There are forty-four children in a room. Each group of four children is sitting around a table. How many tables are there?
First, let’s try to visualise this problem. Let this represent a table with four children around it. So that’s one table and four children.
If we had two tables, we’d have another four children, three tables, another four, four tables, another four, and so on. So when I draw in my last table, I’ll have some tables and I’ll have forty-four children.
Now hopefully we can see that the total number of children is the number of tables times four because every table has four children around it. So I could work this question: what do I need to multiply four by to get forty-four? And that’s gonna tell me the value of this last table. Or I could say how many times does four go into forty-four?
Now I can represent both of those statements mathematically. In the first, four times what is equal to forty-four? And in the second, forty-four divided by four equals what?
Now if we look at this first equation, if I want to know what this question mark is, what’s the value of that number there, I need to divide both of my equations by four in order to cancel out the first four.
And when I do that, the fours cancel on the left-hand side, so I get question mark equals forty-four over four, or forty-four divided by four. So we can see that both of these equations amount to the same thing. So let’s go ahead and work it out.
Well forty-four divided by four is eleven. So the answer is eleven tables. And through the magic of this app, we can check our answer. Table one’s got four, table two’s got four, table three’s got four, and so for the other tables. And eleven lots of four, eleven times four, is equal to forty-four.
So yep eleven tables with four children around each would give us forty-four children in total, so we know we’ve got the right answer.