When teaching students to understand division as an unknown factor, they must first understand the factors and product that correspond with the factors and quotient. For example,
for a student to be able to solve:
45 ÷ 9 = 5
they should first understand that:
9 × 5 = 45
With this in mind, are two ways that I like to teach division as an unknown factor; arrays and fact families.
Using Arrays and Division as an Unknown Factor
Arrays are a multiplication and division strategy that help students visualize and develop a stronger sense of multiplication and division. Also, arrays are useful to help students represent their thinking with manipulatives like counters, cubes, etc...
Fact Families and Division as an Unknown Factor
Next in line, fact families are a set of factors that make up a multiplication sentence, division sentence, or equation. Fact families are great for representing division as an unknown factor because students have to know the multiplication sentence, which then helps them solve the division sentence.
3rd Grade Math Centers and Rotations
Since math centers should cover things that our students already know, it is important to find resources that aren't too difficult. I like to ask the question, "pretend you are explaining how to solve this problem to a friend." Students have to use what they have learned and it usually ends up being more than they realized.
Get the printable + digital understanding division as an unknown factor task cards featured in this articles photographs by clicking on the photographs or the underlined text above.
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