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Topic: Which came first, * or / ?
Replies: 4   Last Post: Aug 17, 1995 2:29 PM

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Norm Krumpe

Posts: 53
Registered: 12/6/04
Which came first, * or / ?
Posted: Aug 9, 1995 7:35 PM
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With all this discussion of multiplication and division, I have begun to
wonder which of the two operations "comes first".

Now, I understand that, in most classrooms, division tends to be taught only
after teachers are confident that most students have demonstrated some
understanding of multiplication. I also understand that, in the algorithms,
division is often more "technically" challenging to "master" than is

But what about in real life? I can picture a young child sharing something
(such as m&ms) with friends. In the process of sharing, the child is
demonstrating an ability to divide. I *think* this is a very common thing
for young children to do. However, I'm having difficulty thinking of
activities that the same child might do that would indicate an understanding
of multiplication.

In other words, it just might be that, outside of school students encounter
division before multiplication. But in school, they typically encounter the
operations the other way around.

Unfortunately, my experience with the activities of young children outside
the classroom is very limited. So, I would invite those with more
experience to give me some examples where young children engage in
activities that would demonstrate at least a basic knowledge of
multiplication outside the classroom.

Just some thoughts...

Norm Krumpe

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