Division and Remainders

When explaining division, it is important to discuss what to do with the remainders with students. In some cases, it makes sense to give a fractional or decimal remainder, and other times it does not. Here are some examples.

Fractional Remainder

There are birds singing in the woods. They can sing 7 chirps per minute. Bud (use your child’s name) hears 325 chirps. How long were the birds chirping? Answer: 46 3/7 minutes. It is reasonable to give a fraction of a minute.

Bump up to the Next Whole Number

Your basketball team has 50 basketballs to put into bins. Each bin can hold 15 balls. How many bins do you need? 50/15 = 3 ⅓. However, you cannot purchase ⅓ of a bin. Instead, you need to bump up to one more bin, so the correct answer would be 4 bins.

Bump Down to the Previous Whole Number

Bud has $3.50 saved from mowing the lawn. Candy bars are 60 cents each. How many can he afford? 3.5/.6=5.8. He cannot quite afford 6 candy bars. He needs to bump the result down to 5 candy bars.

Be sure to use the children's names in the problems, and adjust the numbers according to their ability. You should also modify what the story is about depending on what interests the children.

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