Understanding Fractions


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Learn How To Become An Expert In Fractions, How To Identify Whole-part, Quotient And Ratios

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Understanding Fractions

  1. 1. Learn How To Become An Expert In Fractions, How To Identify Whole-part, Quotient And Ratios Anna Perkins
  2. 2. They are simply fractions! Fractions are easy to understand, but can prove to be quite difficult, especially for first time learners. But that doesn't mean that you can be an expert in handling fractions. In fact, all the people who feel at ease with fractions started from the scratches, they didn't understand a thing at first. Then their teachers taught them simple methods (like the one I am giving you right now) and so they became well conversant with fractions.
  3. 3. A fraction describes a small part of a whole thing when cut into equal parts. Say you cut an orange into two equal halves, then one part will be described as 1/2 of the whole fruit.
  4. 4. Fractions can also be used to describe parts of a small group. Let's take an example: we have 3 oranges and 4 apples. Then you might be asked, what fraction of the group are apples? In this case, the fraction of apples is 4/7 of the group. In other words, there are 7 parts and 4 apples.
  5. 5. Still working on our sample, it's clear that the oranges form 3/7 of the whole group. These are fractions that are not one whole, they describe a part of the whole.
  6. 6. There are 3 types of fractions.  Part-whole  Quotient  Ratio All these are covered in most elementary school text books, so you shouldn't worry.
  7. 7.  For example, a fraction such as 1/4 is an indication that one whole has been divided into 4 equal parts. The division symbol ''/'' tells you that everything above is the numerator* and anything below is the denominator*. Both the numerator and denominator must be treated as whole numbers.  Numerator tells you how many parts we are talking about.  Denominator talks about how many parts the whole has been divided into. So a fraction like 4/7 tells us that we are looking into 4 parts of a whole that has been divided into 7 equal parts.
  8. 8. The fraction 2/3 may be considered as a quotient 2 divided by 3. In other words, you are dividing up 2 by 3. For instance: Supposing we are giving some cookies to 3 people. Well, we could distribute each cookie to one person at a time until the process was complete. Now, if we had 6 cookies, then we could represent this situation using simple math in the form of dividing 6 by 3. It's clear that each person will get two.
  9. 9. One way of solving this problem is to divide each cookie into 3 equal parts and giving each person 1/3 of each cookie, so that each person ends up with 1/3+1/3 or 2/3 cookies in the end. In other words, it's 2 divided by 3.
  10. 10. You can compare 2 things in terms of ratio. There are two ways to go about it. We have the old fashioned method of writing ratios in the form of a:b, which is pronounced as ''a is to b''. However, newer versions of text books state it as a/b. So if this ration of ''a'' to ''b'' is 1 to 4, then ''a'' is said to be one quarter of ''b''. In other words, ''b'' is 4 times greater as ''a''.
  11. 11. For instance, the width of a rectangular shape is 7cm and length 19cm. Now, the ratio of its width to length is 7cm to 19cm, or 7/19. Since we are comparing cm to cm, there's no need of writing the units. Alternatively, the ratio of its length to width is 19 to 7.
  12. 12. Generally, understanding fractions is very easy. A teacher may use shapes and real objects to help explain to the student how fractions work. They may divide the objects into equal parts and ask students to write the fractions down. Usually, this is the simplest way to go about how to understand fractions.