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Division games in PE

Many young children find it difficult to grasp the concept of division in maths. I have used a very practical way which they love, although it needs quite a lot of space. A solution can be to use this activity as part of PE in the hall.

The children's own bodies are the units. Ask them to arrange themselves in groups of varying size and number to give a certain result - they have to work out the variables. If, for example, you have 28 children, these are the sort of questions to ask:

* Can you arrange yourselves so that there are four equal groups?

* If I asked you to get into groups of five how many groups will there be and how many children remaining?

* I need seven equal groups: can you arrange yourselves?

* How many groups of nine can you make, and how many remaining?

There are many variations, of course. After each arrangement get them to look carefully at the number of groups and the size. This personal involvement in the concept of division helps them to grasp the idea quickly.

Ron Winter, tutor, Milton Keynes Tuition Service

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