When dividing fractions multiply by the reciprocal

By | October 24, 2016

Dividing Fractions

In this tutorial students will learn why we multiply by the reciprocal when dividing fractions.  The students will learn how to convert a complex fraction into a proper/improper fraction and just simplify.  Students will use their current knowledge on equivalent fractions to make the connection.

The basic idea can be summarized using these basic steps.

  1. Find a multiple that will make the denominator of the complex fraction 1.
    1. That multiple will always be the reciprocal.
  2. Recall how to find an equivalent fraction.
  3. Multiply the reciprocal with the numerator and denominator of the complex fraction.
    1. This creates an equivalent fraction.
    2. This also eliminates the denominator of the complex fraction.
  4. The complex fraction can now be written as  a proper fraction.
    1. Simplify the proper fraction if possible.

Click on the link to this tutorial to see how this is accomplished with a model.