Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dr Maths

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dr Maths

Article excerpt

Dear Dr Maths, Can you tell me an easy way to add fractions? Bryony, 12, via e-mail This is a question I am often asked. An easy way to add fractions is to think about them in a visual way as parts of a whole. A half means you are dividing the shape into two parts vertically and so looks like picture 1. One third means you are dividing the shape into three parts horizontally and would look like picture 2. Adding these two fractions together is the same as overlapping the two grids as see in picture 3. The final grid shows you that one half is proportional to three squares and, in this sum, one third is two squares. Using these proportions in the final grid you can find the answer to the addition of a half and a third. Five squares are shaded out of six, so the answer is 5/6, see picture 4. …

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