Q&A #5962

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Multiplying fractions

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From: Debra

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2005071922:04:26
Subject: explain why we multipy to find the half of a recipe

I liked the posts by Gail instructing us to translate the "of" (eg 1/2
of 1/4) into multplication.

But we get into a confusion of language usage of the word "divide"
when we're trying to find the fraction of a fraction in a recipe.

For example: if a recipe calls for 1/2 spoon of salt.  How much salt
do we need for half a recipe?  In colloquial speech, one might say,
"divide the recipe in half."  Thus erroneous creating a division of
fractions rather than multplication.  How do we know when a word
problem requires multiplication or division?	

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