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By Yolanda S. Mullins on August 03 2018 11:17:56

What it is about memorizing multiplication tables that make my kids throw their pencil across the room and shout, “I hate math?” It is because, unlike spelling or vocabulary, numbers don’t create pictures for us. Multiplication tables are strings of seemingly random numbers that our children are expected to not only remember, but keep in order and in context with the numbers they are multiplying by.

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.

A way to address this is to learn how to compare fractions and find common denominators so that two fractions can be numerically compared clearly. The worksheets on this page provide exercises to do exactly that, and they are good practice for the steps necessary for other fraction operations.

Once students have a basic familiarity with fractions, the next step is to understand how to compare fractions. Sometimes the concept of denominators takes a little time to grasp. Often students will confuse a larger denominator with a larger value for the fraction, when in reality the numerator, not the denominator, expressed the actual value being represented. The size of the numerator relative to the denominator is what ultimately describes the actual value of the fraction.

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