The goal was simple, to introduce division. We sat in a circle and I read King David Divide. After being sidetracked for a minute or two discussing moats, I quickly finished the book.
Instead of acting out the book as a play or as a puppet show, I asked the children to do me a favor and create the play for the parents (it’s a homeschool co-operative). You should have seen the joy and excitement on their faces!! We looked through the book and they claimed different characters on each page. The roles of narrator, David, and Rover were filled quickly. After that, we looked at the scenes to brainstorm for props.
Then the parents left. Really. We went to the kitchen and made ourselves a cup of tea. The older children took on leadership roles and we could hear them giggling and scurrying about. The children had 20 minutes to set it up and within a half an hour the children handed us our tickets, we got in line, sat on the couch and were entertained by a lovely group of children acting out King David and practicing division!
Arithmetic Village simplifies division in such a way that children can “play it”. They use each other, stuffed animals, dolls etc. (Use the downloadable paperdolls in the division section of Arithmetic Village website if you desire!). They naturally love the idea of Rover (who represents remainder) and he’s a very important part of the process.
After the play is complete then it’s time to introduce the relationship between multiplication and work on rote activities. It is far better to wait until the children are over-ready for this. Older children can work on long division by using “King David’s table” The remainder goes under the table to Rover and he waits for more leftovers to see if they can be divided again. Once everyone has been served, Rover can have the rest…
Having fun is the most important part of early math experiences! So many people think that they are not good with math simply because their early math experiences were tedious. King David is here to change all of that! I know the children in the class last week will have fun memories of learning how to divide.