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Understanding Equal Shares: Exploring the Meaning of “Equal”
To truly grasp the concept of equal shares, let’s first delve into the essence of the term “equal.” What does it really mean? “Equal” signifies having the same amount, number, value, shape, or size as something else.
To illustrate, consider the image below. In this figure, both baskets contain an equal number of apples. Each basket holds 7 apples in total.
Equal Shares in Mathematics: Unraveling the Concept
By dividing a whole entity or a group of objects into equal parts, we arrive at what we call equal shares. In order to achieve equal distribution, we divide an object or a number into equal parts. These parts must have the same measurements in terms of weight, volume, dimensions, numbers, and so on. Therefore, equal shares serve as a fundamental strategy to teach the concept of division.
Take a look at the image below. It demonstrates the concept of equal shares through the division of a pie into four equal parts:
Defining Equal Shares: Breaking Down the Concept
Dividing a number or a collection of objects into smaller, equal groups is referred to as equal sharing. This scenario occurs when we are aware of the number being divided and the number of groups, but we do not yet know the number of items in each group or the size of each group.
For example, let’s consider a scenario where we have 8 balloons to be distributed among 4 kids. How many balloons will each kid receive?
Number to be divided = 8
Number of groups = 4
Size of each group = Number of balloons each kid gets = ?
We can determine the size of each group by dividing 8 by 2:
8 divided by 4 equals 2. The quotient is 2.
Thus, there will be 4 equal shares, with each kid receiving 2 balloons.
Equal Shares vs. Equal Groups: Spotting the Differences
In the context of equal grouping, we know the number being divided and the size of each group, but we are unsure of how many groups will be formed.
Let’s use the same example: 8 balloons are distributed among kids in such a way that each kid receives 2 balloons. How many kids are there?
Here, the number to be divided is 8, and the size of each group is 2.
To find the number of groups, we divide 8 by 2:
8 divided by 2 equals 4. The quotient is 4.
Therefore, there will be 2 equal groups of 4.
In summary, equal sharing focuses on the number of shared objects in each group, while equal grouping centers around the number of groups formed.
Equal Shares of a Group of Objects: A Closer Look
When shares are equal, each share or group contains the same number of objects. We refer to these groups as “equal groups.” The concept of equal shares can be demonstrated using various methods, depending on the desired number of shares or portions.
For instance, suppose we have 10 kites, and we want to distribute them equally. One way to divide them equally is as follows:
 There are 10 kites in total.
 We have 5 groups.
 Each group consists of 2 kites.
 Therefore, 5 groups with 2 kites each results in a total of 10 kites.
Another method can be observed below:
 There are 10 kites in total.
 We have 2 groups.
 Each group contains 5 kites.
 Accordingly, 2 groups with 5 kites each results in a total of 10 kites.
Now, let’s examine some examples and nonexamples of equal shares of a group of objects:
Equal Shares of a Whole: Dividing and Conquering
We can also create equal shares of a whole by dividing it into equal parts. A whole can be divided horizontally, vertically, or diagonally to achieve equal shares. A classic example of equal shares is cutting a pizza or a cake into equal slices.
Consider the image below showcasing equal shares of a pizza and a cake:
Let’s further solidify this concept with another example:
Example: Distribute 1 cake equally among 4 friends.
To divide 1 cake among 4 people, we represent the division using the fraction 1/4. Each friend receives onefourth share of the cake, or equivalently, one portion of the four equal portions.
Equal Shares of a Shape: Examples and NonExamples
Let’s observe some examples and nonexamples of equal shares of a shape, using images to aid our understanding. We will focus on dividing circles, rectangles, and squares into equal parts.
Fun Facts: Discovering Intriguing Insights
 Equal shares, when combined, result in the whole.
 Equal shares can be applied to divide either a single object or a group of objects equally.
 The outcome of an equal share can sometimes be a fraction.
Conclusion: Grasping the Concept of Equal Shares
In summary, equal shares refer to dividing an object or shape into equal parts. These equal parts can take various forms, such as circles, squares, rectangles, etc. Moreover, they can be grouped in diverse ways.
The concept of equal shares is typically introduced in the first and second grades, proving highly beneficial in learning division and how to divide objects equally.
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Solved Examples on Equal Share: Practical Application

If we distribute one whole pizza equally among 8 friends, how much pizza will each friend get?
Solution: To divide 1 large pizza among 8 friends, we represent the division using the fraction 1/8. This means that each friend receives oneeighth share of the pizza or one portion of the eight equal portions.

How does shape A differ from shape B?
Solution: Upon examining shape A, we can observe that it is divided into 2 equal parts, whereas shape B is not divided equally into 4 parts.

Shane has 12 muffins. He wants to divide them equally between himself and his two friends, Ben and Ray. How can he share the muffins equally?
Solution: To divide the 12 muffins equally, Shane needs to divide them into 3 equal shares.
Given that 12 divided by 3 equals 4, each person will receive 4 muffins.

June has 20 apples. She wants to divide them equally into different boxes. Provide two ways she can arrange the 20 apples equally in the boxes.
Solution: There are two ways June can distribute the 20 apples equally:

First way: Two equal shares
 The 20 apples can be arranged in 2 boxes, each containing 10 apples.

Second way: Four equal shares
 Since 20 divided by 4 equals 5, the 20 apples can be arranged in 4 boxes, each containing 5 apples.


Which of the following shapes show unequal shares?
Solution: Upon observing shape A, we can determine that it is not divided equally.