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## Division Strategies for 5th Grade

Do you dread teaching division each year? I used to be in that camp. My students struggled big time with division because they lacked number sense and conceptual understanding. However, and thankfully, I learned that it doesn’t have to be like that. I can use division strategies that are not only developmentally appropriate but that also make sense for my students.

In fact, as soon as I abandoned the standard algorithm as my go-to division strategy, my students began mastering division left and right. Did some still struggle? Yes. Unfortunately, none of the division strategies or tips I share are going to be a magic pill, but they will make division accessible and conceptual for your students.

### Partial Quotients with Easy Breezy Math

Partial quotients was a game-changer for my students. Partial quotients is a division strategy that uses chunking to repeatedly subtract groups of the divisor in a more efficient way.

But, I had to add in a scaffold for my students. We call this scaffold our “Easy Breezy Math.” Basically, we take the multiplication that we do know and write them off to the side. We pull from those problems to help us solve the problem. We do this because my students really lack division number sense at the beginning of the year.  This also helps them see the connections between multiplication and division.

As the year goes on, they will move beyond their Easy Breezy Math as they develop their number sense and start to see patterns.

Tip: Remind them to stack the factors vertically on their Easy Breezy Math. Sometimes I give my students whiteboards specifically for these to make it a bit more engaging.

If this strategy is new for you and you need to see it in action, then check out this video.

### Box Model or Box Method with Partial Quotients

Box Model Division one was new to me a year ago and works best when the students are familiar with using this type of organizer when multiplying with partial products. This type of division strategy is similar to partial quotients but is organized in a different way.

If this is completely new to you, then check out the video of a teacher and her class going through the steps. This method is best to “see in action” rather than to read about it.

That video is longer, but it is great for helping teachers understand the division strategy and hearing some language to help the students understand it.  Note: The What I Know part of the work is the same as what I call “Easy Breezy Math.

I highly recommend introducing this strategy (and really any strategy, but definitely this one) in the context of a word problem to help the students conceptualize the strategy and really understand what is going on. It is helpful to name the dividend and the divisor in relation to a context.

### Tips for Teaching Division (With Any Division Strategy)

1. ) Introduce new strategies with an engaging context or word problem. As you walk through the steps of the strategy, walk through what would be happening in the problem.

2.) If these strategies are completely new, then spend a day (or more) with 1-digit divisors before moving on to 2-digit divisors. It will be worth it!

3.) Make sure the students understand the purpose of the Easy Breezy Math if you choose to use this scaffold. Also, make sure they understand what it means and how it works (it provides partial quotients that are ready-made for the students to choose from).

4.) Teach the students to check their answers with multiplication. This will help them self-assess and will allow them to catch small mistakes they make in subtraction or other computation errors.

Since my state uses common core, I do not teach the traditional algorithm for division as part of my fifth grade curriculum. However, after state testing, we do a preview of 6th grade math. The traditional algorithm is always something I teach heavily at that time. By this point in the year, my students have a solid understanding of division and much better number sense. This helps them master the algorithm. Also, I have found that many sixth grade teachers are expecting them to know the traditional algorithm, so I definitely don’t want my students behind when they enter middle school.

### Need MORE Resources for Division?

FREE Division Practice Printables: Click here to grab a free pack of Division of the Day printables. I use these for morning work, math review, or homework after the students have learned division and need to build their fluency and continue practicing.

Division Supplemental Resources: I also have a division pack that contains printables, simple centers, task cards, and assessments. The resources do not require any specific strategy, so you can choose the strategies you want your students to do or allow them to choose. Click here to see the Division Supplemental resource in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Do you use any of these division strategies? Do you use another division strategy? Let me know in the comments. I am always looking for new division strategies for 5th grade!

## Division Word Problems—Free Worksheets for Grades 3-5 — Mashup Math

Do your students need extra practice working on division word problems?

Once your elementary math students learn how to perform division and become more comfortable with dividing numbers, the next step is to have them extend their understanding of division to solving real-world problems. By giving your students opportunities to work on word problems that require the use of division to find a solution, they must engage in higher-level thinking that will help them to not only better understand how to divide, but become better mathematical problem solvers as well.

If you are looking for free division word problems to share with your students in grades 3-5, then you will love the our free collection of Division Word Problems. Below, you will find previews and download links for 12 different division word problems worksheets (with answer keys included) that are divided into three categories based on difficulty levels:

• Division Word Problems: Basic (Grades 3-4)

• Division Word Problems: Intermediate (Grades 3-5)

Each worksheet is available as a PDF download that is printable and also easy to share on online learning platforms like Google Classroom.

To download any of the division word problems worksheets below, simply click on text link to access the pdf file, which you can print and/or save to your device to use with your students however you see fit. Enjoy!

Division Word Problems: Basic

The following division word problems focus on beginner/basic applications of division to solve word problems.

Click any of the preview image boxes below to preview the word problems and click on the blue text link below any of the images to download the corresponding pdf worksheet and answer key.

Division Word Problems: Intermediate

The following division word problems focus on intermediate applications of division to solve word problems.

Click any of the preview image boxes below to preview the word problems and click on the blue text link below any of the images to download the corresponding pdf worksheet and answer key.

Do you want more free K-8 math activities in your inbox every week?

The following division word problems focus on advanced applications of division (and long division) to solve word problems.

Click any of the preview image boxes below to preview the word problems and click on the blue text link below any of the images to download the corresponding pdf worksheet and answer key.

Tips for Solving Division Word Problems

Our free division word problems grade 4 and division word problems grade 5 worksheets allow students to practice and apply their understanding of division to real-world scenarios. However, even if your students have a strong understanding of division and long division, they may struggle to solve word problems since they require additional skills such as identifying key information, picking up on context clues, and answering in complete sentences.

If your students struggle with word problems, here are some helpful tips for being successful:

• Always read the problem carefully: The first step to solving any of the division word problems is to carefully read the question, identify key information, and know exactly what the question is asking. It is helpful to look for and even highlight key words and phrases related to division such as split equally, divided evenly, left over, etc.

• Draw diagrams to help you: Many students will benefit from using diagrams as visualize aids for understanding a given problem and how to solve it. For example, if a problem involves 24 apples divided evenly amongst 3 people, you could draw 24 circles (each representing one apple) and then divide that group into 3 equal parts to see how many apples are in each group.

• Always ask yourself “what is this question asking me to do?”: By identifying exactly wha a question is asking you to do, you will have a better idea of what the answer will look like and how you can find it.

• Write your answer using complete sentences and double-check that it makes sense: Once you’ve solved a division word problem, write your final answer in a complete sentence that makes sense in the context of the problem. For example, if a question is about equally distributing 100 cupcakes between four people, it wouldn’t make sense if you concluded that each person receives 75 cupcakes (meaning that you should go back and try the problem again).

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• May 07, 2019