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Dividing using a Number Line

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Basics on the topic Dividing using a Number Line

Division Using a Number Line

Have you ever heard of Grayson the grasshopper? Legend says that Grayson is the most ambitious of his kind! On a log that is eight metres long, he wants to do jumps of four metres to reach the end of the log. There is just one problem: Grayson doesn’t know how many jumps of 4 metres he needs to get from 0 to 8, because he needs to learn first how to divide on a number line. Since the log is similar to a number line, we can write the division sentences and then use them for division. This way, we can help Grayson the grasshopper to become the jumping champion!

How To Do Division on a Number Line

The above video and the following text give you all the answers to this. First, let's take a look at the meaning of a number line.

What Is a Number Line in Division?

A number line is a straight line with numbers placed at equal intervals or equal distances apart.

Using number lines for division can be very helpful because it can help us understand or explain a division problem. So, how exactly do you use the number line method in division?

What Is the Number Line Method?

The number line method allows you to show division on the number line by drawing hops or jumps based on the divisor, the number we are dividing by. In Grayson's case, the divisor is 4.

How to Show Division on a Number Line

When you want to use the number line to divide, there are three easy steps to follow:

Step # What to do
1 Circle the dividend on the number line
2 Skip count up or draw hops on the number line
3 Count the number of skips or hops to get the quotient

Division on a Number Line – Examples

Even after hearing the steps above you may still be wondering exactly how to do division on a number line. Below is one example of number line division from the video.

First, we need to find the answer of twelve divided by six using the number line.

Twelve divided by six number line

The first step is to circle the dividend or the number being divided. In this example, the dividend is 12:

Twelve divided by six dividend

The second step is to find the divisor and count up the number line in steps of that number to the dividend. Here, the divisor is 6:

Twelve divided by six divisor

The third and final step is to count the number of jumps or hops to get the answer, which in this case is two:

Twelve divided by six answer

Number Line Division – Summary

The number line method allows you to show division on the number line by drawing hops or jumps based on the divisor, or the number we are dividing by. How do you divide using a number line? Remember: When you want to use the number line to divide, there are three easy steps to follow.

Do you know now how many jumps Grayson needs to reach his goal? Take a look at the number line on the log. The calculation is 8 divided by 4, which means 8 is our dividend and 4 is our divisor. This gives us an answer of... 2! Grayson only needs two jumps of four metres to get to the end of the log. Impressive!

Want to practise number line division more? After the video you can also find exercises or division on a number line worksheets if you need some more practice.

Transcript Dividing using a Number Line

Mr. Squeaks is trying to get a closer look at the moon using his plane. There's just one problem: He can't take off from the runway safely because it is too dark! It looks like Mr. Squeaks has an idea. He wants to use the fireflies to light up the runway! Before he can do that, he needs to come up with a plan so the lights are divided evenly along the runway. Since it is twelve metres long, we will help Mr. Squeaks divide pairs of lights evenly using "Division on a Number Line". Mr. Squeaks would like to place a pair of lights every six metres on the runway, and he wants to use a NUMBER LINE the same length as the runway to help him. First, we will be calculating TWELVE divided by SIX. Before we start, let's review the parts of a division problem. The DIVIDEND is the number being divided, in this case the number twelve. The DIVISOR, or the number we are dividing by, is six. We will then divide the dividend by the divisor to find the answer. To find the answer using a number line we can follow three easy steps. First, circle the DIVIDEND on the number line. Here the DIVIDEND is the number TWELVE. Secondly, count up the number line in steps of SIX, the DIVISOR, to the DIVIDEND. Let's count in steps of six together! Six, twelve! The third step is to count the number of jumps we took to get to the answer. Let's count them together! One, two. Twelve divided by six equals two. Mr. Squeaks places two pairs of lights along the runway. Oh no, it's not bright enough! Let's help Mr. Squeaks place a pair of lights every four metres. That means we will solve TWELVE divided by FOUR. First, circle the DIVIDEND on the number line. In this case the number TWELVE. What is the second step? Count up the number line in steps of FOUR, the DIVISOR, to TWELVE. Let's count together! Four, eight, twelve! What is the number of jumps? The number of jumps is three, so twelve divided by four equals three. Let's see if that's enough light for the runway now. It's better, but still not safe enough. Mr. Squeaks thinks if we put a pair of lights every two metres, he will finally be able to fly. Let's help him calculate to see if he's right! What is the first step? First, circle the the number TWELVE. What is the second step? Secondly, count up the number line in steps of TWO to TWELVE. This time, try counting on your own to see if you can find the answer. When you count in steps of TWO up the number line, you will find that twelve divided by two equals six, which means Mr. Squeaks has six pairs of lights along the runway now. Remember, to find the answer using a number line you can follow three easy steps. The first step is to circle the DIVIDEND on the number line. The second step is to find the DIVISOR and count up the number line in steps of that number to the DIVIDEND. The third step is to count the number of jumps to get the answer. Let's check in with Mr. Squeaks to see if he has enough light for the runway now! Weeeee! I think Mr. Squeaks forgot something...

