Division of fractions is rare in everyday life because it’s too cumbersome for casual use. It is also rare in sciences, where people use decimals. We only want division of fractions to avoid a hole in our math theory. We have division, and we have fractions... Does our division work for fractions? If so, how?!

One-page wonders

These are books about fraction division you can fold out of single piece of paper.

- ratio
- proportion (equivalent ratios)
- common denominators
- units and changes in unit sizes (unitizing)

If you understand these ideas, you are ready to…

Learn To Divide Fractions In One Page!

Example
Divide by . Rephrase the question as, “What is the ratio of to ?”

Visual method: the rectangle model
Look at the picture until you see the answer!

Hints:

Slice one side of the rectangle into 5 and the other into 4. There are 20 total units.

means 2*4 units out of 20

means 3*5 units out of 20

Their ratio is 2*4 to 3*5, or

Numeric method 1: common denominator

Write the ratio

Find a common denominator or

20 times more on both sides makes the ratio equivalent to 8:15

Write as a fraction

Numeric method 2: ratio to one

Rephrase the question as, "The ratio is equivalent to the ratio of what to 1?"

4 times more on both sides makes the ratio equivalent to

3 times less on both sides makes the ratio equivalent to

Carry out the multiplications:

Create your own examples and solve them visually and numerically. People who worked out many examples summarized this algorithm. If you work with enough examples, you will come up with this or your own algorithm, too.

Algorithm The result of dividing a fraction by a fraction is, again, a fraction. To find its numerator and numerator, cross-multiply. To find the numerator, multiply the numerator of the dividend by the denominator of the divisor. To find its denominator, multiply the denominator of the dividend by the numerator of the divisor.

For dividing positive or negative fractions, use the same rules that apply to integers to determine the signs.
and

## Divide a fraction by a fraction

Division of fractions is rare in everyday life because it’s too cumbersome for casual use. It is also rare in sciences, where people use decimals. We only want division of fractions to avoid a hole in our math theory. We have division, and we have fractions... Does our division work for fractions? If so, how?!

## One-page wonders

These are books about fraction division you can fold out of single piece of paper.By Carol Cross and Madison Cross Sugg:

## Prerequisite concepts for fraction division

- ratio- proportion (equivalent ratios)

- common denominators

- units and changes in unit sizes (unitizing)

If you understand these ideas, you are ready to…

## Learn To Divide Fractions In One Page!

ExampleDivide by . Rephrase the question as, “What is the ratio of to ?”

Visual method: the rectangle modelLook at the picture until you see the answer!

Hints:

Numeric method 1: common denominatorNumeric method 2: ratio to oneAlgorithmThe result of dividing a fraction by a fraction is, again, a fraction. To find its numerator and numerator, cross-multiply. To find the numerator, multiply the numerator of the dividend by the denominator of the divisor. To find its denominator, multiply the denominator of the dividend by the numerator of the divisor.For dividing positive or negative fractions, use the same rules that apply to integers to determine the signs.

and

## Credits and links

## Bonuses: don't let meaningless algorithms happen to your kids!