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Q&A #5962


Multiplying fractions

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From: Jeanne (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Mar 13, 2001 at 22:46:16
Subject: Re: Multiplying fractions

Hi,

I think Ron's and Gail's comments are great.  I'd like to add a visual
approach to helping you get the idea across.  This approach is based
upon an area model of multiplication.


Let's look at 1/2 x 1/3


Start with a rectangle.  Let it be the "whole."

      -----------
     |           |
     |           |
     |           |
     |           |
      -----------
Divide this whole in half.  The dimensions of the two resulting rectangles
are 1/2 x 1.

      -----------    
 1/2 |           |
     |___________|
     |           |
 1/2 |           |
      -----------

Now divide this whole in thirds as shown.  The dimensions of the 6 resulting 
rectangles are 1/2 x 1/3.

     1/3 1/3 1/3      
      -----------
 1/2 |   |   |   |    Each rectangle represents 1/6 of the whole.
     |___|___|___|    So,
     |   |   |   |         1     1     1
 1/2 |   |   |   |        --- x --- = ---
      -----------          2     3     6


Hope this helps.

 -Jeanne, for the T2T service

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