Fractions: The Basics

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What are fractions? The basics – This video covers the basics of fractions beginning with the definition of the numerator and the denominator. Simple examples are given to illustrate that fractions are a way of describing proportion. There follows an explanation of how a fraction also represents a division calculation.

Equivalent fractions – The explanation begins by looking at three squares each with the same proportion shaded in green. The video continues to explain that the same proportion can be described using different, equivalent fractions. The next section shows how to generate a series of equivalent fractions.

Writing a fraction in its simplest form – Looks at how fractions can be written in their simplest form. Students need to be familiar with equivalent fractions. The video explains how to cancel down fractions by dividing the numerator and denominator by the same amount.

Comparing the size of fractions – Beginning with a simple example where the two fractions have the same denominator, the examples progress to examples where one denominator is a multiple of the other. Equivalent fractions are used to make the denominators the same. Further examples include placing four fractions in order, one using equivalent fractions, a second by converting the fractions to decimals.

Calculating a fraction of an amount – The explanation begins by showing how to find a quarter of sixteen. A pictorial representation is used to aid understanding. The video continues by explaining how to find three fifths of twenty. Again a diagram is used as part of the explanation. The next two examples are completed using only numbers and no diagrams.

The videos are produced by MathsMaster.org

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