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Posted:
Jun 20, 1995 9:51 PM


Why do we need to teach multiplication and division of fractions?
This was the question from sross@whale.st.usm.edu.
Decimals are fractions. Do you mean to ask about fractions written with numerators and denominators or all fractions? Our base ten system makes working with decimals easier because of the place value. Not all fractions are base 10, however. In fact, there are an infinite number of fractions that are not base 10. Not teaching operations using fractions written as 4/7 (numerator and denominator format) eliminates a lot of fractions. Why not eliminate all units digits and only deal with tens? (Or eliminate all pennies  which makes economic sense.)
This means we can no longer take 1/3 or 1/7 of anything. Does this make sense? Are we going to restrict our world to fractions that convert to terminating decimals? Eileen Schoaff Buff State (NOT a nudist school)



