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8.

Divide Unit Fractions by Whole Number

- 5th Grade Math

So far, fifth graders have worked with addition, subtraction, and multiplication of simple and mixed fractions. It’s time to move on to division now. Before using a written method for dividing a unit fraction by a whole, this interactive game helps children interpret the meaning of this division using visual models.


What’s inside?

- Start with fraction bars to visualize what dividing a unit fraction by a whole number looks like. This helps children have a more realistic idea of a seemingly abstract concept.

- Move on to representing this division as a multiplication problem. Practicing the intermediate steps to the division reinforces children’s understanding.

- Finally practice division of unit fractions by a whole number in various fun formats.


Real-World Application

Dividing a quarter piece of a cake into two when a friend comes over is an instance of this skill. As abstract as such operations with fractions may seem, we do end up multiplying and dividing fractions outside our regular worksheets and more often than we realize.


What’s next?

After getting comfortable with dividing unit fractions by a whole number, children should be able to flip things over and learn how to divide a whole number by a unit fraction.  


Cool Fact

Dividing a fraction by a whole number is actually multiplying in disguise. For e.g.: 1/3 divided by 5 is actually 1/3 x 1/5.

Common Core Alignment

5.NF.7.aInterpret division of a unit fraction by a non-zero whole number, and compute such quotients.