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INTRODUCTION TO FRACTIONS MSJC ~ San Jacinto Campus Math Center Workshop Series Janice Levasseur

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Introduction to Fractions A fraction represents the number of equal parts of a whole Fraction = numerator (up North) denominator (Down south) = numerator/denominator Numerator = # of equal parts Denominator = # of equal parts that make up a whole

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Example: My husband and I ordered a large Papa John’s pizza. The large pizza is cut into 8 (equal) slices. If my husband ate 3 slices, then he ate 3/8 of the pizza

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Types of Fractional Numbers A proper fraction is a fraction whose value is less than 1 (numerator < denominator) An improper fraction is a fraction whose value is greater than or equal to 1 (numerator > denominator) A mixed number is a number whose value is greater than 1 made up of a whole part and a fraction part

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Converting Between Fraction Types Any integer can be written as an improper fraction Any improper fraction can be written as a mixed number Any mixed number can be written as an improper fraction

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Integer Improper Fraction The fraction bar also represents division The denominator is the divisor The numerator is the dividend The original integer (number) is the quotient To write an integer as a division problem, what do we divide a number by to get the number? One... n = n/1

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Ex: Write 17 as an improper fraction 17 = 17 / ? 17 divided by what is 17? 1 Therefore, 17 = 17 / 1

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Improper Fraction Mixed Number Denominator: tells us how many parts make up a whole Numerator: tells us how many parts we have How many wholes can we make out of the parts we have? Divide the numerator by the denominator the quotient is the whole part How many parts do we have remaining? The remainder (over the denominator) makes up the fraction part

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Ex: Write 11/8 as a mixed number. How many parts make up a whole?8 Draw a whole with 8 parts: How many parts do we have?11 To represent 11/8 we must shade 11 parts... But we only have 8 parts. Therefore, draw another whole with 8 parts... Keep shading This is what 11/8 looks like.

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Given the representation of 11/8, how many wholes are there? 1 Dividing 11 parts by 8 will tell us how many wholes we can make: 11/8 = The remainder tells us how much of another whole we have left: 1 R ? 1 R 3 Since 8 parts make a whole, we have 3/8 left. Therefore, 11/8 = 1 3/8.

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Mixed Number Improper Fraction Denominator: tells us how many parts make up a whole. Chop each whole into that many parts. How many parts do we get? Multiply the whole number by the denominator. Numerator: tells us how many parts we already have. How many parts do we now have in total? Add the number of parts we get from chopping the wholes to the number of parts we already have Form the improper fraction: # of parts # of parts that make a whole

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Ex: Write 2 5/8 as an improper fraction. Draw the mixed number Looking at the fraction, how many parts make up a whole? 8 Chop each whole into 8 pieces. How many parts do we now have? = 8 * = 21 = parts from whole + original parts

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Therefore 2 5/8 = 21/8

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Finding Equivalent Fractions Equal fractions with different denominators are called equivalent fractions. Ex: 6/8 and 3/4 are equivalent.

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The Magic One We can find equivalent fractions by using the Multiplication Property of 1: for any number a, a * 1 = 1 * a = a (magic one) We will just disguise the form of the magic one Do you agree that 2/2 = 1? How about 3/3 = 1? 4/4 = 1? 25/25 = 1? 17643/17643 = 1? 1 has many different forms... 1 = n/n for any n not 0

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Ex: Find another fraction equivalent to 1/3 1/3 = 1/3 * 1We can write 1/3 many ways just be using the Magic One = 1/3 * 2/2 = 2/6 1/3 = 1/3 * 1 = 1/3 * 3/3 = 3/9 or

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Ex: Find a fraction equivalent to ½ but with a denominator of 8 1/2 = 1/2 * 1We can write 1/2 many ways just be using the Magic One. We want a particular denominator – 8. What can we multiply 2 by to get 8? = 1/2 * 4/4 = 4/8 4 so choose the form of the Magic One Notice:

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Ex: Find a fraction equivalent to 2/3 but with a denominator 12 2/3 = 2/3 * 1We can write 2/3 many ways just be using the Magic One. We want a particular denominator – 12. What can we multiply 3 by to get 12? = 2/3 * 4/4 = 8/12 4 so choose the form of the Magic One

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Simplest Form of a Fraction A fraction is in simplest form when there are no common factors in the numerator and the denominator.

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Ex: Simplest Form Ex: 6/8 and 3/4 are equivalent The fraction 6/8 is written in simplest form as 3/4 ===1 x Magic one

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Ex: Write 12/42 in simplest form First prime factor the numerator and the denominator: 12 = 2 x 2 x 3 and 42 = 2 x 3 x 7 Look for Magic Ones Simplify ===1 x = Notice: 2 x 3 = 6 = GCF(12, 42) factoring (dividing) out the GCF will simplify the fraction

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Ex: Write 7/28 in simplest form What is the GCF(7, 28)? –Hint: prime factor 7 = 7 – prime factor 28 = 2 x 2 x 7 ===1 x= Dividing out the GCF from the numerator and denominator simplifies the fraction. = 7

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Ex: Write 27/56 in simplest form What is the GCF(27, 56)? –Hint: prime factor 27 = 3 x 3 x 3 – prime factor 56 = 2 x 2 x 2 x 7 There is no common factor to the numerator and denominator (other than 1) = 1 Therefore, 27/56 is in simplest form.

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