Division with Money

Grade Levels
3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th
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This is an activity I like to do when first beginning division with decimals. Money always seems to make sense to kids! I put students in heterogenous groups based on math abilities, and I give them $1, 5, 10, and 20 bills, as well as several of each coin. They are to solve the 6 word problems first by ONLY splitting up the fake money. They may not try to divide it on paper. It drives certain students crazy, but it is a fun challenge!

I use this as a way for them to figure out the rules for dividing dollar amounts (with and without change) before actually showing them the steps and where the decimal goes in the quotients, and sometimes dividends (if they need to divide $20 for example and need to annex zeroes as $20.00). Before doing this, they will have proficient division skills with whole numbers, but have never divided with decimals.

It is surprising how long this actually took. I think I gave 45ish minutes, and none of the groups had finished the 6 problems. Whether or not your students have ever worked with fake money during Math, you will need to model some examples and Think Aloud your reasoning, starting with biggest dollar amounts, then biggest coin amounts until it cannot be split further.

Once you have checked their answers (it might go onto a second day), you may allow them to attempt dividing it and figuring out the steps and location of decimals.

2 of these problems are more challenging because there are 1-2 pennies left over that cannot be split up. Be sure to warn your students ahead of time!

Have fun!
Total Pages
2
Answer Key
Included
Teaching Duration
1 hour

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Division with Money