Division is one of the most difficult concepts for third graders to master, especially when you add math word problems to the mix. Adding to the confusion, when word problems don’t apply to a third grade student’s everyday life, they can struggle even more to relate.
If scenarios seem unusual or confusing, students are likely to focus more on making sense of the story than solving the equation. After all, when, in a real-world situation, would you really need to divide 1500 by 30?
Rather than using stale stories to illustrate math word problems, try these easy-to-understand examples to to help your third grader make sense of complex division problems.
1. Dividing Bags of Candy
This is a real-world example of a 3rd grade division word problem that most kids can relate to.
Mrs. Johnson has 20 students in her class. She buys a bag that has 340 pieces of candy in it. She wants to divide the candy into treat bags for her students for an upcoming holiday. How many pieces should each child get?
Now, obviously a teacher is going to give equal numbers, so the student has to divide. This is a basic long division problem and a real-world example that helps students relate to it.
The answer, 17, is a tasty solution to a pesky problem.
2. Dividing Pizzas
Again, pizza is something most kids simply love. Here’s a way that 3rd grade math word problems can become tasty:
Mr. Cornell has a class with 15 students. He is buying pizza for his class. He will have a total of 30 slices of pizza because each large pizza has 10 slices and he ordered 3. How many will each child get?
This is a problem your child can understand. The answer, 2, may not be enough to fill his tummy, but it is easy to get to once he eliminates the extra information about the 10 slices and 3 large pizzas.
3. Dividing Money
Money is one real-world application that often requires dividing large numbers. Consider the following real-life example that your child can probably relate to:
Grandma has $1,000 to spend on her grandkids for birthdays this year. She wants to spend the same amount on each child. She has 8 grandkids. How much money will she spend on each one?
While your child might be dreaming of having $125 to spend as a birthday check, the fact is that this is a real-world example found in 3rd grade division word problems that will show the importance of learning how to divide.
If the student in your life is struggling with math word problems (even with these tips) some additional tutoring may be needed.
If extra assistance is needed, it could be time to work with an online math tutor. With the help of Thinkster’s technology based online tutoring platform and custom curriculums, your child can be well on their way to mastering tough third grade math word problems!