### How do you help your students really understand the “why” behind the “how” when it comes to simplifying fractions? Here are a few strategies I find helpful:

### Before we get into the pencil/paper strategies for solving the problems, it is always a good idea to start with something concrete: math counters, jellybeans, marbles, etc. Students can work to see if there are ways to make equal groups with the numbers in the numerator and denominator.

### From the counters, students can progress into making dot pictures. This is a strategy students can then use with their paper and pencil practice later if they aren’t ready to go use the Greatest Common Factor or Prime Factors strategies.

### Once students are ready to work with abstract, this is a good time to show them how to use the Greatest Common Factor of the numerator and denominator. You can show students how this connects to the counters and dots by showing them that when they are grouping the counters (or the dots) they are really dividing: “4 divided by 2 is 2 and 6 divided by 2 is 3.”

I love this concrete idea, thanks for the tip! 🙂 https://mathsux.org/

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I like all of your methods, from the concrete to the abstract!

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Thank you!!!

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