Activities to Teach Students to Divide Fractions by Whole Numbers

Dividing fractions and mixed numbers can be a challenging topic for students in mathematics. However, with the help of visual aids such as models, it can become an enjoyable and engaging activity. It is a vital skill that students must master to progress to higher-level math courses. In this article, we will explore several activities that teachers can use to teach students how to divide fractions and mixed numbers using models.

Activity 1: Visual representation of fractions and mixed numbers

Before diving into the concept of dividing fractions, it helps to review the visual representation of fractions and mixed numbers. Use manipulative tools such as fraction strips, circle pieces, or concrete materials like cereal or candy to create a tangible representation of fractions and mixed numbers.

For instance, when demonstrating a fraction, take a strip with markings and cut it into smaller pieces, then set them side by side with other fractional pieces. Arrange circles with divisions inside to demonstrate fractions. Similarly, draw out rectangles and divide them into different sections representing fractions. This activity will allow the students to gain a better understanding of the concept of fractions and the denominator and numerators in the equation.

Activity 2: Dividing Fractions using visual models

After the students have understood the basic concept of fractions, lead them into more complex computations using visual models. For instance, use fractions strips to demonstrate dividing two fractions.

Suppose the teacher wants to solve the problem 2/4 ÷ 4/8; they can show 2/4 as two separate pieces on the fraction strip and partition with two lines. Then show 4/8 with four equal sections and shade two sections, this represents dividing 2/4 by 4/8. Students can deduce the result by comparing the shaded portion in the numerator against the denominator marked.

Activity 3: Dividing Mixed Numbers Using Visual Models

The concept of divided mixed numbers combines the process of dividing fractions and mixed numbers. Use concrete manipulatives and models such as a pizza pie to represent mixed numbers visually; the whole pizza represents the whole, while each portion represents the fractional part.

For instance, when solving the division problem 3 &1/5 ÷ 1/3, slice up a pizza pie representing the mixed number, and divide the fractional parts into the same size – one third. Cut each fractional part into three equal-sized slices and remove one slice, which leaves two of three sections touching. Continue repeating this process until the whole pizza pie is divided into three. Count the entire pizza pieces representing the quotient of the division problem -9 & 2/5.

Activity 4: Interactive Group Activities

For an engaging and interactive lesson, lead a group activity for students to participate in solving fractional division problems using visual models. Group students into pairs, hand out the fraction visual models such as strips, circles, and number lines.

Provide them with fraction division problems such as 5/6 ÷ 1/3, and let them use the visual representation to solve the problem together. Students can discuss and compare answers and methods to promote cooperation and teamwork.

In conclusion, modeling is an excellent tool for teaching mathematical concepts, and it helps students understand and grasp the essence of the topic. Divide fractions and mixed numbers using models can help students understand and grasp the essence of the topic with ease. This hands-on approach to learning will enable the students to have a better understanding of fractions and mixed numbers and how to divide them. It provides a strong foundation for their future math studies.

Choose your Reaction!