Mastering Fractions in Math

Would you like one-third or two-fifths of the chocolate fudge cake at your friend's birthday party? This is just one example of fractions. Be it homework, food, or play, fractions can help lots in our everyday lives! You can tell your mum that your brother broke three-fourths of the window when playing ball and save yourself from getting all the scolding!

Mastering fractions is essential because they are an important part of everyday math. But learning them seems difficult because of the many rules that need to be followed. If children understand the use of fractions in everyday situations they will be able to learn and apply them better. In the end, there are just a few basic rules you need to remember after which fractions will become as fun as the cake you ate at the party earlier!

Fractions in Everyday Situations
Examples of how fractions are everywhere with detailed worksheets

Fraction Basics

Let's bite into the fractions basics first. A fraction is a part of a whole. If an entire pie is divided into 7 parts and you eat 5 of them, you are definitely a pie-lover because you have just eaten 5/7's of the pie!

The number on top of the fraction is called the numerator, while the number at the bottom is called the denominator. So in the earlier pie example, 5 is the numerator, while 7 is the denominator.

This example was that of a Proper Fraction, where the numerator is lesser than the denominator. Other common fractions are:

  • Equivalent Fractions: This is when two fractions represent the same number, e.g. and 4/8. Notice, if you divide both the numerator and denominator in 4/8 by 4, you end up with ! This is called simplifying the fraction. That is, dividing both the numerator and denominator by the same number.
  • Improper Fractions: These are the opposite of proper fractions. A fraction is called improper when the numerator is greater than the denominator, e.g. 5/3 or 11/7.
  • Mixed Numbers: These are another way of writing improper fractions. A mixed number is obtained by dividing the numerator of an improper fraction by the denominator. It is written as a combination of a whole number and a fraction together. Example, 7/5 can be written as 1 2/5.
  • Reciprocal Fractions: These are two fractions which when multiplied give the result 1. For example, 2/5 and 5/2.

Presentations on Fractions
Power Point Presentations on Basic Fraction Concepts

Fractions by Zeebo
Understanding Fraction and Concepts

Math is Fun
Introducing Types of Fractions and Vocabulary

Math Expressions
Understanding Fractions

Math School
Fraction Definitions

Fraction Calculations
How much of your pocket money remains if you spend a quarter of it to buy chocolates? This tells us how important it is to know how to calculate using fractions for our daily dealings. Knowing the following calculations is important:

  • Adding Fractions: In order to add two or more fractions together their denominators need to be the same. This is easy if the denominators are the same, but it becomes slightly harder if this is not the case. For example, adding 3/4 and 1/4 is easier than adding 3/6 and 1/5 because 6 and 5 do not fall in the same times table.
  • Subtraction of Fractions: The same rule as addition applies here
  • Multiplication of Fractions: Multiplying fractions is easy because all the numerators can be multiplied with each other and the denominators can be multiplied with each other. The resulting number becomes the answer. Example, 1/4 X 5/3 is 5/12.
  • Comparing Fractions: If two fractions have the same numerator, the fraction with the greater denominator is actually lesser in value. For example, 3/5 is greater than 3/7.
  • Converting Fractions to Decimals: This can be done by applying the long division method to the fraction and dividing the numerator by the denominator. Example, to convert 1/5 into a decimal we divide 1 by 5. The answer we get is 0.2.
  • Converting Decimals to Fractions: When a decimal is removed, a 1 is added to the denominator. The number of times a decimal has to be shifted to the right to make the number a whole tells us the number of zeros to be added in the denominator. This will result in a fraction which can be simplified. E.g. 0.5 becomes 5/10 which simplifies to 1/2.
  • Converting Fractions to Percentages: To convert a fraction to a percentage, just multiply it by 100!

Why are Fractions Difficult to Learn
Fractions Rules and Videos

Fraction Tools for Teachers
Simple to Advanced Teacher Tools on Fractions

Kids Fractions
An Easy Explanation of Fractions and Calculations

Math Learning
Explaining Fractions Topics

5 Important Fraction Rules

You now know the basic rules for working with fractions. In advanced fractions, you need to remember a few more rules. These rules are often quizzed on university entrance examinations! So youll be a smart kid if you perfect using these important rules right now.

  • Writing a Fraction in its Lowest Terms: This means simplifying a fraction for the final answer. The correct way of writing a fraction in its lowest terms is to divide both the numerator and denominator with a common number as many times as possible. For example, to write 2/12 in its lowest terms divide both the numerator and denominator by 2. So the correct answer is 1/6.
  • The Magic of 1: If the denominator of any fraction is simply 1, then the numerator may be written all by itself. For example, 2/1 is simply equal to 2. That's because anything divided or multiplied by 1 remains the same.
  • The Impossible Zero: How many zeros are there in 5? That's right! That is an impossible question with no answer. So a fraction when divided by 0 is not a number. Example 1/0 has no result. Also, a fraction multiplied by 0 always makes the result zero. E.g. 2x0 is 0.
  • Dividing 2 Fractions: When a fraction is divided by another fraction, the result can be obtained in 2 easy steps:
    • Take one of the fractions and turn it upside down
    • Now, multiply the remaining fractions.

Example, 3/4 divided by 2/5 is the same as 3/4 multiplied by 5/2! So the answer is 15/8.

Math Rules
Summary of Fraction Rules

Learning the Fun Way

Math will only stay in our heads with practice. We can move to other concepts related to fractions like ratios and shares only after mastering fractions! Learning fractions through games will make it easy and fun! Remember to share what youve learnt with friends and classmates and help them learn too!

Game Aquarium
An Aquarium of Fraction Games

Visual Fractions
See Fractions and Understand Better

Who wants the Pizza?
Games on Fraction Calculations

Real Help with Fractions
Helping with Fraction Rules and Usage

Worksheets on Fractions
Printable Worksheets on Fractions to Teach Students the Fun way

Fraction Games
Games about Identifying Fractions and Equivalent Fractions

Mastering Fractions
Tips, Puzzles, Classroom Ideas and Questions on Fractions

Fraction Games
11 Free Fraction Games on all Fraction Concepts

Action Fraction
Race the Car to the Finish Line by Calculating Fractions

Math Games
Online Games to Recognize Fractions

Classroom Guide to Fractions
A Guide to More Resources on Fractions and Games

Visual Fraction Games
Fractions are Better Understood When Seen

Fun Brain Fraction Games
Play Fraction Games with Fraction Jackson the Baker

Teacher Resources for Fractions
Ways in which Teachers can make their Students have Fun with Fractions

The Number of Slices Eaten in a Pie
Have Fun with Fractions by Putting the Correct Fraction


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