Fractions and Percentages (Mathematics Curriculum)
What Is a Fraction?
A fraction is a part of a whole number.
We use whole numbers to count a whole number of objects (1 apples, 2 balls, 3 cars):
We use fractions when we wish to count parts of whole objects (1⁄2 an apple, 1⁄3 of marks in a test, 1⁄4 of a cake):
The Oxford English Dictionary defines a fraction as "a numerical quantity that is not a whole number (e.g. 1/2, 0.5)."
A fraction is a part of a whole number. It is written as two numbers written on top of each other, separated by a line.
In this mini-curriculum, you will learn the basics of fractions.
A fraction is a part of a whole number. Here is an example of a fraction:
This is a quarter. It is written as 1 over 4. It represents 1 part in 4.
The numerator is the number written above the line of a fraction. The numerator of the fraction below is 1:
The denominator is the number written below the line of a fraction. The denominator of the fraction below is 4:
We can visualise a fraction as a cake. Imagine we wanted to find 1⁄4 of a cake.
The denominator of our fraction is 4. It tells us to divide the cake into 4 equal parts:
The numerator of our fraction is 1. It tells us how many of these equal parts we have:
Types of Fractions
There are different types of fractions: proper, improper and mixed.
In this mini-curriculum, you will learn the types of fractions and how to convert between them.
A proper fraction is a fraction where the numerator is less than the denominator.
Here is an example of a proper fraction. The numerator (1) is less than the denominator (4).
An improper fraction is a fraction where the numerator is greater than (or equal to) the denominator.
Here is an example of an improper fraction. The numerator (3) is greater than the denominator (2).
A mixed fraction 'mixes' a whole number with a proper fraction.
Here is an example of a mixed fraction. The whole number is 3 and the proper fraction is 1⁄3.
Convert Mixed to Improper Fractions
A mixed fraction can be converted to an improper fraction.
Convert Improper to Mixed Fractions
An improper fraction can be converted to a mixed fraction.
Equivalent Fractions and Simplifying Fractions
Different fractions that represent the same value are called equivalent fractions. One of these fractions will be the simplest fraction.
In this mini-curriculum, you will learn about equivalent fractions and simplifying fractions.
Equivalent Fractions and the Simplest Form
Equivalent fractions are fractions that show the same part of the whole, even though they look different. The simplest form of a fraction is the equivalent fraction with the smallest possible numbers.
Simplifying a Fraction
Simplifying a fraction makes the fraction as simple as possible. A fraction is as simple as possible when the top and bottom numbers are as small as possible.
Arithmetic with Fractions
Just like numbers, fractions can be added, subtracted, multiplied and divided.
In this mini-curriculum, you will learn arithmetic with fractions.
Fractions can be added.
Fractions can be subtracted.
Fractions can be multiplied.
Fractions can be divided.
Reciprocal of a Fraction
To find the reciprocal of a fraction, turn the fraction upside down.
Power of a Fraction
To find the power of a fraction, raise the numerator and denominator to the exponent.
Fractions are useful. We might want to find out what half of an amount is, or express a number of objects as a fraction of the whole.
In this mini-curriculum, you will learn about using fractions.
Fractions are just one way of expressing a part of a whole. Percentages and decimals are other ways.
In this mini-curriculum, you will learn how convert a fraction to a percentage and a decimal.