Learning Division

Ideas for learning basic division concepts from the Living Math Forum

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The Living Math Forum (LMF) was quite active from 2004 through 2014, a ten year period of time that we were homeschooling our four children over Pre-K through high school years. Following are responses to the question about learning ideas. 

This is a summation of ideas for learning division posted from the LivingMathForum email list.

There is an English/British series called Murderous Maths by Kjartan Poskitt. They are funny/silly and totally about math. 

Check out www.livingmath.net there is a huge list of  reading books there.

Number Jugglers by Ruth Alexander Bell. 

Purchased Games (including software and a few online games) 
Hive Alive is quite nice but I'm not sure if it is still easily found Triominos has a division version (division dominos if you will) Fraction Bingo can usually be found in teacher supply stores Auntie Pasta's Fraction Game Oh - and there are a few versions of the Pizza Game out there too

Mighty Math Number Heroes

Number Rings by Discovery Toys. Four people can play and they can play at their own level. It uses addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, squaring... Each person has a section on the board with the cones 2 - 18 and a set of rings to cover these. On your turn you roll three dice. You can use those numbers individually or in any combination using any math function. The goal is to cover all your cones before someone else does. You can use any of your rolls to remove someone else's rings also. (I'm not sure if it sounds so fun when I'm describing it, but my family enjoys it.)

S'Math.. It's kind of like math Scrabble. Instead of drawing letters, you draw numbers and operations signs and then form equations.

Most of our "division" games have come through fractions. Just yesterday my daughter was looking at the notation of 12 divided by 3 in a workbook, and I was able to translate that for her to what she understands about fractions - how much will be in each group of items if you divided them into 3 equal groups? She had no trouble whatsoever with that. And as she is learning all her multiplication facts, she can see it's also the same as 3 times what? Is 12. 

In a way, this is better than just looking at division as a separate option.
All it is is the other side of the multiplication coin and is the integral part of understanding fractions. 

So you might look for fractions games like Fractions Jugglers, Pie in the Sky, etc. And of course there are online games galore, http://www.aplusmath.com/games/matho/DivMatho.html for example, just searching on "math games division multiplication" will yield a lot of links.
I also bought that division puzzle from Bookcloseouts which is good, the only issue with things like that is they have limited play time value. 

"Number Quest" by DK (Dorling Kindersley) "The players take turns creating a whole number from 1 to 100, using the numbers on four thrown dice.  For example:  (6 + 4) * (3 + 1 ) = 40."
"The player may multiply, divide, add, or subtract the numbers in any combination."
There are fun challenges within the game for placing counters in strategic positions.
This game can be modified to be played by teams or young players.  My children were playing the easy version as young as 3 and the shortened version at 7.  My 8.5yo enjoys the full game and likes the challenge of combining addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to come up with the best number possibilities.
Thinking "Number Quest" sounded interesting, I easily found a number of links for it.  In the process, I came across this list of "games to improve your math skills":


I can recommend a free online game called Math Mayhem which is found on Learning Planet.com. It is just drill (also for add, sub & mult) but a lot of kids enjoy it because you are racing against real people--you can even race against your friends! Yesterday I had three math-phobic boys playing it (12, 13 & 15 years old) with others coming up saying, "that's not fair! I want to play!" LOL! 

How about Equate or Mind Ware's Flip 4?

A much more fun alternative to flashcards that has the same basic result is a game called MathSmart that plays like dominoes.  It comes in Subtraction, Multiplication, Addidition, and Division versions.  Here is a link for you to peek at it:


Another great source that wasn't mentioned is multiplication.com. Many of the links to games on that site can be used for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Also, I always wonder in a case like this, if the problem is division or not enough familiarity with multiplication. If the multiplication tables one way to help this while working on the multiplication tables is to ask questions like, 6 times what is 42? Etc. It helps people sometimes to think of the numbers as a set. 6, 7, and 42. Just another thought. :-)

Timez Attack concentrates on multiplication tables in a fun video game way. There is a free verison and a ramped up $25 verison download


Non Purchased Games/Made at home
Factor Race

2 players

Write the numerals 1-36 on a piece of paper.  Each player needs a pencil and a piece of paper they can keep track of their totals on.

The player with the highest total at the end wins.

First turn: The first player chooses a number from the paper, crosses it off, and puts that number in their totals column.  The second player then can claim all of the factors for the number chosen by the first player, crosses them off and puts those numbers in their totals column.

For instance, if the first player chooses 36 then the second player can choose 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, and 18 because these are all the factors of
36 available.

Second turn: The second player now chooses a number of his/her choice and places it in their totals column, followed by the first player crossing off all of the available factors left not already crossed off.

Play continues until there are no numbers left with factors still available.  At this point the numbers are totaled and the player who has the largest total is the winner.

I'm thinking this is similar to number quest -- we have modified the rules for Chutes and Ladders.  

At each turn you roll two dice, instead of the spinner.  The player may use the numbers how they want to get to the "best" square on each turn. 
So, 3 and 4 could get you 7, 1, or 12.  I guess you could use more dice, if you wanted.  I also found two 12-sided dice (at a mall game store) to get the full range of the times tables... but the game goes pretty fast if you get high numbers ;-)

***This could be done with lots of board games if you think about it***

My kids love bingo, so I though they would probably enjoy learning math facts in a bingo game much more than with flash cards & worksheets. I made the game this morning. I used only the multiplication facts from 2-12 (seemed redundant to have 0s & 1s). I used all possible answers one time each for the cards. For the call out sheet, I didn't duplicate the questions (ex: I only used 3x4, but not 4x3). I used this website to create the cards http://print-bingo.com/bingo-cards-custom.php (in PDF), then made my own call sheet in Word. I'll use peanuts, raisins or jelly beans etc, as markers, so that after a game, we can eat them!