Minds On

The deal with division

Have you ever gone for a walk through the mall, or past a fast-food restaurant that offers a GREAT exciting deal? Sometimes it may sound like a great deal and is so enticing at that moment that you don’t really think about figuring out the math. Two can dine for 25.99! Buy 3 ice creams for 9.99! It sounds great but when you do the math, is it really such a great deal?

Knowing a few different ways to divide numbers can help you solve these kinds of problems. How do you solve division problems? Imagine a coffee shop employee earns $264.00 a month and wants to divide their money equally into four separate accounts: savings, chequing, spending, and post-secondary school. How much would be put into each account? What strategies did you use to solve that problem? What are some things that you knew about division that helped you solve that problem?


Division strategies

Let’s review some strategies that we can use to help us divide large numbers.

Box method

On a sheet of paper, create a box that resembles a place value chart. The number of boxes you will need to create depends on the number of digits in your dividend. In this example, we are using 453, so we will need 3 boxes. Record your divisor on the left side of the boxes. In the first box, you will think of the closest 100 that you can multiply to your dividend. In this case, 4 × 100 is as close as we will get to 450 using round numbers (like 100 or 200). Then, subtract that answer from the dividend. Record this answer in the next box. Then, think 4 × what round number will get us close to 53? Then subtract those numbers. You can continue adding boxes until your subtraction answer is zero or a number smaller than the divisor. If there is a number left over, that is your remainder.


Let’s explore the following video entitled “Long Division” to learn how to use long division to solve a complex math problem.

Dividing decimals

Don’t forget that when you divide using decimals, you must first set up your division question. Move the decimal in the divisor over to the right until it becomes a whole number. Be sure to count how many decimal places it is as you will need to move the decimal in your dividend as well.

Task: Practice questions

Solve the following equations using at least two different division strategies.

827 ÷ 6 =

45.82 ÷ 7.1 =

96.22 ÷ 8.2 =

57.832 ÷ 5.9 =

609 ÷ 9 =


Benefits of budgeting

Now that you have had an opportunity to practice exploring different ways to divide up costs, let’s consider how you might apply this to a real-world situation.

Task 1: Real world question

As a clothing store employee on a break walks through the food court in a mall, they notice a variety of different advertisements about chicken burgers:

  • 4 chicken burgers for $14.95, add an order of fries for $1.25 extra
  • 2 chicken burgers, fries and drinks for $19.45
  • 4 chicken burgers and fries for $28.54

Which is the better deal? How do you know?


As you read through these descriptions, which sentence best describes how you are feeling about your understanding of this learning activity? Press the button that is beside this sentence.

I feel...

Now, record your ideas using a voice recorder, speech-to-text, or writing tool.

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