Introduction to Fractions

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In order to understand fractions, people need to understand how whole numbers work. Find out how fractions are used for comparisons with help from a math teacher in this free video on fractions in math.

Part of the Video Series: Fractions & Proportions
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So if you've never seen a fraction before, how do you introduce it in a very easy fashion? Hi, I'm Jimmy Chang, I've been teaching college math for 9 years now and fractions are almost a branch of math in and of themselves in that fractions just seem a little bit intimidating primarily because of the way it's setup. So one thing when it comes to introducing folks to fractions is make sure that folks understand how whole numbers work. So make sure they have a really strong understanding as to how whole numbers are. This means 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 so on and so fourth. And then, what fractions are is actually a comparison of one number over another. It is a ratio if you will. Now what you can do first is explain that any two numbers can be written as a fraction whether it be 4 over 2, 3 over 7, 10 over 9, so on and so fourth but then when it comes to the basic levels of math, it might be helpful to use some money examples or some food examples. For example, take a dollar bill. We know dollar bills, 5 dollar bills, they're all considered whole numbers but when it comes to introducing fractions with money for the first time, use coins and explain to them that each coin represents a certain fraction of a dollar bill. So for example, a quarter is one fourth of a dollar. A dime is 10 cents so it's 10 out of 100. Now if you wanted to use food for example, you can use a whole pie or a whole pizza and slice it into many different pieces and explain to them how fractions work that way. So if you slice a pie in half, you have one half and one half or if you slice a pie into 4 pieces, then each piece would be one fourth. Those would be some really good introduction levels to introduce fractions especially for those numbers that are less than 1. But as long as you pick the practical scenarios they can relate to, you should be able to introduce folks to fractions very easily. So, I'm Jimmy and those are some tips as to how to introduce folks to fractions.

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