Differentiating instruction is a key part of teaching and is especially important when teaching division with equal groups. Division can be tricky for students to master, but with the right approach, you can help them understand and learn this important skill. In this post, we’ll discuss ways to differentiate division instruction so all students can succeed. Keep reading to learn more!
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Table of Contents
The Basics of Division: Equal Groups
Dividing into equal groups is a core division strategy that students should learn. When dividing using equal groups, the division problem is represented by dividing objects into equal parts. For example, if there are twenty students in a classroom and ten apples, each student would get two apples. In other words, when the division problem is represented by dividing into equal groups, the answer will always be the number of groups.
Differentiating when teaching students about equal groups can be as easy as giving students different numbers of objects to divide.
Hands-On with Manipulatives
Differentiating division instruction can also be as easy as allowing students to use math manipulatives whenever needed. Division is about equal groups, so manipulatives like pattern blocks or even Legos can help illustrate this concept. For students struggling with division, offering the chance to use manipulatives can make a big difference. With manipulatives, they can physically see and touch the division process, which can help them to better understand what division is and how it works. Allowing students to use manipulatives is a simple way to differentiate division instruction, but it can be incredibly effective.
Using Arrays to Make Equal Groups
If you’re teaching division, there’s a good chance you’ll be using arrays at some point. An array is a way of visually representing division, and it can be helpful for students to see division in this way. An array is a division problem that has been turned into a picture. An array is a math model that can be helpful for students who are having trouble understanding division or for those who are struggling to see division as anything other than finding the answer to a problem.
Arrays can also be helpful for differentiation. Using arrays, you can create division problems tailored to your students’ needs. For example, you can create arrays with larger numbers of objects for your more advanced students or with smaller numbers of objects for your struggling students. No matter your students’ needs, arrays can be a helpful tool for division.
Assessing Student Mastery with Equal Groups
Teachers can assess student mastery with division and equal groups in a few different ways:
- Give students exit tickets with division problems to solve and have them explain their thinking.
- Have students work in pairs or small groups to solve division problems and then discuss their solutions with the class
- Have students create math models or drawings to solve division problems.
By using a variety of assessment methods, teachers can get a clear sense of how well their students understand division and equal groups.
Using Math Groups to Differentiate for Learners
Teachers know that our students don’t learn at the same pace. That’s where math small groups come in – they help ensure that students are given a chance to work on division concepts that they are struggling with.
As you move through your division instruction, these small groups can provide extra support and practice for the students who need it. At the same time, the rest of the class continues learning new skills and strategies like division error analysis.
Two things always come in handy when working with small groups—manipulatives and these Division Worksheets. The first thing is the most obvious: manipulative such as blocks or counting aids. Some students need this concrete way of understanding how to divide. Plus, they keep them engaged while they are learning!
When students are ready to apply their division learning on paper, these Division Worksheets have a variety of ways for them to practice any skills-level gaps. Plus, it is easy for you to assist students and then assess them afterward.
Grab these FREE Division Mats for your Small Groups!
The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration our growth is limited to our own perspectives.Robert John Meehan
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