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I explain it to my kids as "sharing".
Your mom just gave you a bag of M&M's, but you have 3 friends over and you want to be fair. If there were 20 M&M's in the bag, how many should each person (you and each of your friends) get?
Dad dumps his pocket change in a can every night. We frequently borrow the pennies for division. "Okay, you've got 60 pennies divided into 10 piles. How many pennies in each pile?"
eta: OH... did somebody say LONG division? (We are still working on that one...)
Last Edited on: 9/30/08 12:20 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Something that really helped my learning disabled students was to use small paper plates or even pieces of colored construction paper and counters of some sort so they could actually "see" the division as it happened. If you showed 12 divided by 3, you would put out 3 plates and have your child put one counter in each plate until all 12 were gone. He could easily see the related multiplication problem as well when you were finished....that 3 fours make 12. The use of the plate or paper helps the child focus in on what he is doing and really think and attend. I also used a piece of colored paper for word cards to be placed on as well, it really directs attention.