Dividing a decimal

Although dividing a decimal follows exactly the same method as dividing a whole number, the presence of a decimal point can confuse pupils, leading them to complete the calculation in two separate chunks.

In this example, the pupil has correctly worked out that 6 ÷ 4 = 1 remainder 2. Seeing the decimal point next, they felt they had completed the first chunk of the calculation and were unsure what to do with the remainder. This resulted in them writing in the 2 as part of the answer, before starting the decimal part of the calculation.

Whilst the decimal point makes no difference to the way we work out the calculation, it’s important not to just tell pupils that they can ignore it, as they may then miss the decimal point out of their answer.

Click here to see 'How To: Dividing a decimal' video

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