By Atom | Apr 28, 2023, 1:33 PM
Division is an essential skill your child will learn in Key Stage 2 maths, and will set them up for daily tasks in life beyond school. In this article:
Learn about basic division and why your child will learn it
Watch how-to videos for mental division, short division, and long division
Download free division worksheets to help build your child's confidence
Division is a mathematical operation we use to split one quantity into equal parts. We can also use division to find out how many times one quantity is contained within another quantity. Division is the opposite of multiplication.
There are four components in a division calculation:
Dividend: the first number which is being divided
Divisor: the second number, which is the one the dividend is being divided by
Quotient: the answer
Remainder: the leftover number if we cannot divide things exactly
Let's say we have 10 matches and we want to make as many triangles as possible, where each triangle is made up of 3 matches.
We can make 3 complete triangles, but then we have one match left over.
This means that 10 divided by 3 is equal to 3 with a remainder of 1. In maths, we write 10 ÷ 3 = 3 r 1.
Learning division at school will help your child with other topics in maths. For example, your child will need to have a good understanding of division before attempting fractions questions. We also use division in real-life tasks, such as:
Working out distances and making equal stops on a long journey
Dividing meals or ingredients into equal portions
Splitting a restaurant bill with friends
Creating a monthly budget
Here are our top tips to help your child understand division and build their confidence.
Using objects from around your home is a simple way to introduce your child to the concept of division. Anything you have on hand, such as books, food, or stationery, can help your child understand how to split things into equal groups.
Playing with lego bricks is a fun and popular way to learn division. Children who are struggling to work out division problems mentally may find it helpful to visualise the process using bricks. If they have 25 bricks to share with their two siblings, how many bricks do they have each? What's the remainder (the number of bricks left)?
Multiplication times table charts are a great way to visualise division problems. Print out this poster and put it somewhere visible in your home to help your child keep division facts fresh in their mind!
Teaching your child about money can help them build key skills and a strong foundation for managing their finances later in life. Division is a necessary skill that you can help your child learn at the same time.
If your child receives pocket money, help them work out how much money this gives them on a weekly or daily basis. If they earn £20 each month and there are 4 weeks in one month, how much money can they spend each week to stay on budget? Make the calculation slightly more advanced by asking them to calculate how much money they have each day, if the average month lasts 30 days.
In Year 3, your child will be taught to:
recall division facts for the 3, 4 and 8 multiplication tables
use mental division, progressing to formal written division methods
solve division calculations containing a missing number
These 12 questions will help your child understand the national curriculum learning objectives for Years 3, 4, 5 and 6. Questions cover:
Mental division and multiplication
Answers are included at the end!
Take a look at some of the key division methods your child will be taught at school. Support their understanding with free downloadable worksheets and tutorial videos.
Mental division means solving a sum in your head, without writing anything down. The most useful tool for dividing mentally is using your times tables.
For example, if we know that 6 x 5 = 30, we know two division facts as well:
30 ÷ 6 = 5
30 ÷ 5 = 6
If we're dividing large numbers, we can use a method called partitioning. For example, to calculate 144 ÷ 2 we can partition 144 into 14 and 4 (as both numbers can be divided by 2).
14 ÷ 2 = 7, and 4 ÷ 2 = 2. If we combine 7 and 2, we get 72. This is the correct answer.
Short division is also known as the bus stop method, as the lines look like a bus stop. We use short division to divide a large number by a one digit number.
To solve a problem using short division, we place the dividend inside the bus stop, and the divisor to the left of the bus stop. We then start dividing the dividend, one digit at a time, by the divisor.
Take a look at the video below to see how this works.
We often use a method called long division to solve problems using large numbers – such as dividing a multiple-digit dividend by a divisor with two digits or more.
The long division method begins using short division. It involves four key steps:
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