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We have begun to study the concept of multiplying fractions. My gifted 4th graders have discovered how to fold paper and to see relationships of fractions of fractions. They can easily color in 1/2 of a paper and then color 1/3 of that 1/2 to see that 1/3 of 1/2 = 1/6. However, a few children do not understand why we multiply the numerators and the denominators. (ex. 1/2 of 1/4 = 1/2 *1/4 = 1/8) They do not get the idea of multiplying since in whole number operations we think of multiplying as a short cut for addition. How do I help them make connections?
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