# Year 4 division

Discussion in 'Primary' started by lucywag, Nov 5, 2011.

1. ### lucywag

Hello
I wondered if I could pick your brains? You are all usually so helpful!!
I teach the top set (out of 2) for year 4 maths. There is still quite a wide range of ability 4c-2a and after speaking to their year 3 teacher I have been informed that she didn't do any division with the children last year! They are very muddled with it, bless them, and I need to start work on it this week but am really baffled as to where and how to start, and where to pitch it.
Does anyone have any advice on how I can explain it to them and start them off with this tricky area of work?
Lucy x

2. ### lucywag

Hello
I wondered if I could pick your brains? You are all usually so helpful!!
I teach the top set (out of 2) for year 4 maths. There is still quite a wide range of ability 4c-2a and after speaking to their year 3 teacher I have been informed that she didn't do any division with the children last year! They are very muddled with it, bless them, and I need to start work on it this week but am really baffled as to where and how to start, and where to pitch it.
Does anyone have any advice on how I can explain it to them and start them off with this tricky area of work?
Lucy x

3. ### lightningconductorNew commenter

I would always start with understanding: division is fair sharing or repeated subtraction. The best examples are done with sweets, I've found!
For the former, I would share a large pile of Smarties or the like between a number of children and say, 'One for you, one for you...' like you do when you deal cards. For the latter, I would, for example, share Smarties between four children by moving four to one side and saying, 'That's one each,' then another four and saying, 'That's another one each,' and so on.
As for the method of tackling division 'sums', I start with Semit Selbat. In other words - times tables, backwards. So for 25 divided by 5, I would say, 'How many steps of 5 make 25?' and count it out on a number line (or step it out across the floor, more likely). That does all division up to 144 divided by 12 eventually, I suppose.
I hope I haven't been patronising by writing so much detail. I hope, instead, that I've given you some useful thoughts.

4. ### thesquidgemy

I'd do it as

- sharing: one for you, one for you type method

- grouping: putting things into groups

so eg 16 divided by 4

sharing - 1 for A, 1 for B, 1 for C, 1 for D then start again

grouping - a group of 4, a group of 4, a group of 4, a group of 4 - how many groups did you make?

Lots of physical objects then drawing dots or lines and either circling them in groups or putting dots under a "person"

Then could do jumps on a number line (eg 16 divided by 4) jump in 4s until you get to 16. Count the jumps.

Then they can do it on their fingers - count in 4s until you get to 16. How many fingers? Linked to times tables.

4c should be able to get to final stage quickly and probably grasp remainders in context eg 17 shared by 4 people - how many will be left?

Essential they get this if they are going to get fractions too - a big Y4 skill.

5. ### Josh7Occasional commenter

That's rather remiss, to say the least.

The previous poster is correct, start off with sharing. Making the link with multiplication is also very useful, a lesson on multiplication/division 'families' is useful i.e. if 3 x 4 = 12 what other multiplication do you know and what 2 division facts/number sentences do you get. This can be demonstrated on a board with the three numbers at the points of a triangle with relevant signs put between them to write the four equations/sums. Finally give them 3 numbers such as 6, 7 & 42 and get them to write the four sums/equations/number sentences using them.
I find repeated subtraction not a particularly useful method for children to use, though it is sometimes useful to show and talk about. The lower ability children will find drawing circles and tallying the number being divided more reliable, i.e. 28 divided by 4, draw 4 circles and share out the 28 between the circles one by one (tallying) until reaching 28 and they have 7 in each.
Drawing out an array of 4 columns, mark by mark then counting the rows created is useful for some children too.
Your 4C's surely have a grasp of quite a few tables and will cotton on very quickly, it's getting the rest to learn their tables that's crucial.