Help with Fraction Story Problems for Kids

Kids in elementary school need to be able to solve fraction word problems, as well as normal fraction problems. Story problems can be more challenging because they require you to figure out which operations you need to perform. Keep reading for help!

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Story Problems with Fractions

Writing the Fraction

Some word problems will just ask you to write a fraction to represent a particular situation. For example, if you cut a pie into seven pieces and ate three of them, what fraction would express this? To solve this type of fraction word problem, just remember that the total number of pieces goes in the fraction's denominator (the bottom), and the partial amount goes in the numerator (the top). In this case, the fraction would be 3/7.

Parts from the Same Whole

When you're working with two fractions that come from the same whole, they'll have the same denominator. For instance, if you ate three slices from your 7-piece pie and your friend ate two slices, this would be represented by the fractions 3/7 and 2/7. What fraction of the pie did the two of you eat together?

Since you ate 3/7 and your friend ate 2/7, you can simply add the numerators together, like this: 3 + 2 = 5, so 3/7 + 2/7 = 5/7. You can do subtraction the same way. For example, if you wanted to know what fraction of the pie was left over, you would subtract 5/7 from 7/7. Since 7 - 5 = 2, the answer is 2/7.

Fractions with Different Denominators

You'll also need to solve story problems about fractions that have different denominators. For example, imagine that your math test has two parts, and you need to add together your scores from each part. You got six out of eight problems correct on the first part (6/8), and two out of three problems right on the second part (2/3).

To solve the problem, you need to find a common denominator. To do this, multiply the numerator and denominator of each fraction by the denominator of the other fraction, and then add the two results together, like this:

6/8 + 2/3

= (3/3)(6/8) + (8/8)(2/3)

= 18/24 + 16/24

= 34/24

=17/12 or 1 5/12

Fraction Problems with Division

To multiply fractions, you just have to find the products of both numerators and both denominators, and then simplify if necessary. Division of fractions is a bit more complicated. Imagine that you have to solve the following problem:

'Edward has 25/2 cups of dough, and he wants to make tarts that require just 1/2 cup of dough each. How many tarts can he make?'

To find the solution, you'll need to divide the total amount of dough (25/2 cups) by the amount of dough needed for each tart (1/2 cup). To divide fractions, you multiply one by the reciprocal of the other. To create a reciprocal, just flip the numerator and the denominator. For instance, the reciprocal of 1/2 is 2/1. Here's how you'll solve the problem:

25/2 ÷ 1/2

= 25/2 x 2/1

= (25 x 2)/(2 x 1)

= 50/2

= 25

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