Distributive Property for Division

The distributive property for division basically means you can split your quantity up into smaller chunks that are easier to divide.

Let’s take 176 ÷ 8 as an example. It’s easier for students to consider questions in context, so think of putting 176 apples into bags of 8.

If we take the first 80 apples, then it’s easier to see that would be split up into 10 apples into each bag.  80 ÷ 8 is a much easier question.

The next 80 apples are divided up, adding another 10 to each bag.

That leaves 16 apples, which when divided up into 8 bags makes 2 each.

So what we’ve done is split 176 ÷ 8 into

80 ÷ 8

80  ÷8

16 ÷ 8


Once students have done this with various contexts, they can practice with numerical situations.  Daily oral / mental math time is perfect for this.  Some questions should have remainders.


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