Want to Stop Over-Eating: Learning Fractions can Help
Like Mazie, we sometimes don’t know how much of our food to share and how much to keep for ourselves.
By: Janet Hall
2022-08-12 | 6-min-Read
It was Mazie’s birthday. She was excited because she got a beautiful pink and white cake and eighteen (18) popsicles. Mazie gave four (4) of the popsicles to her friends. Her mother told her to share more of the popsicle but Mazie was reluctant. She wanted to keep half the amount of the popsicles for herself. Her mother insisted that she share more popsicles. Mazie started crying because she did not know how many of the popsicles to keep. Can you help Mazie? How many more popsicles should Mazie share?
Like Mazie, we sometimes don’t know how much of our food to share and how much to keep for ourselves. It is always a good idea to keep some of your food so you can have it at another time or on another day. But how do you how much of your food to keep and how much to eat? Let’s find out. Let us use the following objects to represent Mazie’s popsicle.
Question
- How many popsicles do you see?
- How many popsicles did Mazie share?
- How many popsicles represents half of the total popsicles?
- How many more popsicles should Mazie share?
Answer
- 18 popsicles
- Mazie shared 4 popsicles
- 9 represents half of the total popsicles
- Mazie should share 5 more popsicles
Writing Fractions
Do you know what portion of food you consume daily?
Do you know the number of times you eat per day?
Before you give an answer, remember that all foods go into the stomach; and since the stomach has to work hard to get the food out of its walls, every food is counted except water. So, let us help you with the counting.
Lets’ say you go to bed around 10 pm. You sleep for 10 hours and open your eyes almost the same time each morning which is 8am.
That means you only have 14 hours left out of the 24 hours.
Your first meal is around 8:15 am and you eat every time you get the chance which is about 10:15am, 12:15pm, 2:15pm, 4:15pm 6:15pm, 8:15pm and around 9:30pm and even around 2am.
That’s a total of 9 hours out of the 14 day-time-hours.
Can you represent the total number of hours that you eat as a fraction of the total day-time hours?
You are correct. This is: = 9/14 This is called a fraction.
A
Fractions is part of a whole. It can be written as the amount that is shared over the whole (total amount). That is:
9/14
Two numbers are used to represent a fraction. The
top number is called the
numerator, the
line is called the
fraction bar or the division bar and the
bottom number is called the
denominator.
A fraction = number of selected items / total number of items
Remember that you cannot share what you do not have. if you have 4 donuts you cannot eat 7 donuts.
You can eat 1 out of the 4 donuts = ¼
You can eat 2 out of the 4 donuts = 2/4.
You can eat 3 out of the 4 donuts = ¾
You can eat all 4 donuts = 4/4 = the whole or the total amount
Example 1:
There are five (5) gummies on a plate. Four (4) of the gummies were eaten.
- What fraction of the gummies were eaten?
- What fraction of the gummies remained?
Look at the illustration bellow: hearts are used to represent the gummies. There is one (1) blue gummy and four (4) red gummies which give a total of five (5) gummies.
Solving Fractions
- Four (4) red gummies were eaten = the numerator.
- Five (5) gummies = whole = the denominator.
- The portion that was eaten is =4/5 which is read four-fifths.
- One (1) blue gummy remains =1/5 which is read one-fifths.
From the example above, did you notice that you ate more than half of the gummies? Do you know that working with fractions can help you keep tract of the amount of food you eat daily? Do you know that you can use fractions to calculate the number of meals you want to eat? You can decide to wait 5-hours before you have your first meal or you can decide to have a 4-hour break between meals. Whatsoever you decide, fractions can help.
Like and Unlike fractions
The top number is known as the numerator. It represents the portion that is taken out of the whole. The bottom number is known as the denominator. It represents the number of equal parts the whole is split into or the total amount the whole is shared into.
Like and unlike fractions examine the denominator (bottom number). Fractions with the same denominators are called like fractions. For example: 1/7 , 3/7 , 5/7
Fractions with different denominators are called unlike fractions. For example: 2/7 , 1/5
You can use like fractions to keep track of the amount of food that you eat daily, such as pizzas or juices. You can use the result to examine the amount or portion of the same food items the you eat as well as to decide on eating smaller portion at less intervals.
Example 2:
Suppose you ordered 3 pizzas in one day at different times. Each pizza is cut into 8 equal slices.
You ate 5 slices from the first pizza that is: =5/8
You ate 7 slices from the second pizza that is: =7/8
You ate 4 slices from the third pizza that is: =4/8
Can you see that the denominator (the bottom number) is the same? These are called like fractions.
You can add these fractions in order to know the number of slices of pizza you have for the day.
=5/8 + 7/8 + 4/8 =(5+7+4)/8 =16/8
You ate a total of 16 slices of pizza.
How many groups of 8 can you get out of 16? Yes, you are correct it is 2 groups. Therefore, you ate 2 whole pizzas. Next time, try to eat less slices. You could actually save some money and save you stomach.
Example 3:
Do you drink juices throughout the day? Lets’ say you drank from a 2 liter bottle, 1 liter bottle or 600ml bottle. Lets’ write the drinks in ml which is 20ml, 10ml and 6ml respectively.
Lets assume you drank 12ml of the 20 ml bottle, 7ml of the 10ml bottle and 5ml of the 6ml bottle. The fractions are:
12/20 , 7/10 , 5/6
Can you see that the denominator (the bottom number) is different for all fractions? These are called unlike fractions.
Activity 1:
Look at the fractions below. Can you identify the number of like and unlike fractions? - How many are like fractions?
- How many are unlike fractions?
1/8 , 4/5 , 2/7 , 3/5 , 4/7 , 5/12 , 6/13 , 6/7
Learn more about like and unlike fraction here
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