREAT we mastered multiplication! Division is the opposite. Okay great let’s move on to fractions!”).
Division is a great unit that can be super fun to teach, and has tons of opportunities for hands-on learning!
Keep reading to learn 5 ways to make teaching DIVISION engaging!
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Ideas for Teaching Division
Idea #1: Bring in the food!
Division is one of those math topics that works perfectly with food.
And does food not make EVERYTHING more fun??
Some food items that work well (since they’re small, plentiful, and cheap!):
- Cookie Crisp
- Fruit Loops
- Mini Oreos
- Mini marshmallows
- Mini pretzels
Also, send out an email a week ahead of time to parents to see if anyone is willing to donate a box of a certain food item
You can do this whole group, or during small group teacher time.
Give students handfuls of each item.
Come up with a division problem (like 35 divided 7).
Show students how they can make separate groups and place their food items into each group to show the division problem.
Ask “how many are in each group?”
This is a fantastic visual way for students to see how the number gets divided up evenly.
Make sure to test out some division problems that do NOT divide evenly so students can see how many are left over!
Idea #2: Make it hands-on
Hands-on activities are not only a great way to make a concept “click,” but they are always free!
I have a couple of hands-on ideas for you.
First, try making STUDENT division!
This is a great way to get students up and moving (so much energy in 3rd grade!).
Place big squares on the ground using painters tape.
Make up division problems and tell them to the class and write on the board so they can visually see it (like 12 divided by 4).
Pick out 12 students, and ask them to show how they could get divided into 4 groups.
Keep going with different numbers so that all students get a chance!
Need another hands-on idea?
Save a couple of egg cartons (or send an email to parents asking if they can bring some in).
These are the perfect containers to use as a divisor all the way up to 12.
Simply use some counters, counting bears, place value one blocks… anything you have.
Students will complete division problems by placing the manipulatives into the egg cartons to show a division problem.
For example, for 15 divided 5, students will place counters into 5 different compartments in the egg carton.
Idea #3: Try out a picture book
Yep – picture books can be used in math too!
This is a fabulous way to introduce a topic or to use during your usual read-aloud time to incorporate math into the day.
I have a list of perfect division picture books that your students will enjoy listening to (Amazon Affiliate links to follow):
- The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins (division)
- A Remainder of One by Elinor Pinczes
- Bean Thirteen by Matthew McElligott
- Cheetah Math by Ann Whitehead Nagda
- Divide and Ride by Stuart Murphy
- One Hundred Hungry Ants by Elinor Pinczes
- The Great Divide by Dayle Ann Dodds
- The Multiplying Menace Divides by Pam Calvert
- Two Greedy Bears by Mirra Ginsburg
- Two Tickets to Ride by Teddy Slater
By the way, make sure to read my full blog post on the best picture books for teaching multiplication and division so you can get the list of multiplication picture books as well!
Click HERE to read!
Idea #4: Division Color By Numbers
Get those division facts to “stick” in your students’ minds with lots and lots of practice!
These division color by numbers are SO MUCH FUN and the best way to add additional practice into your math block.
Students first answer division fact questions (division facts #2-12).
Next, they find the various division answers on the picture.
Students then color in the picture.
That’s it! These division color by numbers are engaging, fun, and motivating.
Your students will ask for more of these (no really, I’m serious).
Click HERE to check them out.
Idea #5: Go digital!
Sometimes adding in a new medium (like a computer or laptop) can get students more interested!
I have a few ways to make division more fun using technology.
Division facts can be made more exciting by using digital flashcards.
Math Mammoth is a free website that students can use to solve division problems!
Division for Google Classroom
I also have a Division for Google Classroom resource that your students will enjoy!
It has lots of short answer and interactive drag-&-drop features that will feel like a computer game for your students!
These are a great technology center using an iPad or a laptop.
Click HERE to check it out!
Division Mystery Pixel Art
These division pixel art resources are my FAVORITE!
I have a big set of these available.
As students answer division facts correctly, a mystery picture appears!
It’s truly magical and incredibly engaging for your kiddos while practicing division facts.
These are a big favorite at my TPT store, and it’s easy to see why!
Click HERE to check them out!
Need more resources for teaching division?
Make sure to check out Glitter in Third on TPT!
Here are some resources that you and your students will LOVE:
- Division color by number worksheets
- Division for Google Classroom
- Division interactive notebook
- Division mystery pixel art
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