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Dividend? Divisor? Quotient?

We are a week from starting school, and it is confirmed that this year instead of teaching reading, language arts and social studies, I will be teaching math and science. That means that this teacher has some homework to do. Therefore, I have been gathering my Go Math! Chapter 1 materials.  While doing so, I remembered a cute little activity that I did with my students a few years back. You see, I find it so easy to get the words dividend and divisor confused when speaking of division, so I came up with a clever little illustration to help the students (ahemand myself) remember which is which.





First, I ask the students to think of a simple division problem and write it on a scratch piece of paper. I then tell them a little story as I illustrate my division problem. I start by saying that the division sign is like a house. I then proceed to tell them that there is a large number sitting in the DEN, and draw a den with a sofa and choose a number to sit on the sofa. That number is the diviDENd, the number that will be divided. Next, I explain that there is a number that comes to the door wearing a visor because it is a sunny day outside. I draw the number with a visor on top and let them know that it is called the diVISOR. This is the number that will divide the dividend. Then I end the story by drawing the large sun above the house. I turn the sun into a capital Q and explain that this number is the Quotient. This is the answer to the division problem. The students then proceed to draw out their own division problems and label each number as shown in my own illustration. Believe it or not, this 15 minute activity really sticks with them. (Hey, in all these years since I did this activity, I still remember which is which.) 

You can have them draw this illustration in their interactive math notebooks, or on a half sheet of paper to be posted up in the classroom.

Happy drawing! 

Your Thrifty Co-Teacher,
~Cristy

9 comments

  1. I LOVE this idea! I am such a visual learner so this is something that would help me remember. As a matter of fact, thanks to you I don't think I'll ever have a problem remembering which is which. The for sharing such a fabulous trick!
    :0) Mel

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    1. Melissa, You are very welcome. I am such a huge visual learner too, so I am constantly drawing pictures or writing up acronyms to help my students master skills. Thanks for dropping by. =)

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  2. Lol... thanks...this sounds interesting!!! Colorful and Creative way in storytelling! Praise God for people like You!!!! He designed you to teach others!!! No wonder you are called a teacher!!! :) May God continue blessing you!!! As a teacher, we must know our stuff and you have just assisted me into helping my little ones!!!!

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  3. Thank you for the creative math help. I teach 5th grade, however some need accommodations. This will truly help.

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  4. Thanks, Christy! This will certainly benefit my ESOL 5th graders. I have students from Asia, Norway, & Germany with even more languages represented in class!

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  5. What a great idea! Just getting ready to start division and this will help all remember! Thanks!

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  6. THANK YOU! I just taught this to my 3rd grade class and they loved it! I'm always looking for jingles, pictures, etc to help my students remember things. Thanks!

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  7. A story makes everything better! Thank you for a good idea!

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  8. Adorable! I cannot wait to use this. Thanks!

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