Identifying Fractions

Instructor: Mark Boster
If you were told that you could have 1/4 of the pizza with 8 total slices, do you know what that means? How many slices would that be? Well if you are not sure, you better learn about fractions and what each part of the fraction means!

Animal Crackers

Sharon loves animal crackers! Yum! She opened a small bag of them. There were 5 elephants, 3 camels, and 2 ducks total. She was excited since there were a lot of elephants as these are her favorite! She wanted to write a letter to her father telling him what she had done that day. She also wanted to include the information about her animal crackers, but didn't quite how to put it. Can you help her?

Animal Crackers

Parts of a Fraction

The Denominator

Fractions have two parts, the denominator and numerator. The denominator is the bottom number in a fraction, so it goes down on the bottom below the fraction line or bar. This is easy to remember because denominator and down both begin with the letter 'd'.

The denominator tells how many there are all together. In this case, the denominator would be 10 because there were 10 animal crackers total. Remember there were 5 elements + 3 camels + 2 ducks = 10 animal crackers altogether.

The Numerator

Now let's talk about the numerator. Where do you think this number goes? Well, the only place left is on top of the fraction line or bar. So the numerator goes on top, and the denominator goes down below the fraction bar. The numerator tells us how many pieces out of the whole there are. Let's learn more about the numerator as we create fractions!

Creating Fractions

How Many Animal Crackers are Elephants?

If we used Sharon's animal crackers and looked only at the elephants, there are 5 elephants. So, how do we create a fraction to tell us how many of the animal crackers were elephants? Well there were 5 elephants, so 5 is the numerator. Remember, there were 10 animal crackers total! So the denominator is 10. After placing the numerator of 5 on top of the fraction bar, and the denominator of 10 below the fraction bar, we have the fraction 5 / 10. This fraction is pronounced five-tenths!

What About Camels?

Now look at the camels in her animal crackers. What would that fraction be? Well, there still are 10 crackers, right? No one ate any, yet! So, 10 is the denominator. Of all 10 of the animal crackers, there were 3 camels. So 3 is the numerator! The fraction is 3/10. This fraction is pronounced three-tenths.

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