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A fraction is a way of writing part of a number. It means that you do not have a whole number, but you do have part of a number. This would be similar to a pizza. Most people would not eat a whole pizza, but they would sit down and have a slice, or part of a pizza. Fractions are an easy way of writing these parts of numbers. Typically, fractions look like this:

However, they can also look like this: 1/2. Don't get confused--whether the fraction bar in the middle is straight across, like the first example, or diagonal, like the second example, they mean the same thing. Often times, we will be using the diagonal bar when we write fractions. No matter how it is written, the top number, or numerator, is the number of pieces you have. The bottom number, or denominator, is the possible number of parts in all (total). For example, think about eating that pizza. Let’s say you were hungry and had 3 slices. If you were going to write what you ate as a fraction, the numerator would be 3 (because that is the number you have). However, there were probably 8 slices of pizza total. 8 would then be the denominator because that’s the total number of slices of the pizza. Then, you would write the fraction as 3/8 and say “I ate 3/8 of that pizza!” See? Fractions aren’t that bad.

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