The bottom part of the fraction is called the denominator. The denominator shows into how many parts the whole is divided. For example, in the image above, the denominator is 4 because the rectangle is divided into four parts.
The top part of the fraction is called the numerator. The numerator shows how many of those parts we are counting. For example, in the image above, the numerator is 1 because one part of the (4) parts in the rectangle is shaded red.
I suggest that mathematicians consider the line between the numerator and denominator to mean "out of." So, in the fraction above, mathematicians can think of 1/4 as one "out of" four.
Here are some ways that you can help at home:
*When your family is sharing food, talk about "fair shares" and help your child name fractions. If you want to split the pizza among five people, how can you split it fairly? How much does each person get?
*Cooking is another great way to learn about fractions. How can we measure 3/4 cup? Look together at how the fractions appear on a measuring cup. Doubling recipes, or cutting them in half, can help your child understand how to make new numbers with fractions.
The purpose of this unit is for students to visualize and compare fractions, to find different combinations of fractions that make a whole, to learn which common fractions are equivalent, and to begin to use fractions to solve problems like this one:
Six people at a party shared all the cookies evenly. Each person ate 1 and 1/3 cookies. How many cookies did they eat?
We love fraction action!