Ability to understand the nature of fraction numbers is very important as numbers in fraction form will appear in any topics all the time. Today I’m gonna share with you on some tips that might help students to understand the fraction numbers.

1. Between 1/2 and 4/7, which number is larger than the other?

  • Find the difference between the denominator and numerator for each fraction number. In the case of 1/2, the difference is 2-1=1, whereas for 4/7, the difference is 7-4=3. The number that has a larger difference indicates a lower value while the smaller difference represents the higher value. As such, 1/2 is larger than 4/7; OR alternatively
  • Convert both fraction numbers so that it has the same value of denominators. In this case, 2 and 7 share a common multiple of 14.  As such, 1/2 = 7/14 and 4/7 = 8/14. Since both numbers share the same value of a denominator, then the number with a higher value of numerator is larger than the other.

2. Generally, 1 2/5 is also known as 7/5, if we convert the mixed number into an improper fraction number. However, students ought to know that 1 2/5 can also be written as 1 + 2/5.

3. An ordinary integer can be written into various forms of fraction numbers. For example:

  • 5 = 5/1 and
  • 7 = 6 + (5/5 or 3/3 or 11/11 etc…as long as the numerator is equal the denominator while the principal number is deducted by 1)

4. Most students can understand the simplification process of a fraction number, for example 3/6 = 1/3 but what amused me, they find it hard to understand the multiplication process of a fraction number, say 2/3 x 9/10. 

2/3 and 9/10 are 2 different fraction numbers that can’t be simplified any further. However in the multiplication process, we can still exchange the 2 numerators as follows:

 2/3 x 9/10 = 9/3 x 2/10

                     = 3/1 x 1/5

                     = 3/5

Normal method of calculation can be seen from the example shown below