Reducing Fractions Helpful Reminders

  • When reducing fractions to simplest form:
  • Find all whole numbers by dividing numerator by denominator.  i.e.  5/5 = 1, and 8/4 =2.
  • Find all halves, numerator half the denominator.  i.e.  4/8 = 1/2
  • Find all numerators that divide the denominators evenly.  Divide, numerator is 1 quotient is new denominator.  i.e.  3/12 = 12 ÷ 3  = 1/4.
  • Find the GCF and divide.
  • Divide numerator by denominator when determining a mixed number.  The remainder is the amount left over original denominator.  Simplify if necessary.

The problem with math education …

The problem with math is...

… is that there is too much emphasis on content and not enough on skills.

Math explains the world around us — makes it comprehensible — and when it’s not comprehensible, when we don’t understand something in the world around us, math guides our discovery … it’s all about knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do.

Math is the science of patterns; shouldn’t we emphasize pattern recognition deliberately and explicitly in our teaching? Isn’t that an important set of skills? Have I got this wrong?

From Darren Kuropatwa, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Retrieved from

Absolutely right.  Patterns and the relationships among patterns is what math is.