Here’s something that I tried out on my 3rd through 6th graders and which was pretty successful: the idea was to have my students practice division facts, while making sure that they got practice in multiple formats. So this game is kind of a “twofer” - practice the facts AND practice different formats at the same time!
Actually, it’s more like a “6-fer” because there are 5 different division formats: two of them use the steifel (the division house) using both a missing quotient but also a missing divisor. I also included three forms of the “linear” format: the traditional “X ÷ Y =” as well as missing divisor (“X ÷ ? = Y”) AND missing factor formats (“X x ? = Y”) That sounds pretty complete, don’t you think?
How to play: There are 50 different game boards, and I guarantee all 50 are different, because I used a mathematical algorithm that randomized each and every board, so no two children will use the same board. HA! You can play this as a whole class game (that is, give out boards to everyone and then read out each clue and wait while each student puts a counter on the solution) or you can have the students work in small groups, and even pairs. It’s really up to you.....
Customizing: You can further customize this game by choosing which sets of cards you want to use: if you think your students are fine with one format, then just remove those cards and focus on the other four. If you think they’re fine with 2 formats, well, just remove those....
Some things to consider: It’s very important that students have ample opportunity to practice recalling the solutions to these problems; for many students, solving a division fact problem is easier if they think of it first as a “missing factor” problem - that is, if they are solving 64 ÷ 8, they should re-state it in their heads as “8 x ? = 64.”
This is because children (and adults) recall multiplication facts using verbal “cues.” These verbal cues reside in the basal ganglia of the brain, which is where we store song lyrics, prayers, nursery rhymes and, if you’re like me, T.S. Eliot poems (“The winter evening settles down to smells of steaks in passageways.....”) By the way, here’s an interesting fact: people who listen multiplication and division facts in one language as children remember them in that language for the rest of their lives, so if you learn to multiply and divide in German, then you’ll always revert to it to solve the fact, even if you read, write and speak another language fluently.