An even spread


The purpose of this activity is to engage students in carrying out a division, where the solution is not a whole number.

Achievement Objectives
NA2-1: Use simple additive strategies with whole numbers and fractions.
NA2-5: Know simple fractions in everyday use.
NA2-6: Communicate and interpret simple additive strategies, using words, diagrams (pictures), and symbols.
Description of Mathematics

In readiness for this problem, the students should have familiarity with each of the following components of mathematics. The problem may be solved with different combinations of these components. 

  • counting strategies
  • grouping strategies to partition whole numbers
  • using equal sharing fractions
  • addition of basic fractions (½, ¼)
  • find fractions of a value

This activity may be carried out with guidance, or by allowing the student to follow their own method of solution. The approach should be chosen in sympathy with students’ skills and depth of understanding.



A gardener has 7 bags of compost to spread evenly over 4 flower beds.

How many bags of compost does each bed get?



The arithmetic approach (show more)

  • The student is able to partition a whole number to form evenly sized sets involving fractions.

The visual approach (show more)

  • The student is able to represent a partitioning problem, with a diagram and/or materials, to find a solution.

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