Ioan looked at a squirrel sharing it’s nuts equally. When a quantity is shared equally, what you’re calculating is how much each person (or squirrel) gets, or how big each share is.

The idea of sharing is used to help explain division.


  • Tuff tray
  • Squirrel
  • Nuts
  • Bath crayons
  • Whiteboard
  • Whiteboard pen


Ioan was really excited when he saw this tray because he loves squirrels.

Squirrel has 10 nuts. Can you group them in twos?

Ioan moved the nuts in to equal groups of twos, then filled in the word questions below.

There are 15 nuts. The nuts are in groups of _. There are _ groups.

This time, Ioan was free to group the nuts however he wanted. He just needed to remember that when you share equally, everybody gets the same amount. He knew 15 wan’t an even number, so he couldn’t group in twos, instead he decided to group the nuts in threes.

There are 20 nuts. Circle groups of 5.

After circling groups of 5 nuts, the question went on to look at the connection between ‘shared between‘ and the ÷ symbol.

It asked him to fill in the division sum, _ ÷ _ = ÷.

Ioan wrote 20 ÷ 5 = 4

To do this he needed to know that: 20 nuts shared between 5 is 4.

The ‘shared between‘ can be replaced by a ÷ symbol, because ‘shared between’ means divide by.

The ‘is‘ can be replaced by an = sign.

He also worked out that if he knew 20 ÷ 5 = 4, then he could also write 20 ÷ 4 = 5.

Complete the number sentences. Use the number line.

Ioan drew equal jumps of 10 on his number line. There were three jumps, so he knew that 30 ÷ 10 = 3.

Next, he had to work out 30 ÷ 5.

Sharing 30 nuts

Ioan got confused when he thought he’d lost a nut, then spotted the squirrel was holding it!

He was sharing 30 nuts into equal groups. He wrote down what he had worked out and compared it to his answers on the tray.

Ioan also checked the answers from the number lines, 30 ÷ 10 = 3.

Then finally, he sorted the nuts in to groups of three for 30 ÷ 3 = 10.

For more information, there is a post on BBC Bitesize called ‘Sharing’.

DfES Outcomes for EYFS and National Curriculum (2013)

Numeracy Year 2 programme of study

Number – multiplication and division

  • recall and use multiplication and division facts for the 2, 5 and 10 multiplication tables, including recognising odd and even numbers
  • calculate mathematical statements for multiplication and division within the multiplication tables and write them using the multiplication (×), division (÷) and equals (=) signs
  • show that multiplication of two numbers can be done in any order (commutative) and division of one number by another cannot
  • solve problems involving multiplication and division, using materials, arrays, repeated addition, mental methods, and multiplication and division facts, including problems in contexts.