Dividing Decimals

Contributor: Rachel Lewis. Lesson ID: 12773

A period at the end of a sentence means . . . it's the end of a sentence. However, a similar dot in a number doesn't have to mean the end of your math career! Learn how easy it is to divide decimals!



learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Don’t you hate it when you are dividing decimal numbers and that pesky decimal point gets in your way? Here’s a trick: just ignore it and divide!

To divide a decimal number, you can use long division like you would use to solve any division problem with whole numbers.

  1. First, set up your division problem.
  2. Bring the decimal point from the dividend up to the quotient.
  3. Then, ignore the decimal point and divide the two numbers!

Look at an example of dividing decimals by watching Division of Decimals, on Scholastic Study Jams!. This video requires Adobe Flash Player. If you have trouble playing the video, have a parent or teacher help you download Flash Player.

  1. Click the green STEP BY STEP button to begin.
  2. Read or listen to the problem.
  3. Use the NEXT and SHOW ME buttons to move on to the next steps.
  4. As you watch the video, take notes on a separate sheet of paper.
  • What are the four steps you can use to divide decimals?
  • What are the four basic steps of dividing decimal numbers?

Review the four steps and share what you learned from the video with your parent or teacher. Check your answers below:

  1. Set up the long division problem.
  2. Bring the decimal point from the dividend up to the quotient.
  3. Then, ignore the decimal point and divide as you would with whole numbers.
  4. Check your answer by multiplying the divisor and quotient! Does your answer make sense?

Like the example in the video, you can divide decimal numbers in real life to split money or a bill between people.

  1. Go to the next example by clicking the WATCH OUT! tab at the top of the Scholastic Study Jams! site.
  2. If you have base ten blocks, use them to follow along with the video.
  3. How will you use the blocks to show 7.48 ÷ 2?

In the WATCH OUT! section, you visualized the problem. Now, use the four steps to solve 7.48 ÷ 2 with long division:

math equation

Check your answer:

math equation


You learned to visualize a problem to divide a decimal number by a whole number. You also learned how to use the four-step strategy to complete a long division problem. Remember to bring the decimal point straight up from the dividend to the quotient. Then, ignore the decimal point and divide.

Use your new strategies in the Got It? section to try some practice problems on your own!

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