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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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