While creating some division activities for my students, specifically activities to practice division facts, this idea came to my mind. Maybe bars are not just for fractions. Why not use number bars (something like equation strips) to show division and practice visual factoring? I am always looking for visual ideas and this seemed right. I tried this with my students and it was a great success. I used cards like the ones below for different numbers (just with their factors) and I was very happy to see them using previous bars to find the new ones. For example, 30÷3=10 then 30÷6=5 We talked about these mental strategies before but seeing them in this form made a difference.
I tried the same with cards that had nonfactors of the numbers and that led to interesting discussions about factors. We discussed divisibility, remainders, and even brought in prime numbers and how the cards will look for a prime number. The smaller number cards were very helpful for my low floor students to practice division. I encouraged them to place beads on the diagrams to show the sharing. My advanced learners were challenged and excited. I am definitely keeping these activities in my toolbox and I will be creating more. Something similar to these are the equation strips for grades 7/8.
I would love to know what you think about this idea. If you would like to try this activity with your students below you can find some FREE slides and a print version.
Division with number bars (google slides)
More of these activities are included in my division unit Diving into Division which includes a free and premium version.