Standard Algorithm for Division

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  • 0:00 Vocabulary
  • 0:25 Dividing Without a Remainder
  • 1:43 Dividing With a Remainder
  • 3:02 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Audrey Akins

Audrey has more than a decade of experience teaching elementary. She has a bachelor's in journalism and a master's in education.

You divide things all the time, such as when you share something with your friend or with a group of people. In this lesson, we'll look at using a standard algorithm to divide when there is and isn't a remainder.


When you're dividing, there are some keywords you need to know to have a stronger understanding of terms that are being used during the process. To begin with, let's look at the equation 35 / 7 = 5. The large number is the dividend; the small number is the divisor; and the number that's the answer is called the quotient.

Dividing Without a Remainder

On any given day you could need to divide for some reason. It may be to divide paper, candy, or cards between friends. In any case, if you're dividing, using the standard algorithm is probably the strategy that you'll use.

Let's say you're the teacher's helper in art class and your teacher asks you to pass 126 markers out to 3 kids. Now, you have 126 markers to divide among 3 kids in your class. To do this, your number sentence for this problem is 126 / 3.

First, you need to think of the number of times the divisor 3 can be divided into 12, which is 4. Next, multiply 3 times 4 to get 12, and write it under 12 in 126 and subtract. 12 - 12 = 0. Bring down the 6 in 126 and repeat the process. This time, think of the number of times the divisor 3 can be divided into 6, which is 2. Next, multiply 3 times 2 to get 6, and write it under the 6 and subtract: 6 - 6 = 0. You're done solving the problem, and your quotient to 42: 126 / 3 = 42. That went well, and everyone is happy with what they have.


Begin by thinking about the number of times the divisor can be divided into the dividend.

Dividing With a Remainder

Another day in art class, your teacher asks you to pass out 75 crayons to 4 kids. Again, you have to divide, and your equation is 75 / 4.

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