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Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Dividing fractions

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From: Nina

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2000052312:10:55
Subject: Re: Dividing fractions

I was just discussing this with a colleague. One approach to how the mechanics work is this: For the question 1/2 divided by 2/3, for instance, write the division as a fraction ("1/2 over 2/3). Now, wouldn't it be nice to make this equivalent to some number over one? Then you'd know what the answer was. (In other terms, a ratio of something to one rather than of one fraction to another.) What can you multiply the denominator (2/3) by to get one? 3/2, of course. When you multiply the denominator by 3/2, you must also multiply the numerator by 3/2, in order for this ratio (or fraction) to be equal to the original one. When both the numerator and denominator are multiplied by 3/2, you get (1/2 * 3/2) over one, or 3/4, the answer to the original division. I hope this helps! Nina

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