Understanding Multiplication and Division in Word Problems

So, the fun and games of learning how to make arrays, skip counting on number lines and using models to solve multiplication problems has lead to the equally exciting task of solving division problems.¬†Everyone seems to be making great progress and making meaning of multiplication and division in real world problems, UNTIL … wait for it … wait for it … We mix the two together!

multiplication-and-division-free

And here the real “fun” begins … A few students usually have an intuition about the structure of the problems and just “get it” with out much help, but the majority of students need direct, systematic instruction paired with hands on or pictorial examples to really, truly, deeply, understand the difference between multiplication and division in word problems.¬† But where can we start? Continue reading