Fractions

What is a fraction?      Numerators and Denominators

A fraction is a part of a whole. It is when something is divided into equal parts.

It is vitally important that your child understands exactly what a fraction is.

I normally use cakes, pies or pizzas to help students visualise this. I draw a circle to represent the cake, usually a chocolate cake and draw a line through it dividing it in two. How many equal pieces are there? ... 2 What do we call each piece? ... a half.
How would we write this? ... ½.

I then try to get them to explain why we write ½ - what does it actually mean?

If they had ½, then the '1' would be number of equal parts that they had and
'2' would be the total number of parts that would make up the whole cake.

They have 1 part out of a total of 2 parts. 1 out of 2.

I then draw another cake, divide it into four and shade in their part.

How many equal pieces are there? ... 4    What do we call each piece?... a quarter . 
How would we write this? ... ¼.

Why do we write ¼ - what does it actually mean?

If they had ¼, then the '1' would be number of equal parts that they had and
'4' would be the total number of parts that would make up the whole cake.

They have 1 part out of a total of 4 parts. 1 out of 4.

Continue this with 1/3's, 1/8's, 1/10's etc until they really understand that the top number is the 'number of equal parts in the fraction' and that the bottom number is the 'total number of equal parts that make up the whole'.

Then draw a circle, divide it into four and shade in three sections.
How many equal pieces are shaded? ... 3    What do we call each piece?... a quarter . 
How would we write this? ... ¾.

If they had ¾, then the '3' would be number of equal parts that they had and
'4' would be the total number of parts that would make up the whole cake.

They have 3 parts out of a total of 4 parts. 3 out of 4. Three quarters.

Continue this with 2/3's, 3/8's, 7/10's etc again until they really understand that the top number is the 'number of equal parts in the fraction' and that the bottom number is the 'total number of equal parts that make up the whole'.

I know that we are repeating the same thing over and over, but they will get quicker at it.

This online resource Interactive Fractions from 'Maths is Fun' will help.Interactive Fractions - Online Resource

This Fraction worksheet from Primary Resources is excellent practice.
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The top number is called the Numerator and is the number of equal
parts in the fraction.

The bottom number is called the Denominator and is the total number of
equal parts in the whole.

Remember these names - think of D for down or 'Downominator'

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These basic worksheets are good to practice working out fractions

Fractions for Beginners     Fractions 1   

and this Fractions Poster from Primary Resources is a good memory aid.

Also try this Match the Fraction animation from 'Maths is Fun'

Algebra, Rearranging Equations  Proper, Improper and Mixed Numbers  Proper Fractions, Improper Fractions and Mixed Numbers







CAT4 / 12 Pus papers