Adding and subtracting fractions

September 04, 2015 Helen J

This document creates a mini-booklet with simple, step-by-step instructions for adding and subtracting fractions with different denominators.

From Year 6 through to 9, maths students universally throw up their hands in horror when the topic of fractions is announced. "Can we do multiplying?" they cry, "because you just times the top by the top and the bottom by the bottom!" The teacher shakes her head sadly. "Dividing!" the pupils yell. "You turn the second one upside down and multiply!" 

"No," the teacher replies, "we will perform addition and subtraction of fractions with unlike denominators." 

Of course, some students are able to grasp the method easily, can understand the process of finding the lowest common multiple of the two denominators, multiplying each of the two fractions by the correct amount to create equivalent fractions with like denominators, then performing the operation and simplifying down to the correct answer.

For others, this is a lot of information, technical terminology and calculation steps to hold in their memory at once. For such pupils I created the attached step-by-step explanation of How To Do It, using simpler terminology and focusing on the basic steps, one at a time.

  • Open the document in Word, print out, and follow these folding and cutting instructions to create your own A7 sized minibook. 
  • Use coloured paper to give your mini-book appeal and the Stand-Out Factor.
  • You can also use the document as a template to make other mini-books - simply edit the text, add pictures, or other mathematical procedures! 


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