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*if the numerator is 1, it is in lowest terms.
*if the numerator and denominator are in counting order
(4/5, 7/8, 2/3), the fraction is in lowest terms.
*if those things are not true, here are the steps for reducing:
1. Try the numerator
2. Try half the numerator
3. Try each number below that, one at a time
In fourth grade, these three steps work pretty well for the problems
they will be given.
Note for Step 2: If the numerator is an uneven number like 7, pick the lower of the two numbers that are about half.
I hope you will try this method with some of the fractions they are given to reduce. With a little practice, they can become very good at it.
Teach them to write out the factors of a number:
6: _ _ _ _
5: _ _
12: _ _ _ _ _ _
15: _ _ _ _
After they become good at this, they can write out the factors of the numerator and denominator and find the largest factor common to both.
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