Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Making Cents of Division

Cindy Jacobs


Students will use pennies as manipulatives to solve simple division problems. They will create division number sentences to correspond with each exercise.


The student writes number sentences for given situations involving the addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers.

The student solves real-world problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers using an appropriate method (for example, mental math, paper and pencil, concrete materials, calculator).


-Bag of Pennies (24 in each bag), enough for each pair of students


1. Gather materials needed. Pennies should be bagged in advance.


1. Write the division number sentence for 10 divided by 2 on the chalkboard. Draw ten dots under the problem. Ask students if these dots were separated into equal groups of two, how many groups would there be. (Answer: 5) Circle the dots in groups of two to show students that there are five equal groups. Explain that there are two ways to divide 10. We can make 2 groups of 5 or 5 groups of 2. Ask students, -what times 2 equals 10?- This will help them see the inverse relationship of multiplication.

2. Label the divisor and quotient in the division problem (Answer: 2 is the divisor, 5 is the quotient).

3. Assign each student a partner.

4. Give each pair a bag containing 24 pennies.

5. Tell each pair to count out 24 pennies and put them in groups of 3 to find out how many groups in all. Repeat using equal groups of 4, 6, and 8. Students should group pennies correctly and give the correct division number sentence for each problem. Have student volunteers write the division problems on the chalkboard.

6. Next, have student volunteers label the divisor and quotient for each problem.

7. Give each student a sheet of paper. Instruct students to fold it into sixths. Demonstrate this for students. Have students number each section one through six.

8. Write the following practice problems on the chalkboard:
1. 20 in all, 4 in each group
2. 21 in all, 7 in each group
3. 16 in all, 8 in each group
4. 18 in all, 6 in each group
5. 14 in all, 7 in each group
6. 18 in all, 9 in each group

9. Working with a partner, students will solve the practice problems (above) written on the chalkboard using pennies as manipulatives. Students will write a division number sentence and answer inside each numbered section of their paper which corresponds to the numbered practice problems.

10. When students are through writing the division number sentences that correspond to the practice problems, instruct them to label each divisor and quotient.

11. Take up these papers for assessment purposes.


1. Mastery or non mastery will be based on two things: (A) Observation of student performance while solving simple division problems; (B) Student should get 5 out of 6 practice problems correct.


1. Students can use just about anything to solve simple division problems: buttons, toothpicks, marshmallows, jelly beans, dried beans, etc. 2. You could give students an index card. Have them write a simple division problem on one side. They could trade with a partner and have their partner create a picture to represent the division problem on the back. 3. Students can make flashcards of simple division facts to practice or use to play a match-up game.
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