Area Model Division – Definition, Examples, Facts
13 minutes read
Created: December 24, 2023
Last updated: January 5, 2024
Welcome to another informative and engaging post from the Brighterly series aimed at making math enjoyable and understandable for children! Today, we’re diving into a fascinating concept – the Area Model Division. This topic is much more than just numbers; it represents a unique perspective on division that helps children visualize and grasp the concept in an exciting and engaging way.
Area Model Division, a visual teaching approach that emphasizes the understanding of area, is a far cry from the routine algorithmic methods. Instead of following mechanical processes, children get to see how division plays out in an appealing visual form. Picture a rectangle representing the total amount being divided. This rectangle is then broken into smaller, equallysized sections, each depicting the divisor. Quite different from your usual division lesson, right?
What is Area Model Division?
Area model division is a visual method of teaching division that emphasizes the concept of area. Unlike the standard algorithmic division methods, which can be mechanical and abstract, the area model provides a concrete, spatial perspective on division. Using an area model to demonstrate division allows learners to fully understand the concept of division rather than just perform repetitive calculations. This innovative approach engages learners in a visual, interactive, and creative way that not only keeps them interested but also encourages them to think critically and logically.
This teaching strategy is part of the larger Common Core standards designed to boost students’ understanding of mathematical concepts. The area model is frequently used in elementary classrooms, but its simplicity and effectiveness make it a valuable tool for all ages. It has revolutionized the way division is taught, providing a more inclusive, effective, and engaging learning experience.
Definition of Area Model Division
Area model division is a pedagogical strategy that defines division in terms of the division of an area into equal parts. Imagine a rectangular region representing the total value being divided. This area is then subdivided into smaller, equallysized rectangular areas, each representing the divisor. The quotient is then the number of these smaller rectangles that fit within the original larger rectangle.
This method of teaching division is part of the visual mathematics approach that helps children understand abstract concepts by visualizing them as shapes and diagrams. This approach improves mathematical comprehension, problemsolving skills, and logical reasoning abilities.
How Does Area Model Division Work?
The area model division operates by visually depicting division problems. For example, if we are dividing 18 by 3, we envision an area (rectangle) of 18 units. This area is then divided into smaller sections or “subareas,” each representing a value of 3. The number of these subareas equates to the quotient of our division.
Here, the divisor is the size of the subareas, the dividend is the total area, and the quotient is the number of subareas. By breaking down a larger area into smaller sections, learners gain a concrete understanding of what division entails. The area model thus provides a vivid illustration of the mathematical principle of division and is a practical tool in learning and teaching mathematics.
Benefits and Uses of Area Model Division
The area model division is lauded for numerous benefits, especially its utility in improving the understanding of division. It encourages spatial thinking, enhances problemsolving abilities, and promotes a deeper comprehension of mathematical concepts. This model is especially beneficial for visual learners, but it is advantageous for all types of learners due to its interactive nature.
The area model division can be used to simplify complex division problems, teach the concepts of fractions and ratios, and lay the foundation for more advanced mathematical concepts such as algebra and geometry. It is a vital tool in mathematics education that bridges the gap between abstract concepts and realworld applications.
Examples of Area Model Division
Here are a few examples of area model division:

Dividing 20 by 4 would entail drawing a rectangle with an area of 20 units and then dividing this rectangle into four equal rectangles, each with an area of 5 units.

To divide 36 by 6, we’d illustrate a rectangle of 36 units, then subdivide it into six smaller rectangles of 6 units each.
These examples illustrate how area model division translates numerical division problems into visual tasks, making the process of division more tangible and accessible to learners.
Steps in Area Model Division
Here are the steps involved in using area model division:
 Determine the dividend and the divisor.
 Draw a rectangle to represent the total area (the dividend).
 Divide this rectangle into smaller rectangles, each with an area equal to the divisor.
 Count the number of smaller rectangles to find the quotient.
These steps are repeated for different division problems, providing a consistent method for teaching and understanding division.
Properties and Characteristics of Area Model Division
The area model division has some specific properties and characteristics:
 It is visual and spatial, making abstract division concrete.
 It promotes understanding over rote memorization.
 It encourages logical reasoning and problemsolving skills.
 It is interactive and engaging, keeping learners interested.
 It is flexible and can be used for different division problems.
These properties make the area model division an effective teaching and learning tool in mathematics.
