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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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Lesson Transcript

Instructor:
*Nola Bridgens*

Nola has taught elementary school and tutored for four years. She has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, a master's degree in Marketing, and is a certified teacher.

You will learn how to define benchmark fractions and explain what they are used for and what they look like on a number line. In addition, you will be able to identify the most common benchmark fractions used.

Have you ever used a ruler to estimate the length of a pencil or the width of your desk? If you measured to the nearest inch or foot, you were using benchmarks. A **benchmark fraction** is a common fraction that gives you a reference to measure other fractions with. Benchmark fractions are also used to help you compare and order other fractions.

Let's think about the word benchmark to get a better understanding of the concept. A **benchmark** is any standard or reference by which others can be measured or judged. Have you ever been to a carnival or amusement park and had to stand next to a sign to see if you were tall enough to go on the ride? The line that shows how tall you have to be to ride is the benchmark. If you're taller than the benchmark, it's safe to ride, but if you're shorter than the benchmark, you cannot ride. They use the benchmark as a guide. A benchmark fraction also acts as a guide, only it's in fraction form with a numerator and denominator.

Benchmark fractions are especially helpful on number lines. The most famous number line used is a ruler. Rulers use halves, fourths, and eighths as benchmarks.

Do you see the long vertical red line in the middle of the 1 and 2? That is the benchmark fraction ½. Do you see the green vertical marks that are a little shorter in the middle of each half? Those are benchmark fractions that represent fourths. The blue lines on the number line represent eighths. These are some of the most common benchmark fractions used.

Other common benchmark fractions are thirds, sixths, and twelfths.

The long orange lines represent thirds and show how the whole line can be cut into three equal pieces. The pink lines represent sixths and the purple lines represent twelfths. You would use these benchmark fractions as a guide to help you find where other uncommon or unfamiliar fractions would go.

Imagine you're in math class and your teacher passes out a number line similar to the first diagram in this lesson and pieces of paper with the fractions 1/14 and 9/10 written on them. She asks you to figure out where these fractions go on the number line using the benchmark fraction ½.

First, let's think about the fraction 1/14. We know that the whole in this fraction is made up of 14 pieces and we only have one of those pieces. We're using the benchmark fraction ½, and we know that half of 14 is 7. If we compare the fraction 1/14 with the benchmark ½ (or 7/14), we know that 1/14 is smaller than the benchmark because 1 is smaller than 7. The fraction 1/14 will go to the left of the benchmark on the number line.

Next, let's look at the fraction 9/10. We know that the whole in this fraction is made up of 10 pieces and we have nine of those pieces. We are using the benchmark fraction ½, and we know that half of 10 is 5. If we compare the fraction 9/10 with the benchmark ½ (or 5/10) we can tell that 9/10 is larger than the benchmark because 9 is larger than 5. The fraction 9/10 will go to the right of the benchmark on the number line.

In summary, we learned that a **benchmark fraction** is a guide on a number line that helps us compare fractions that we're unfamiliar with. We also discovered that the most commonly used benchmark fractions are halves, fourths, eighths, thirds, and sixths.

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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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- 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
- 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 Add Fractions with Unlike Denominators
- 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

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