What You Need:
- Graham Crackers (whole can be divided into 2 parts)
- Lined paper
What You Do:
- First, have your child predict what he thinks 1 divided by ½ is. With a little help from a graham cracker, invite him to find out if he's correct.
- Hand over a whole graham cracker to your child. Explain that this is one graham cracker, so it represents the number 1.
- Then, have him divide the graham cracker in half by bending it down the middle. After it splits, ask him to count how many graham cracker pieces there now are.
- After he responds that there are two, say “That's correct. 1 divided by ½ is 2.” He may looked puzzled, since most division problem answers or quotients are usually smaller than the dividend, which in this case was 1.
- Now, ask your child to predict what 2 divided by ½ is.
- After your child responds, have him set the broken graham cracker aside and hand him two more. Explain that now he has two graham crackers, representing the number 2.
- Then, have him divide the graham crackers in half by bending them and splitting them down the middle. After they split, ask your child how many pieces there are.
- After he responds that there are 4 pieces, say, “That's correct. 2 divided by ½ equals 4.”
- Next, explain how to divide whole numbers by fractions without using graham crackers. Multiply the whole number by the fraction that has been reversed. 1 divided by 1/2; 1 X 2/1 = 2, or 1/1 x 2/1 = 2/1, which equals 2. Remind him that any whole number is equivalent to that number, over 1.
- Have your child try a few problems on lined paper. For example, 3 divided by 1/4 is 3 X 4 = 12. 4 divided by 1/4; 4 X 4 = 16, 5 divided by 1/3; 5 X 3 =15.
Finally, celebrate your child's new math concept with a yummy snack of sweet graham crackers! Try practicing some more math during snack time.