Comparing Area Model Division with Other Division Models
While traditional division methods focus on the algorithmic process, the area model division focuses on understanding the underlying concept. Other models, like long division or chunking, might be quicker for simple calculations, but they often lack the visual component that helps learners grasp the real meaning of division. In comparison, the area model division provides a visual representation, making it easier for students to understand the process of division. The concrete nature of the area model makes it particularly effective for teaching the concepts of division, especially to young learners.
Applying the Area Model Division in Real Life Context
The area model division has numerous reallife applications. It can be used in solving problems related to measurement, ratios, and fractions. For example, if a garden plot is divided into equal sections for different types of plants, the area model can visually demonstrate how the garden is divided. Similarly, if a pizza is divided into equal slices, the area model can illustrate the division of the pizza.
Equations and Formulas in Area Model Division
The area model division can be expressed using the equation Dividend = Divisor x Quotient
. Here, the dividend is the total area, the divisor is the area of each subregion, and the quotient is the number of such subregions. This equation illustrates the mathematical relationship underlying division and provides a simple way of representing division problems.
Deriving Equations using Area Model Division
The area model division is a powerful tool in deriving equations. For instance, the equation for the area of a rectangle (Area = length x width
) can be applied in the area model of division. If we know the total area (the dividend) and the length (the divisor), we can find the width (the quotient) by using the area model division.
Practice Problems on Area Model Division
Here are a few practice problems:
 Divide 24 by 4 using area model division.
 Use the area model division to divide 30 by 5.
 Solve 42 divided by 7 using area model division.
These practice problems can help learners apply the area model division in various scenarios, enhancing their understanding and proficiency in division.
Conclusion
At Brighterly, we believe that math can be fun and engaging, and the area model division is a shining example of that philosophy. Through visual illustrations and interactive activities, we aim to provide a solid foundation in mathematics for children while sparking their interest in the subject. The area model division has proven to be a dynamic teaching and learning tool that not only explains the concept of division but also inspires creativity and critical thinking.
The concept of dividing an area into equal parts provides an intuitive understanding of division and builds a robust base for advanced mathematical ideas. It’s our hope that this deep dive into the world of area model division has sparked curiosity, stimulated learning, and above all, made math a bit more fun. Stay tuned for more exciting math concepts with Brighterly!
Frequently Asked Questions on Area Model Division
What is area model division?
The area model division is a visual technique for teaching and learning division. Instead of focusing on mechanical calculations, this method illustrates the division process using the concept of an area. Imagine a rectangle – this represents the total value being divided, or the dividend. This rectangle is then divided into smaller, equal parts, each representing the divisor. The resulting number of these smaller parts gives the quotient. The area model division encourages understanding the concept behind the division process, rather than just performing the calculation.
How does area model division work?
Area model division works by visually representing division problems using areas. Let’s say we’re dividing 15 by 3. We begin by imagining an area (rectangle) of 15 units. This area is then partitioned into smaller sections or “subareas,” each holding a value of 3. The number of these smaller parts or subareas gives us the quotient of our division. In other words, the total area (dividend) is split into smaller areas (divisor), and the quotient is how many of these smaller areas fit into the total area.
What are the benefits of area model division?
Area model division offers numerous benefits. It promotes spatial thinking and problemsolving abilities as students must visualize the division process. This method encourages learners to think about division in a different way, helping them to understand the underlying concept behind the mathematical operation. Also, area model division caters to different learning styles, particularly visual learners, and makes mathematics more interactive and engaging. It provides a robust foundation for more advanced mathematical concepts such as fractions, ratios, and algebra.
What are some examples of area model division?
Examples of area model division can vary widely depending on the numbers involved. For instance, when dividing 24 by 6, you can imagine a rectangle with an area of 24 units. This rectangle is then divided into six smaller rectangles, each with an area of 4 units. The six smaller rectangles are the result of the division. Similarly, to divide 35 by 7, you’d represent a rectangle of 35 units, then subdivide it into seven smaller rectangles of 5 units each. These examples show how the area model division can visualize and simplify the process of division.
What are the steps in area model division?
There are four main steps in the area model division. First, identify the dividend (the total area) and the divisor (the size of each subarea). Then, draw a rectangle to represent the total area (the dividend). Next, divide this rectangle into smaller rectangles, each representing the divisor. Finally, count the number of these smaller rectangles to determine the quotient. This method provides a visual aid for understanding division and can be used repeatedly to solve a variety of division problems.
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