Learn the basics of division with this free lesson, which includes division basics as well as interactives for you to practice.
You can use counting to solve simple division problems. For instance, let's say we have 12 seedlings. We decide to plant them in two even rows. How many plants go in each row? We could write that question like this:
12 / 2
Remember, that expression means 12 divided by two, or 12 seedlings divided into 2 rows. It's a simple problem. To solve it, you can put the seedlings into two groups and then count how many plants are in each group. The answer is 6. We know that 12 / 2 = 6.
While counting works for problems that begin with small numbers, a problem that begins with a large number can take a long time to solve with counting. For this reason, most people memorize common division problems so that they can solve them quickly. If this sounds hard, don't worry. With some practice, you'll be able to quickly remember the answers.
In Introduction to Multiplication, you were introduced to the times table. In that lesson, you used it to solve multiplication problems. You can also use the times table to solve division problems.
Let's start with a problem we're already familiar with. How would we have solved the seedling problem with the times table?
Click through the slideshow below to learn how.
Remember, each number at the top of the times table is at the start of a column.
For example, this is the column that goes with 7.
Each number on the left side of the times table is the start of a row. This row goes with 9.
Let's try solving the seedling problem: 12 / 2.
First, find the number that you are dividing by on the right of the division sign. In 12/2 we're dividing by 2.
Find the 2's column.
Next, find the number that you're dividing on the left of the division sign. In 12/2 it's 12.
Find 12 in the 2's column.
Find the number at the start of the row that overlaps 12. In this case, it's the 6's row.
So, the answer, or quotient for 12 / 2 is 6.
Let's try that once more. This time, we'll solve 15 / 5.
First, we'll find the 5's column since we are dividing by 5.
Next, we'll find 15 in the 5's column since that is the number we are dividing.
Finally, we'll find the number at the start of the row that overlaps 15. It's 3. So, 15 / 5 = 3.
Solve these division problems. If you need some help, you can use the times table.