Exploring Division

What exactly is division? Division is the act of splitting or dividing something into equal parts or groups. For example, here are 10 pastries that have to be shared between 5 friends. How can the pastries be shared among the 5 friends so that they all get an equal number?

Let's first give one pastry each to each of the friends. And then one more to each of them again. What is the number of pastries each one gets? We see that each gets 2 pastries.

So when 10 is divided by 5 the result is 2. We can show this as 10 divided by 5 is equal to 2. Here 10 is called the dividend, 5 is called the divisor, and 2 is called the quotient.

There are various methods by which we can perform division. We have just done the division method by sharing. Now, let’s look at the second method of division. This is called division by repeated subtraction.

For example, Joe has 12 balls. He gave some of his friends 3 balls each and was left with none. Among how many of his friends did Joe distribute the balls? To know the number of friends among whom Joe distributed 3 balls each, we have to calculate how many groups of 3 we can form out of 12. To do this, let’s repeatedly subtract 3 from 12, for each friend. Let’s start with 12 and subtract 3 for the first friend. This leaves us with 9. From 9, let’s again subtract 3 for the second friend, which leaves us with 6. From 6, let’s again subtract 3 for the third friend. This leaves us with 3. Now, we just assign the last three balls to the fourth friend. This leaves us with 0 balls.

Now let's count how many times we have subtracted 3 from 12. One, two, three and four. So the number of friends among whom Joe distributed 3 balls each is 4. So 12 divided by 3 equals 4.