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Unit fractions

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Unit fractions
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.NF.A.1

Basics on the topic Unit fractions

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In This Video

Axel and Tank are a fudge that sells fudge in unit fraction sizes. They want to know, what is a unit fraction? They learn about unit fractions, and finally settle down for some delicious fudge!

What is a Unit Fraction in Math?

You may ask yourself, what is a unit fraction in 3rd grade math? Well, a unit fraction is a fraction that has a numerator of one. As long as the numerator is one, it is a unit fraction.

What is a Unit Fraction Example

A unit fraction has a numerator of one, such as one fourth, one third, and one half.

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If a fraction does not have a numerator of one, it is not a unit fraction. For example, three fourths would not be a unit fraction since the numerator is three, and not one.

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Summary of Unit Fractions

Remember, a unit fraction is a fraction with a numerator of one. Below you will find worksheets that will help you learn what is a unit fraction, 3rd grade.

Transcript Unit fractions

Axel and Tank are at a fudge store that only sells fudge in unit fractions. There are only two pieces left. "I'll take the one fourth piece, it will be bigger because it has a four in it!" "Fine, I'll take the one third piece, it's probably smaller because it has a three in it." Let's see who gets the bigger piece by learning about unit fractions. A fraction represents a part of a whole. The bottom number tells you how many parts make up the whole, and is called a denominator. The top number is the numerator, and represents how many parts we have. Unit Fractions are fractions that have a numerator of one, like one-fourth, one-third, and one-half. We can represent unit fractions with fraction bars or shapes. Let's see if you can recognize unit fractions! Here is the first one. What fraction do we see? It has four parts in all, so the denominator is two. Three parts are shaded in, so the numerator is three. Is three fourths a unit fraction? It is not a unit fraction, because it does not have one as it's numerator! Now look at this one. What fraction do we see? It has two parts in all, so the denominator is two. One part is shaded in, so the numerator is one. Is one half a unit fraction? One half is a unit fraction, because it has a one for the numerator! As Axel and Tank wait for their fudge let's look at their order! Tank ordered one fourth, and Axel ordered one third! If you look at the denominator and the size of each piece of fudge, you might notice something special about fractions! What do you notice? When comparing fraction bars, objects, or shapes, that are the same size, the greater the number of parts a fraction has, the smaller each part is! This is because we are dividing the whole into more equal parts! Even though four is a greater number than three, each part in the one fourth fraction bar is smaller than each part in the one thirds fraction bar because there are more equal parts in one quarter than one third. Let's review unit fractions! Remember, a unit fraction must have a numerator of one, like these fractions! A greater denominator means each part of the unit fraction is smaller, because we are dividing the whole into more equal parts. "Hey Tank, do you realize what we just learned?" "What do you mean?" "Well, you ordered the one fourth unit fraction piece of fudge, thinking it was going to be bigger than my one third piece of fudge." "Oh no! The bigger denominator means I actually have the smaller piece!"

Unit fractions exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learned? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Unit fractions.
  • Which pies represent unit fractions?

    Hints

    Remember that a unit fraction always has a 1 as the numerator (the top part of a fraction).

    This pizza image shows $\frac1 4$ because there is one slice out of four in total.

    Solution
    • The chocolate pie shows $\mathbf{\frac{1}{6}}$ . The numerator is one so this is a unit fraction. ✅
    • The lemon pie shows $\mathbf{\frac{3}{4}}$ . The numerator is more than one so this is NOT a unit fraction. ❌
    • The strawberry pie shows $\mathbf{\frac{1}{4}}$ . The numerator is one so this is a unit fraction. ✅
    • The fruit pie shows $\mathbf{\frac{2}{6}}$ . The numerator is more than one so this is NOT a unit fraction. ❌
  • How much fudge will each friend get?

    Hints

    Each of the friends will get one part of the fudge, so the numerator must be one.

    How many equal pieces is the fudge broken into? This is the total number of parts, so this will be the denominator.

    Solution
    • The fudge is broken in to four parts, so this is the denominator.
    • Each friend gets one part, so this is the numerator.

    Each friend gets $\frac1 4$ of the whole block of fudge.

  • Matching unit fractions.

    Hints

    Look at how many parts in total the cake was cut into. This is the denominator.

    How many parts are there left? This is the numerator.

    This example shows $\frac1 8$.

    Solution

    Here are the correctly matched labels for each cake.

    We can see that the strawberry cake is $\frac1 4$ because there is 1 piece of cake out of a possible 4 pieces.

  • Who has the biggest piece of fudge?

    Hints

    Each friend used the same size fudge to start with. The denominator tells us how many parts they cut their fudge into.

    For example, if Axel ate $\frac1 3$ of a pizza and Tank ate $\frac1 7$ of a pizza, who had the bigger slice?

    Solution
    • The bigger the denominator, the smaller the parts.
    • Axel broke his fudge into three parts because he had $\mathbf{\frac{1}{3}}$. So his piece was the biggest.
    • The other friends broke their fudge into more parts, so each part would be smaller.
  • What is a unit fraction?

    Hints

    Unit fractions have 1 as the numerator.

    The numerator is the top part of the fraction.

    Solution

    The unit fraction is $\frac1 7$ since there is a 1 in the numerator.

  • Pizza night.

    Hints

    If one pizza is sliced ​​into 10 and another one is sliced ​​in to 6, which would have the smaller pieces?

    How many parts are there in total? This is the denominator.

    Solution

    After visiting the fudge and the cake shop, Axel and Tank decided they would have a pizza night. Axel sliced his pizza into 6 equal pieces. Each slice was $\mathbf{\frac{1}{6}}$ of the whole pizza. He was really hungry though, so he ate 5 slices. In total that was $\mathbf{\frac{5}{6}}$ of his whole pizza.

    Tank thought had he wanted smaller pieces, so he sliced his pizza into 10 equal pieces. Each slice was $\mathbf{\frac{1}{10}}$ of the whole pizza. He thought that because the pieces were so small, he could have more of them, so he ate 9 slices! That's $\mathbf{\frac{9}{10}}$ of his entire pizza!