Learning How to Read a Ruler Marked in 16ths

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When reading a ruler that is marked in 16ths, it's important to know that fractions may have to be reduced along the way. Find out how to use a 16th ruler as an eighth ruler with help from a math teacher in this free video on basic math lessons.

Part of the Video Series: Math Lessons
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Video Transcript

So how do you learn to read a ruler in sixteenth inch form? Hi, I'm Jimmy Chang. I've been teaching college math for nine years, and we have here a ruler that's going to help us read a ruler in sixteenth inch format. Now the only thing you want to keep in mind is as you're following along, you may have to reduce the fractions along the way. That's the only thing you want to keep on top of, so here we go. Now, because everything is a sixteenth notches, there's going to be sixteen ticks for every inch. So starting from the first one over here, you have the first tick which stands for one sixteenth. Now, the tick that follows that is going to be two sixteenths, but as we had discussed before you can reduce two sixteenths to one eighth. Because you can reduce the top and bottom by two. From that point on you have three sixteenths, the fourth tick is four sixteenths, but three sixteenths wasn't reducible, but four sixteenths is. From then on you resume counting, the fifth tick reverts to five sixteenths, the sixth tick, six sixteenths you can reduce that. And then working our way you will have eight ticks which is eight sixteenths which you know is one half. But you basically just follow the pattern, and for each fraction see if you can just reduce. If you can great, if not just go on to the next measurement and then continue counting from there. So I'm Jimmy Chang, and that's how you learn to read a sixteenth inch ruler.

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