Simple Fraction Problems for Beginners

If your child is just beginning to learn about fractions, he or she likely will be asked to identify and compare them. Soon after, your child may learn to add and subtract fractions with common denominators. You can help your child become familiar with fractions by practicing together at home.

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What's Covered in Early Lessons About Fractions?

Fractions represent a part of a whole. In the fraction 1/4, 1 is the numerator, which represents the part, and 4 is the denominator, which represents the whole. So, 1/4 indicates one out of four parts.

When students are first introduced to fractions in third grade, they learn to place them on number lines and to compare fractions with like numerators or denominators. In fourth grade, students usually begin to add and subtract fractions with common denominators.

Often, students who are just starting out with fractions need visuals to understand the concept. Thus, if you're formulating simple practice problems for your child, you might want to include drawings. Alternatively, you might give him or her cut-outs or counters so he or she can physically interact with the fractions featured in the problem.

Sample Problems

1. On a number line, place a mark for 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4.

For this problem, you can either provide a number line or have your child create one for him- or herself. Because these fractions are less than one, the only whole numbers the line should include are 0 and 1.

2. Which is larger: 7/9 or 3/9?

Remember to encourage your child to create visuals or use manipulatives if he or she needs them. For instance, your daughter could draw two circles, each divided into nine pieces. Then, she could shade in seven pieces in one and three pieces in the other. This should make it easier for her to decide which is larger. The answer is 7/9.

3. 1/5 + 4/5

As with the above problem, a visual aid might help your child. Using drawings - one that only has one piece shaded in and another that has four pieces shaded in - he or she can count the number of shaded pieces to solve.
Alternatively, you could have your child draw a circle and divide it into five parts. He or she could first fill in one part to represent the first fraction and then fill in four additional parts to represent the second fraction. The answer is 5/5.
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