Back To Course

Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

{{courseNav.course.topics.length}} chapters | {{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}} lessons | {{course.flashcardSetCount}} flashcard set{{course.flashcardSetCoun > 1 ? 's' : ''}}

Instructor:
*Kathleen Laib*

I have been a teacher for 10 years with eight of those years teaching 4th grade. I have a master's of Ed and an ELL Endorsement.

This lesson explains how to find the simplest form of a fraction. It not only builds the math skills necessary to find simplest form, but also puts simplest form into a real-life example.

Simplest form is really just about making a fraction simple, and what is simpler than smaller numbers? Finding the simplest form of a fraction means you are trying to make the numbers that make up the fraction--the **numerator** (top number) and **denominator** (bottom number)--as small as possible while still keeping the value of the fraction the same. In other words, you are finding the smallest possible equivalent fraction.

To find equivalent fractions, you need to multiply or divide by a fraction that is equivalent to 1. For example, 2/2, 3/3, 10/10, or 5/5 are all equivalent to 1, because you have all of the pieces you need to make the whole. Why do we need to use a fraction that's equivalent to 1? Because anytime you multiply or divide by 1, the amount doesn't change, so our new fraction will be equivalent to the original.

In finding the simplest form, our goal is to make both the numerator and denominator as small as possible. So, we want to divide by a fraction equivalent to 1. (Multiplying would make the original fraction larger, which is not what we want when simplifying.)

Let's say your mom makes a pan of brownies and cuts it into 12 equal pieces. She says you can have the ENTIRE pan of brownies--but you have to share it equally with two friends. She tricked you, but you still get a whole lot of brownies!

You start handing out brownies among you and your two friends until all the brownies are gone. Each person ends up with 4 brownies. To turn this into a fraction, we would say that each person gets 4/12 of the pan of brownies, because there were 12 brownies in the whole pan and each person received 4 of those brownies.

Now, let's find the simplest form of our fraction. To find simplest form, you need to divide by a fraction equivalent to 1. But which one? The first step is to make a factor list for the numerator and a factor list for the denominator. (Remember, factors of a given number are all the numbers you could multiply together to get that given number.) From those lists, find the greatest common factor.

For our brownie fraction, 4/12, you would list all the factors that make up 4 and 12, like this:

The greatest common factor among 4 and 12 is 4. This will tell you what fraction equivalent to 1 needs to be used: 4/4. Now, simply divide the fraction:

After we find the equivalent fraction, we always want to check that the numerator and denominator don't have any other common factors. If not, then you have found the simplest form of your fraction! (Note that 1 doesn't count as a common factor, because 1 is a factor of every number. In fact, another sign that a fraction is in simplest form is if the numerator is 1!)

Finding the simplest form of a fraction means you are trying to make the numbers that make up the fraction as small as possible while still keeping the value of the fraction the same. To find simplest form, you first have to find the greatest common factor that is shared by both the numerator and denominator. Then, divide both the numerator and the denominator of the fraction you are trying to convert to simplest form by the greatest common factor you found.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.

Create your account

Are you a student or a teacher?

Already a member? Log In

BackWhat teachers are saying about Study.com

Already registered? Log in here for access

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

You are viewing lesson
Lesson
23 in chapter 3 of the course:

Back To Course

Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

{{courseNav.course.topics.length}} chapters | {{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}} lessons | {{course.flashcardSetCount}} flashcard set{{course.flashcardSetCoun > 1 ? 's' : ''}}

- Comparing Fractions: Lesson for Kids
- Equivalent Fractions: Lesson for Kids
- How to Add Fractions: Lesson for Kids
- Fractions Games for Kids
- Fractions to Decimals: Lesson for Kids
- Fractions: Lesson for Kids
- Numerator & Denominator Lesson for Kids
- Decimals: Lesson for Kids
- Multiplying Fractions by Whole Numbers: Lesson for Kids 3:04
- How to Simplify Fractions: Lesson for Kids
- Improper Fractions: Lesson for Kids
- What is a Benchmark Fraction on a Number Line? 3:48
- How to Add Mixed Fractions with Different Denominators
- Multiplying Compound Fractions
- Simplifying Compound Fractions
- Dividing Compound Fractions
- Adding Compound Fractions
- Subtracting Compound Fractions
- How to Subtract Fractions with Variables
- Multiplying Fractions with Like Denominators
- Subtracting Fractions with Like Denominators
- Reducing Fractions: Rules & Practice
- Definition of Simplest Form: Lesson for Kids
- How to Subtract Fractions with Unlike Denominators
- Rules for Subtracting Fractions
- Rules for Multiplying Fractions
- Rules for Dividing Fractions
- Ordering Fractions on a Number Line
- Locating Fractions on a Number Line
- How to Add & Subtract Two Fractions with Like Denominators
- How to Find Equivalent Fractions on a Number Line
- How to Subtract Mixed Fractions with Unlike Denominators
- Go to Fractions for Elementary School

- 7th Grade Math: Homeschool Curriculum
- 8th Grade Math: Homeschool Curriculum
- 7th Grade Life Science: Homeschool Curriculum
- 8th Grade Language Arts: Homeschool Curriculum
- 6th Grade Math: Homeschool Curriculum
- Creating a Positive Classroom Environment
- Modern American Poetry
- MTLE Middle Level Science: Overview of Light
- MTLE Middle Level Science: Classification in Science
- MTLE Middle Level Science: Basic Genetics
- CEOE Test Retake Policy
- Study.com Customer Service FAQs: Login, Cost & Support Email
- Study.com Refund: How to Request a Refund from Study.com
- California Real Estate Exam Dates
- How to Study for the FSA Exam
- FSA Test Cost
- How to Pass the FSA Reading Test

- Rococo Fashion: History, Period & Terms
- Effects of Advertising on Children
- SQL Data Types: REAL, FLOAT & DOUBLE
- Ethics of Journalism: Definition, Code & Importance
- Friday Night Lights Book Discussion Questions
- War Brides by Helen Bryan Discussion Questions
- Ocean Surface Circulation: Patterns, Speed & Direction
- Quiz & Worksheet - History of Furniture Design
- Quiz & Worksheet - Character of Beowulf
- Quiz & Worksheet - Neolithic Way of Life
- Flashcards - Real Estate Marketing Basics
- Flashcards - Promotional Marketing in Real Estate
- Math Lesson Plans
- Self-Awareness Teaching Resources

- AEPA Economics (AZ035): Practice & Study Guide
- Excel: Skills Development & Training
- Information Systems: Help and Review
- Western Civilization From 1648 to Today: Certificate Program
- AP Calculus AB: Exam Prep
- Enterprise Business Systems: Tutoring Solution
- Basic Arithmetic Calculations
- Quiz & Worksheet - Practice Analyzing Dialogue in Written Works
- Quiz & Worksheet - Fetal Dystocia
- Quiz & Worksheet - Life Cycle of Ferns
- Quiz & Worksheet - Life Cycle of Angiosperms
- Quiz & Worksheet - How to Analyze Settings in Literature

- What Are Phytochemicals? - Definition, Foods, Benefits & Examples
- Self-Esteem Issues in Adults with ADHD
- Addition Math Games
- Florida Alternative Teacher Certification
- How to Pass the Chemistry Regents Exam
- Engineering Scholarships for High School Seniors
- Writing Competitions for Kids
- Math Riddles for Kids
- Romeo and Juliet Act 5 Lesson Plan
- Engineering Degrees 101
- Tips for Learning French
- How to Write a Personal Statement for Law School

- Tech and Engineering - Videos
- Tech and Engineering - Quizzes
- Tech and Engineering - Questions & Answers

Browse by subject