Kids division, especially for first grade, is really introductory division. At this level, you are really introducing grouping or sharing. Grouping and sharing is something kids are exposed to in other areas of their lives. They may group stones together or share their toys with other children. They may group their blue “treasures” together, or arrange similar dolls together. All you will be doing is translating these experiences to math. Therefore, this page is really about how to teach division.
Kids Division – Grouping
We use Singapore Math which does a really good job of showing pictures of apples, crayons, flowers or money that have been grouped together. The groups are small; they have 3 items per group and maybe 5 groups. My daughter did work through these pages, however, I didn’t feel that she started to get it until we started going around the house and grouping things. She grouped beads by size and rubber-bands by color. She arranged anything that could be grouped.
She also practiced sharing with her dolls. Maybe Madison, Olivia, and Abby each got 2 pieces of food (insert blocks). Then, I would start asking her questions. How much food does each doll have? How much food is there altogether? How much food will there be if I give each doll one more piece of food?
Kids division for first grade is about extending concepts that they already know from other areas and applying them to math. I noticed that learning division reuses a child’s counting skills. To answer all my questions she counted by ones, then she used her skills to skip count by 2’s, 3’s, 4’s, and 5’s. I could create 7 groups of 3 beads and ask her the following:
- How many beads are in each group?
- How many groups are there?
- What’s the total number of beads? (she has to skip count by 3’s to get to the answer)
Kids Division – Math Bingo
Even though Singapore Math does not go beyond grouping for 1st grade. I found that when I introduced her to Math Bingo’s division (at the easy setting) she was easily able to do the math problems. For many months we used this app to to help her remember the division or grouping she had already learned.