Interpreting Remainders
Lesson
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How do you interpret a remainder in a division problem?

A remainder is the amount left over when something cannot be divided evenly.

Problem

The fourth grade is taking a field trip.  They need to rent minivans to get there.  There are 125 people going.  Each minivan can only hold 8 people.  How many minivans does the school need to rent?

Plan You can divide to find the number of minivans.

Solve There are different ways to interpret the remainder of a problem.

*Answer where you add 1 to the quotient.
Think: How many minivans does the school need to rent?
You will need 16 minivans for the trip.

* Answer where you use only the quotient.
Think: How many minivans will be completely full?

There will be 15 minivans completely full.

* Answer where you use only the remainder.
Think: How many people will not fit in the minivan, if they took 15?
The remainder is 5.  So, 5 people will not fit in the minivans.

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