Well, I don’t know about your students, but every year, it seems that interpreting remainders is a struggle for my students. It is really a struggle for students who have difficulty understanding word problems or that have no conceptual understanding of what division is. This post will share some of the activities we did and a free anchor chart with sample word problems to help teach division with remainders.
Word Problem A Day
I have been posting a problem a day for about a week where the students have to consider the remainder. I post it on a piece of chart paper and the students solve the problem, while supporting their answer with LOVE (Labels, Our Thinking, Visuals, Equations). Click here to read more about the LOVE, the acronym that we use when solving word problems. After all the students have had a good amount of time to solve the problem, we discuss the answer and how we interpreted the remainder. Here is an example from a student’s math journal. (Sorry that is not very clear.)
Interpreting Remainders Anchor Chart
Once the students had some experience with word problems and different contexts that required them to ignore, round up, report the remainder as a decimal/fraction, or use the remainder as their answer, they helped me create this anchor chart (which I typed up so they could have a reminder in their interactive notebook and so I could share a copy with you guys). This has really helped my students who continued to struggle with interpreting the remainder correctly. They refer to the chart on a regular basis to help them determine how to interpret the remainders when they are solving division word problems. Click here or on the image below to grab a copy of the Interpreting Remainders Chart.
Fun Interpreting Remainders Printable
Division Math Center
Interactive Notebook Template
Last Friday, I assessed the students by giving them a few word problems. However, I wanted something more rigorous. Today, the students worked on a foldable template. The students had four flips, one flip for Ignore It, one for Round It, one for Report it as a Decimal or Fraction, and one for Use It.
The students had to create a word problem for each type of situation. The students who struggled were able to use the chart we had created for an extra scaffold. The students also had to solve the problem, showing the LOVE (of course!).
We are still working on them, but some of them are really impressing me! I hope this post has given you some helpful tips and strategies for teaching students to interpret remainders when solving division word problems.