D: Today we learnt a new thing for numbers at school – dot, then line, then dot [drawing in the air]

Me: Ah – that’s ‘divided by‘.

D: Yes.

Me: So what’s 10 divided by 2?

D: I don’t know – 7?

Me: No. Look – there’s 10 pieces of tortellini, and if 2 people want to share them, how many pieces do they get each?

D: 5.

Me: Yes, well done!

D: And I know that 5 and 5 and 5 and 5 make 20.

Me: That’s right – so how many 5s is that?

D: 1-2-3-4.

Me: Yes! So the other way round, 20 pieces of tortellini divided by 5 people is 4 each.

D: So what’s 9 pieces of tortellini divided by 5?

Me: That’s when you have to go into fractions. Because everyone would get one whole piece, but there would only be 4 left after that and you’d have to chop them up to share them out – so they wouldn’t be whole numbers.

D: Guess what my teacher did today? She brought in 2 apples, and she cut them into pieces. The first one, she cut a TINY piece off and gave it to Mrs C, and she had the REALLY big bit. That wasn’t equal was it? How funny is that?! It’s really funny isn’t it?

Then she cut the second one in half down the middle.

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