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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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Instructor:
*Allison Petrovic*

Allison has experience teaching high school and college mathematics and has a master's degree in mathematics education.

In this lesson, we will learn how to reduce fractions by using an example with M&M's! We will see how important the greatest common factor is when reducing fractions.

M&M's are one of my favorite candies. As I open my bag of M&M's, I count 25 pieces of candy. Counting by color, I have 10 blue M&M's. I want to create a fraction to show how many blue M&M's that I have. I remember that a fraction needs a **numerator** and a **denominator**. The numerator, number on top, tells us how many parts out of the whole that we have. The denominator, number on the bottom, tells us how many we have as a whole.

When setting up a fraction to show how many blue M&M's I have, the number of blue M&M's is the numerator. So the numerator would be 10. The total number of M&M's is the denominator. The denominator would be 25. My fraction of blue M&M's would be 10/25. The fraction 10/25 can be reduced! We need to go over one definition before we learn the steps to reducing fractions.

Remember that a factor is a number that goes into another number evenly. Look at the number 8. We know that 2x4=8. We can say that the numbers 2 and 4 are both factors of 8.

The **greatest common factor** is the largest number that goes into two numbers. Look at the numbers 8 and 12. We first need to look at all of the factors of both numbers. Then we can find the largest factor that they have in common!

Look at 8 first. We know that 1 x 8 = 8 and 2 x 4 = 8. So the factors of 8 are 1, 2, 4, and 8. Now let's look at 12. We know that 1 x 12 = 12, 2 x 6 = 12, and 3 x 4 = 12. So the factors of 12 are 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12.

Now we have to see what factors they have in common. Looking at our two lists of factors, both numbers have factors of 1, 2, and 4. Now we just find the greatest of the common factors, and we have the greatest common factor! So we can say that 4 is the great common factor of 8 and 12!

Now that you can find the greatest common factor, you can use just two easy steps to reduce a fraction.

Find the greatest common factor of the numerator and denominator. For our fraction of blue M&M's, we have a numerator of 10 and denominator of 25. Let's find all the factors of the numerator of 10 first. We know that 1 x 10 = 10 and 2 x 5 = 10. So the factors of 10 are 1, 2, 5, and 10. Now let's find all the factors of 25. We know that 1 x 25 = 25 and 5 x 5 = 25. Now we can see which factors 10 and 25 have in common. It looks like 1 and 5 are the only common factors. So the greatest common factor of 10 and 25 is 5!

Divide the numerator and denominator by the greatest common factor. So, for our fraction, we will divide the numerator of 10 by the greatest common factor of 5. So we have 10 divided by 5 is 2. We also divide the denominator of 25 by the greatest common factor of 5. So we have 25 divided by 5 is 5. We can say that 10/25 can be reduced to 2/5!

Reducing a fraction is so simple that it only takes two steps. First, you have to find the **greatest common factor** of the numerator and denominator. Second, all you do is divide the numerator and denominator by the greatest common factor! As easy as 1 - 2 - 3... well, actually, just 1 - 2!!

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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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- Equivalent Fractions: Lesson for Kids
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- Fractions to Decimals: Lesson for Kids
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- 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
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- 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
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- How to Subtract Mixed Fractions with Unlike Denominators
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