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What is the point of equivalent fractions?

(8 Posts)
Emochild Mon 16-Jan-17 22:27:03

I've got an observed lesson tomorrow nqt and I've been advised to include "what is the point and where you might use them in real life"

I'm teaching year 3

Other than deciding if I want half a bag of sweets or 3/6 of a bag of sweets -what is the point? -in a way that 7 year olds understand (I know it helps with ordering, comparing and simplifying but struggling with real life scenarios)

lougle Mon 16-Jan-17 22:41:35

It makes division easy. If you have 3 cakes of the same flavour and 6 people who want some cake, unless you know that 3/6 = 1/2, you'd have to cut each cake into 6 pieces and give a piece from each cake to each person.

It helps with subtraction. You can't take away fractions with different denominators - you have to make them comparable. Going back to the cake, if one person takes 1/2 and the other person takes 1/4, how much will you have left? Knowing that 1/2=2/4 means you can work it out.

mirokarikovo Mon 16-Jan-17 22:52:34

Yesterday I bought a "small" chips from an old fashioned chip shop (ie the kind of place where a large chips would feed a family for a week)

I told my DS he could eat 1/3rd of them and leave 2/3rds for DH and me to have later. After he had taken some I said "have you got 1/3rd there?" and he said "No, I think about a quarter. How much more is a third from a quarter?"

So we translated 1/3rd and 1/4 into equivalent fractions in twelfths to calculate the answer.

booklooker Fri 20-Jan-17 15:30:20

I find it hard to know where to start to reply to such a crass op .

If you really are a teacher, I am worried about the levels of numeracy your pupils will attain

Emochild Fri 20-Jan-17 18:07:54

I was just asking for real life examples of where the children might use equivalent fractions.

Obviously with money, measurement etc it is easy to find examples of where the children might come across the language and provide a purpose for their learning -equivalent fractions less obvious

Batteriesallgone Fri 20-Jan-17 18:14:34

Ordering pizza? Being in a big group and ordering pizzas always seems to involve lots of 'if we only order two flavours we'll all get X slices of each but if we order four flavours we'll only get one slice of each pizza, except the two vegetarians won't eat the meat feast, so the rest of us will actually get X slices'...and on. Any good?

Astro55 Fri 20-Jan-17 18:14:52

Test results

You get 5 out of 10 right you're half way

Sharing a bag of sweets in 3rds you each get 3/9 sweets

Half time in football - same as 30 mins out of 60 mins

Clock in quarters each quarter is 15 mins

sashh Fri 20-Jan-17 18:48:54


£1 can be made up of 10p, 20p,50p pieces.

Food, whether cake pr pizza.

Mary, John, Lisa and Fred are sharing a cake.

Fred and Lisa want 1/2 each, Mary and john want to share a 1/2 between them, is that fair?

Baking - if you use measuring cups.

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