Fractions are a mathematical concept that students begin learning in second grade and are used to mathematically represent a part of a whole. Fractions can be difficult for your child to understand with new vocabulary like numerator and denominator, but with our worksheets and exercises, your child will be a pro at everything from adding fractions to dividing them! Find teaching strategies and guided practice for your child with our Fractions Skills Guide.
A Guide to Fractions
There are many types of fractions that your child will learn to work with, so we’ve compiled a short guide to help you help your child recognize the different types!
Numerator and Denominator
The numerator is the top number in the fraction and is the number of parts used. The denominator is the bottom number in the fraction and is the number of parts that make up a whole. For example, if we are looking at a pizza and we are told that someone ate 2⁄8 of the pizza, the numerator would be 2 (the number of slices eaten) and the denominator would be 8 (because there are 8 pieces total).
Equivalent Fractions Equivalent fractions are fractions that have different numbers as the numerator and denominator, but are actually the same. For example, 4⁄8 = 3⁄6 = 2⁄4 = 1⁄2.
Proper Fractions vs Improper Fractions
Proper fractions are any fractions where the numerator is less than the denominator. 8⁄9 and 2⁄3 are both proper fractions. Improper fractions are any fractions where the numerator is greater than or equal to the denominator. 9⁄4 and 5⁄5 are both improper fractions.
Mixed fractions are used to show when there is a whole plus a part involved. For example, if someone ate 2 whole pizzas and 1⁄2 of another pizza, the mixed fraction of how many pizzas they ate would be equal to 2 1⁄2. Mixed fractions can be converted to improper fractions by multiplying the whole number by the denominator, adding the numerator to their product, and putting that sum over the original denominator. Similarly, improper fractions can be converted to mixed fractions by dividing the numerator by the denominator to get the whole number and using the remainder as the new numerator.
Now that you have a better understanding of the different types of fractions your child will be working with, scroll up to check out our fraction worksheets and exercises!