Dividing Integers Games

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Teaching students how to divide integers does not have to be dull. This lesson offers some games your students can play as they practice and gain facility with division of integers.

Using Games in Math

As a math teacher, it is important for you to access many different learning styles and give your students a chance to learn in a variety of ways. Another aspect of your job is making sure your students remain engaged and motivated as they take on increasingly complicated mathematical tasks.

When students move toward learning the operation of division, it is often a big cognitive leap. That means you may have to work extra hard to maintain their engagement as well as their understanding. One way to help make sure your students stay focused and excited about math is to incorporate games into your instruction.

Math games are fun and often collaborative, giving students a chance to solidify and practice important mathematical skills. The games in this lesson will help your students cement their expertise at dividing integers.

Dividing Integers Games

Each game is followed by a brief explanation and some ideas about which children will benefit the most from playing.

Division on Your Forehead

This is a game that students can play with partners. They can play it repeatedly to gain practice with division of integers. The students who like this game most are those who like to be active, using their hands while they are learning math.

Give each pair a deck of cards, which they will position face-down between them. Assign numerical values to the face cards or remove them from the deck. One player goes first. She picks up a card and holds it to her forehead without looking at it, then flips a second card to be face up. Her partner quickly tells her the product of the two cards. She must then do mental division to determine which card she is holding.

For example, she might flip up a 3 and hold a 6 to her head. The partner will say '18' and the student will have to divide 18 by 3 to figure out that she is holding a 6. If she determines the quotient correctly, she can keep the cards. Students will take turns, and the player with the most cards at the end is the winner.

Divide it By...

You can use this game to help your students solidify their understanding of divisibility rules, factors, and remainders. This is a game that can be played with the whole class or with a small group of students.

Give each player a number to work with, such as 2, 3, or 8, depending on their level with division. Explain that they will be dividing every integer you tell them by the divisor they are in charge of, then observing patterns.

One at a time, project or write integers on your board. For instance, you might project '15.' Your students are in charge of figuring out how many times their divisor goes into the number you have projected. They should keep track in their notebooks, making note of which numbers they can and cannot divide evenly into and what the remainders usually are.

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