To keep the multiplying and dividing processes straight.

Sorry – I couldn’t resist a little extra rhyming there. Apparently, I’m in rhyme mode. But it was necessary to save our sanity during math time. I promise.

Princess has recently learned how to divide fractions. Before that, of course, she learned how to multiply them, and she was doing just fine. In fact, she’s never really had a fraction-related problem AT ALL. That is, until we introduced– DUH, DUH, DUHHH… DIVISION.

Suddenly everything went out the window. Her frustration (and mine) was mounting as she no longer was certain when to flip, when not to flip, WHICH ONE to flip… it was mass confusion.

In case you’ve not quite reached that point with your child and you need a refresher course, for I’m not sure I would  have remembered if I hadn’t read the lesson first, when multiplying fractions you multiply numerators and then multiply denominators and then you simplify/reduce. When dividing fractions, first you “flip” the divisor (the one you are dividing BY:  1/4 divided BY 2/3) and then you multiply like before. (1/4  /  2/3  = 1/4  X  3/2  =  3/8.)

Poor Princess. She couldn’t keep it straight. And it only got worse when you added “multiplying and dividing a fraction and a whole number” and “multiplying and dividing mixed fractions.”

Oh the Fraction Blues.

So tonight, as I mentioned, we made a rhyme. And I’m really hoping that it will help, that she can recite it to herself when she’s doubting what to do. Here it goes:


Multiplying fractions

Is as easy as pie.

Multiply each straight across

And then simplify.

Dividing gets a bit tricky,

There’s an extra step to take.

First flip the one you’re dividing BY

And the rest’s a piece of cake.

The only that I’m not completely satisfied with is that the rhyme doesn’t SAY to multiply across after you flip — but she’s got that part down. This rhyme will help her remember that there is no flipping while multiplying and which one to flip while dividing. Whatcha think? Think it will help? *fingers crossed*

Do you have any fancy rhymes or tricks that you teach your kids?

Photo Credit: Attribution Some rights reserved by TheCulinaryGeek

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Hey, y’all! I’m Amber and I wear many hats. I drink a ton of coffee and I’m constantly sweeping crumbs off the floor. After 18 years of homeschooling, I’m getting close to graduating my third child and now we are starting over at preschool with our fourth, Lil Miss Mouse. She keeps us young and she’s the main reason for my excessive coffee consumption. Drink up!