5 awesome division activities with manipulatives

Last Updated on July 16, 2022 by Editorial Team

One mantra that always work well for early learning is to make it interactive. The more interactive you make a topic, the stronger lasting impression it will make in the brain. The future contents related to the topic can be worked out in an easy flow, if only the fundamentals are strong. There are ample ways of making things interactive. The prominent practice used in this respect is manipulatives, specially for early learning.

The focus of this post is on division practice. We brought to you a list of 5 awesome division activities to do with manipulatives. Although, this directly improves the kid’s understanding of division, but it also highlights certain other important areas of the topics as well.

Teachers and Parents can include these activities for their child in the routine. The requisite of the items in the activity is given with link but you can also use any relevant alternative if there is already stuff lying around in your house. Further, the best way to make a strong impression is to follow a repetitive approach with intervals. Keeping the routine works the best.

1. Math Tiles

Math tiles manipulatives that we used for learning algebra can be used for this purpose as well. It follows the similar approach for division.

To do this activity, first we will take multiple of two different colored tiles. Let’s say we have two multiples of tiles with blue and yellow color. One should be considered as dividend and other one as divisor.

Draw a line in-between them for better understanding.

Arrange the tiles as per the question, such that every divisor tile row have equal numbers of dividend tiles. Suppose we have to find the resultant when 24 is divided by 6. The tiles will be arranged like this.

The number of tiles in each row or number of columns we get after the arrangement is our quotient. Since there is no dividend tile left for balance, it means 24 is divisible by 6.

Let’s us take the example of 37 divided by 6.

Here, One divdend tile is left for balancing. This means 37 is not divisible by 6 and 1 acts as a remainder.

2. Eggtray & Beads

Eggtray carton and beads manipulative follow a similar conceptual approach, it just that we put the beads (dividend) into the trays of egg carton (divisor), instead of equating them as we do in the tiles activity.

Let’s divide 28 by 4. Here, we will take 4 trough area of the egg tray and fill it with beads equally. After arranging, every trough will have 7 beads with no bead left to balance. This means the quotient is 7 with 0 as remainder.

Now if we divided by 30 by 4, we will left with 2 extra beads to balance. Hence, 30 is not divisible by 4 with 2 as a remainder.

3. Popsicle Puzzle

Paper popsicle can be used as manipulative for a fun division game. Follow these steps :

Popsicle Puzzle
  • First cut a paper in the shape of a popsicle.
  • Split the paper popsicle in two parts.
  • Write the division question on upper part and answer on the lower part.
  • Make couple more similar popsicles with different division questions
  • Shuffle them and ask students to clip the correct match.

4. Counters on Frame

Activities like ten frame manipulatives can be modified a little bit for division practice. Inspired from the egg tray and bead activity, counters, as dividend, are arranged on the spots of the frame (divisor). Anything, such as coins, dices and cards, can be used as a counter for this activity.

Counters on Frame

Again, number of counters balanced equally on each spots is the quotient and number of left counters is the remainder. Good thing about this activity is that there is no limit to the divisor as you can draw as much frames as you want. So, this gives you ample of opportunities to practice for division

5. Wreck the Fort

This activity is pretty interactive and playful. Kids will love practicing division through this. It includes building fort and destroying it with a ball. Do note that you can use anything as a manipulative to be used for fort building. It can be anything, like boxes, plastic glasses and etc.

Players will only get as many trials as the divisor value to destroy the fort. Blocks of the fort must be arranged in groups of equal numbers representing the quotient.

With each trial, student must focus on one group and try to completely wipe it out first. The playful nature of this activity really makes kid love doing it. The repetitive approach makes kids really hooked to it with long lasting impression. Teachers are recommended to explain the nature of the game and idea behind each move.

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