Tag Archives: teaching fractions

Why do we ‘invert’ the divisor in division of fractions

The easiest (and the most common) way to teach division of fractions is to just give the rule: To divide 5/8 by 2/3, just multiply 5/8 by the reciprocal of the divisor, 2/3. That is, 5/8 ÷ 2/3 = 5/8 × 3/2 = 5×3/8×2 = 15/16. If this is all we want our students to learn why… Read More »

What are fractions and what does it mean to understand them?

Negative numbers, the irrationals, and imaginary numbers are not that easy to make sense of for many students. But this is something understandable. One only needs to check-out the histories of these numbers. The mathematicians themselves took a long time to accept and make sense of them. But fractions? How can something so natural, useful,… Read More »

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