*Contributor: Erika Wargo. Lesson ID: 12539*

Students are divided over how easy it is to divide fractions. After all, a fraction is a division of something already. You divide by multiplying! Confusing? It's easy once you learn the simple tips!

categories

subject

Math

learning style

Visual

personality style

Otter

Grade Level

Intermediate (3-5)

Lesson Type

Skill Sharpener

You bought a ^{1}⁄_{2}-pound bag of candy at the store for your party. Each gift bag needs ^{1}⁄_{8} pound of candy. How many ^{1}⁄_{8}-pound gift bags can you make?

When you divide whole numbers, such as 15 divided by 5, you are asking,"How many 5s are in 15?"

If you divide fractions, such as ½ ÷ ¼, you are asking, "How many ¼s are in ½?”

Watch a short video (below) to review multiplying fractions and write down the answers to these questions:

- What is a
*reciprocal*? - How is a reciprocal important to dividing fractions?
- What is the procedure for dividing fractions?

Discuss the questions above after you have watched the following video, *Math Antics - Dividing Fractions*:

When you divide fractions, you are actually turning the problem into multiplication! Dividing is the opposite of multiplying, but multiplying fractions is easier, so it is easier to change a problem to multiplication.

There are a few ways to help you remember the steps for dividing fractions. All of the following phrases and rhymes work for dividing fractions, so pick one that you like best to help you with dividing fractions!

- Remember the phrase, "Keep, Change, Flip."
*Keep*the first fraction the way it is.*Change*the division sign to multiplication.*Flip*the second fraction so it becomes a reciprocal.

- Remember the phrase, "Leave me, Change me, Turn me over."
*Leave*the first fraction.*Change*the symbol.*Turn*the second fraction over.

- Read and remember this rhyme:
- "Dividing fractions, as easy as pie,

Flip the second fraction, then multiply.

And don't forget to simplify,

Before it's time to say goodbye."

- "Dividing fractions, as easy as pie,

Follow these four steps to divide fractions:

- Take the reciprocal of the second fraction.
- Rewrite the problem by keeping the first fraction the same; change the division symbol to multiplication; then write the reciprocal.
- Multiply the numerators and denominators straight across.
- Simplify the fraction.

Now, discuss and solve the question from the beginning of the lesson with a parent or teacher:

You bought a ^{1}⁄_{2}-pound bag of candy at the store for your party. Each gift bag needs ^{1}⁄_{8} pound of candy. How many ^{1}⁄_{8}-pound gift bags can you make?

Can you draw a model to help you solve this problem?

Discuss with a parent or teacher:

- Which method do you like best to help you remember how to divide fractions?
- Write down or repeat the phrase or rhyme to a parent or teacher.

Now, move on to the *Got It?* section to practice dividing fractions with an interactive game and practice.

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