Fractions

The trick with ordering unit fractions is to look at the denominator.

The bigger the denominator, the smaller the fraction!

Think about a pizza. If you were sharing a pizza between two people, each person would get quite a large piece. They would both get 1/2.

Now imagine you were sharing the same sized pizza with 8 people. The pizza would have to be cut up into even smaller pieces. Each person would only eat 1/8.

Using the images above, we can clearly see that 1/8 is smaller than 1/2.

Take a look at these four fractions. They are all unit fractions and they all have different denominators.

1/9      1/4     1/10     1/3

Let's look at ordering them from smallest to largest.

1/10    1/9    1/4   1/3

When you order fractions with the same denominator, you have to look at the numerator, since the denominator will never change.

You look at the numerator because it tells you how many parts of the whole you have.

Imagine a cake cut up into 8 equal slices. You eat 2 slices, but your friend eats 4. You have had less cake than your friend.

Let's look at ordering these fractions from smallest to largest.

3/7    6/7    2/7    5/7   4/7

Which fraction has the largest numerator? Then order the rest in descending order.

2/7    3/7    4/7    5/7   6/7