Today's blog post is about fractions. Fractions can be a little tricky when you first learn them.
Fractions are made of two numbers, a numerator on top and denominator on the bottom. The best way to think of a fraction is like pieces of pie.
So if you divide a pie into 12 *equal* size pieces, and you decide you want 3 pieces, then your fraction is 3/12.
A fraction is similar to a percent. The only difference is that a percent always has 100 as the denominator. Other than that, a percent is just like a fraction with some number of pieces that you are taking out of the 100 total pieces.
In the same example above, if you had divided the pie into 100 equal pieces instead, and you decide you want 3 pieces again, then your fraction is now 3/100 or 3%.
Fractions can only be compared when the denominators are equal. I can compare 3/8 with 5/8 but I cannot compare 3/8 with 4/12 because the bottom number is different. To compare two fractions, then you need a common denominator.
Adding and Subtracting Fractions
When adding and subtracting fractions, you also follow the same rules as comparing fractions, which is that you need the same denominator.
Well, what's a common denominator, you ask?
Here's a secret I can share with you - the fastest way to find a common denominator is to multiply the first fraction denominator with the second one.
So 3/8 and 4/12, you would multiply 8 * 12 to get 96.
These can be done by multiplying numerators with numerators on top, then denominators with denominators on bottom.
For example, 3/8 * 4/3
=3*4 over 8*3, which is 12 over 24, which is 1/2.
This is the same as "multiplying by the reciprocal." So 3/8 divided by 4/3 must be rewritten as 3/8 * 3/4
The last thing I want to share with you is that when you're doing problems with fractions, the last question you want to ask yourself is - can I reduce the fraction anymore? **Never skip this step.**
If you want to know more about how to reduce fractions or any kind of math, send me an email and I'll be glad help you or your student with a "test-drive" tutoring session. Your first session is completely refundable if you're not satisfied. And as you can see from my ratings, many students are satisfied and I want you to be one of them!