What is 12/18 ?
Date: 27 Apr 1995 13:16:46 -0400 From: Jennifer La Subject: (none) Dear Dr. Math, Our third grade class is learning division and remainders. I want to ask you a math problem. 12/18 = ? From, Jennifer La
Date: 9 May 1995 22:08:48 -0400 From: Dr. Sydney Subject: Re: your mail Dear Jennifer, Hello! I'm glad you wrote to Dr. Math! Long divison is a helpful tool in figuring out problems like what is 12 divided by 18. Write out your problem like this: ____ 18|12 First notice that 12 is smaller than 18. That means that 12 divided by 18 is going to be less than one! Whenever you divide a smaller number by a larger number, you get a number that is less than one. You can think of 12/18 as being a part of a whole -- a fraction (hence the name fraction, which you may not have heard yet) of the number 1. If you were to look at a number strip, the number 12/18 would fall in between the markings for 0 and 1. That said, we should now move on to the problem. When dividing a smaller number by a bigger number, we must take a few more extra steps than we do when dividing a bigger number by a smaller number. There are several approaches we can take. One way to figure out the answer is to deal with decimal points. Write the problem like this: _____ 18|12.0 We can do this because 12 = 12.0 (If you want to know why this is, write us back!) Then write a decimal point above the 12.0 exactly above the decimal point in the 12.0. Now go ahead with long-division as if you were dividing 120 by 18. Keep pulling down 0's and repeating the divison process until you can't go any further or until a pattern emerges. If you get a pattern, you can ask your teacher or write back, and we'll tell you what that pattern means and how to write it down! I hope it goes well! Enjoy, and write back if you have any questions. --Sydney, "Dr. Math"
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