By Sarah J. Barnes on July 12 2018 04:38:04
We often talk of dividing as being the reverse of multiplying, and indeed when dividing fractions this is the case. The way you divide fractions is very similar to the way fractions are multiplied with a simple twist in the middle.
Never underestimate how much a visual representation of what can otherwise appear to be an abstract concept can help children learn.
Start by following the basic process for fraction multiplication, turning any mixed fractions into improper ones. Before you cross cancel or multiply, however, swap the numerator and the denominator in the second fraction. This is called taking the reciprocal and it is the key step to turn this into a division operation. Then, cross cancel, multiply across to get the answer fraction, and reduce.
In the simplest cases, the two fractions will already have a common denominator. In this case, add the numerators and then reduce the resulting fraction.
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