Q&A #5936

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Fractions

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From: dog

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2004030313:26:29
Subject: Re: fractions

When converting improper fractions, you are renaming the fraction into
wholes and parts.  To find the correct number of wholes, the numerator
must be divided by the denominator.  However, if the student is not
quick with their division and multiplication facts, this step becomes
hard to "see."  I ask my students to envision the denominator value as
the "hole" that needs to be filled.  The numerator is the "dirt" going
into the hole.  If you have an improper fraction like 34/15, you would
envision a 15 foot hole and 32 feet of dirt.  Ask yourself, "How many
holes can I fill?"  Two holes can be filled, with 4 feet of dirt left
sitting in an unfilled hole...Got the visual?  You can then rename
34/15 as two (w)holes and 4/15 (the dirt in the hole that doesn't
quite fill it).  Eventually, you can ask them, "How many 15's are in
34?" and use the responses in their correct form...2 with 4 parts
remaining...also known as...2 and 4/15

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