Dividing using a Number Line exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Dividing using a Number Line.
  • Calculate the distance to where each firefly must go.

    Hints

    Start at 0. Count in skips of 5 until you get to 30.

    Solution

    Starting from 0, we jump in fives until we get to 30. We should have landed at 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30

  • Can you fill in the missing numbers?

    Hints

    What is the number we need to divide?

    Make sure you start from 0.

    How many jumps has it taken to get from 0 to 20? Use the image to help you.

    Solution

    We jumped in steps of 4 until we reached the number 20.

    We started from the number 0 and then jumped in steps of 4cm.

    It took 5 jumps until we reached 20.

  • Can you solve the following calculations?

    Hints

    Start from 0 on the number line. Look at the divisor . This is the amount you need to jump from 0 until you reach the dividend.

    In this example, 10 is the dividend and 2 is the divisor. When we jump in twos to 10 we get the answer of 5.

    Draw a numberline from 0-12.

    Look at the divisor and then take jumps in that number, remembering to start from 0. If the divisor is 3, draw jumps of 3 until you get to your dividend.

    Solution

    12 $\div$ 3 = 4

    We start at 0 and draw a number line to 12 which is our dividend. We then look at our divisor which is 3. Now we need to jump in groups of 3 until we reach 12. Then, to get our answer we need to count the amount of jumps it has taken to get from 0 to 12.

    Following these steps we can also work out that:

    12 $\div$ 6 = 2

    12 $\div$ 2 = 6

    12 $\div$ 4 = 3

  • Can you fill in the gaps to Mr. Squeaks' problem?

    Hints

    Identify the different parts of your calculation.

    The dividend = how many sweets does Mr. Squeaks need to share?

    Divisor = how many people Mr. Squeaks needs to share with.

    Where do we need to start on the number line?

    Count how many jumps it took from 0 to reach 10.

    Solution

    Mr. Squeaks has 10 sweets. He wants to share these equally between 2.

    He needs to divide 10 by 2. Mr. Squeaks starts off by finding 0 on the number line and needs to do a jump of 2.

    The next number he lands on after 2 will be 4 followed by 6. How many jumps did Mr. Squeaks make? 5.

  • Can you highlight the different parts of the calculation?

    Hints

    The dividend is the number you are dividing.

    The divisor is the number you are dividing by.

    Solution

    The whole number we need to divide is the dividend, which is 20.

    We need to divide by the divisor which is 5.

    Our answer is 4.

  • Can you match the the corresponding images and calculations.

    Hints

    Look at the calculations. Identify what the dividend is and look for this in the images. The dividend is the number you are dividing.

    Look at the calculations. Identify the divisor. This will let you know the size of the jumps to look for.

    Solution

    18 $\div$ 6 = 3

    12 $\div$ 3 = 4

    10 $\div$ 2 = 5