Divide and Conquer

Contributor: Marlene Vogel. Lesson ID: 12666

How are you at dividing? How are you at multiplying? How are you at dividing by multiplying? What planet is that from? The world of working with whole numbers and fractions is not as odd as you think!

categories

Elementary, Middle School

subject
Math
learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5), Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio:

Did you know?

Structural engineers divide whole numbers by fractions when building tunnels. What other careers use this math skill? Try to think of as many as you can, then click on the button below for examples:

This lesson will help you refresh your math skill of finding the quotient of a whole number and a fraction.

In the beginning of this lesson, you saw that finding the quotient of a whole number and a fraction is a skill that can be used in the real world. As you continue through the lesson, you will have many opportunities to practice this skill. Take a moment to refresh your memory on the process of dividing a whole number and a fraction.

Refresh your memory

Below is a scenario that includes an example of the process of dividing a fraction and a whole number. Read the information carefully and solve the problem using the steps provided:

Suppose you have been stranded on a deserted island, but you know that you will be rescued in four days. Hooray, you have three Twizzlers® in your pocket. If you eat ¼ of a Twizzler® each day, how many days could you last on that island before you run out of Twizzlers®?

A great way to calculate the answer to a math problem is to draw an illustration. Below is an example of how to use a picture to help answer the problem in this scenario. Following the drawing is a review of the steps involved in finding the quotient of a whole number and a fraction:

 

one twizzler

The three Twizzlers® you have in your pocket:

three twizlers

You could take the time to draw lines and divide the pictures above so that you can calculate your answer, or you could use the steps below:

Step 1 Read the scenario and locate the information you will need to calculate your answer:

  • Suppose you have been stranded on a deserted island, but you know that you will be rescued in four days. Hooray, you have three Twizzlers® in your pocket. If you eat ¼ of a Twizzler® each day, how many days could you last on that island before you run out of Twizzlers®?

Step 2 Write the problem using numbers:

step 2
Step 3 Rewrite the problem using the reciprocal of the fraction. Don’t forget to change the operation from division to multiplication:

step 3
Step 4 Make the whole number a fraction:

step 4
Step 5 Multiply the numerators, then multiply the denominators, for your answer. Change your answer from an improper fraction to a mixed number or whole number when necessary:

step 5

  • Now, what do you do with those cool-looking Twizzlers® that you drew? You could use them to check your answer! See below:

three twizlers divided

Now that your memory has been refreshed, calculate the quotient to the following 12 problems. When you are ready, reveal the answer key.

  • Can you think of a situation where you might need to use this skill?
  • What if you wanted to share your snack with some of your friends?

Remember, caring is sharing!

The Got It? section of this lesson offers opportunities for you to continue to practice this skill and assure that you are proficient in finding the quotient of a whole number and a fraction.

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