Divisor, Dividend, Quotient….Help!


It’s hard for students to remember which is which. Try this rhyme to memorize the definition of “Quotient”.
Quotient – “Kwo-shunt”
What a funny word,
The answer to division
Isn’t that absurd?

“Divisor” and “Dividend” are similar and often mixed-up. Analyze the words. How are they different? One has a short word, “or” at the end. The other has a longer word “end”. The shorter word, “divisor” is always on the outside of the bracket trying to get in. The larger number, “dividend” is inside waiting to be divided. More math memory ideas can be found in my Memory Tips for Math book.

Visual learners need to draw the division bracket and insert the words in the correct spots in order to remember.  Audio learners learn by explaining the words aloud to other students. Kinesthetic learners can clap out the rhyme and make the brackets using manipulatives. Being aware of children’s learning styles makes a big difference in their retention of information.

March 25, 2014   Comments Off

The Magic Triangle

magic triangle

Distance, Speed, Time Word Problems
I love this visual for solving distance (d), speed (s) and time (t) word problems. This image is easily remembered and it’s simple to use. Have students draw a triangle and put in the letters in alphabetical order.  Add the multiplication sign and try some examples.

Try this problem: Joe can run 3 mph.(speed) If he ran at that speed for 6 miles (distance), how long would it take? (time). Cover up the part of the triangle that will be the answer. (Cover the “t” for time). Now we can visualize the problem as “d” divided by “s”. Replace the letters with the correct numbers and solve the problem. Solve  again by changing the unknown for speed and then distance. Check out this video showing more examples of the Speed Magic Triangle.

Remember, 65% of the population are visual learners. They need to “see” the method for solving the problem. All the analyzing in the world won’t help unless they can store it in their brain visually.

March 18, 2014   Comments Off

Learning Geometric Shapes by Singing


Songs are an amazing tool to use in teaching, as most of you know.

I came across The Shape Song (sung to the tune of Farmer in the Dell)  and immediately added it to my list of memory tips! Even very young children can sing and draw the shapes in the air. The shapes in the song include,


Download a free pdf of  The Shape Song with ideas to help students learn the shapes quickly.

October 30, 2013   Comments Off