Simple Ways to Do Fractions

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A basic way to learn fractions is by using them in ways that can be related to, such as scenarios involving currency. Discover how to use food to learn about uncommon denominators 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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Video Transcript

So, what are some simple ways to do fractions? Hi, I'm Jimmy Chang. I've been teaching college mathematics for nine years now, and the word simple, and fractions, don't exactly go together, but if you want a basic place to start, it might be good to use some scenarios, of which you can relate to. Now, one common scenario is that of money, particularly when it comes to fractions, coins are a great place to start, because coins are exactly that, fractions of a dollar, so for example, let's just say you have a quarter. We know a quarter is a quarter of a dollar, but what you can do, is use this as a starting point, to use common denominator fractions. Now, we know a dollar, is a hundred cents, and a quarter we know is twenty five cents, so what you can do, is express a quarter as twenty five over a hundred, and then teach them to reduce to one over four. Same thing, with that of a dime. A dime we know is ten cents out of a possible hundred, because for every hundred cents, there's a dollar, and then you could reduce the fractions from ten over a hundred, to one over ten, and you can repeat that for all other coins, in the US currency. Show them the number over a hundred, and then reduce if possible, to other denominators, so that's a simple way to learn fractions. Something else is food. Food is a great way to learn and solve fractions, in a simple way. If you're looking for the same common denominator, then what you want to do, is slice the food, or cut the food, into equal parts. That will guarantee you equal and common denominators, but if you want your students to learn uncommon denominators, force them to find the least common denominator between the different fractions, then slice the food up into various unequal parts. That will force them to take a fraction, and take another unequal fraction and force them to add unlikely fractions, to where they will have to find the least common denominator, but as long as you're talking about scenarios that you can relate to, solving fractions would be a lot easier, so I'm Jimmy, and there are some simple ways to solve fractions.


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