Learning addition, subtraction, and even multiplication for a child is somewhat natural. Division on the other hand is the least natural arithmetic operation to learn. So learning to divide numbers between 1 and 12 may painfully frustrating for a child. Once the child learns multiplication, division becomes natural and easy to learn.
Why is learning division so much easier after learning multiplication? There are three reasons:
- The division table is the same as a multiplication table;
- The difference between a division and a multiplication table is how to interpret it;
- The division is the reciprocal of multiplication.
Let us look at a multiplication example and later explore the relationship to division. Using a multiplication table, multiply three times five and get an answer fifteen: 3 x 5 = 15. Row three and column five of a multiplication table intersect at fifteen; fifteen is the answer. What is the relationship of division to multiplication? To show the relationship, use the same multiplication table for division.
Let us look at a division example using a multiplication table. What is fifteen divided by three? If we look at this as a multiplication problem instead of division, it becomes easier. What number multiplied by three equals fifteen? We know from using a multiplication table that three multiplied by five is fifteen. That means fifteen divided three is five. From this example, we see that a multiplication table has the same format as a division table but used differently. After solving a division problem, check the answer by multiplication. After learning multiplication and understanding the relationship between multiplication and division, division will be easier and more intuitive to learn.
Where do we begin learning division?
- First, get familiar with the table.
- Start with division by one. Find the number one in the table. Divide by row number one. The answer is column number one.
- Repeat these steps for division by one. Divide row one by columns one through twelve.
- Repeat these steps for division by two. Divide row two by columns one through twelve.
- Repeat these steps for division by three. Divide row three by columns one through twelve.
- If you are comfortable with division so far, try a test. Solve the following division problems in your head and then compare your answers to the division table: four divided by two, fifteen divided by five, twenty-seven divided by three, sixteen divided two, and ten divided by 1. The problem answers are 2 , 3, 9, 8, and 10 respectively.
If you get four out of five problems correct, you are ready to start learn the entire division table.