Welcome to Mathnasium’s Math Tricks series. Students are often taught that division is the opposite of multiplication, and therefore should rely on their multiplication facts to divide; this can be difficult when the number to divide by (the divisor) extends beyond these facts. Today we are using number sense to divide, when the divisor is a power of two. The trick is to cut the *original number *(the dividend) in half the *appropriate number of times* (the “power” amount).

Divide by the power of two using this Mathnasium Math Trick in the problem below.

# Example: 224 ÷ 32.

Step 1: Identify the divisor.

Thirty-two is a power of two: 32 = 2^{5} = 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2

Step 2: Cut the dividend in half the “power” amount.

Since 32 is equal to 2 to the power of 5, we cut in half 5 times:

224 cut in half is 112

112 cut in half is 56

56 cut in half is 28

28 cut in half is 14

14 cut in half is 7

Answer: 7

Now you are ready to divide by powers of two. Click here for more practice problems, then check your answers here.

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