Greatest Common Denominators/ Least Common Denominators

For a young learner, it may be confusing at times to notice the differences between a common denominator and a common factor. The concept is somewhat similar. The difference is denominators deal with fractions instead of solely integers. The child needs to keep in mind what exactly a fraction is before figuring out what a common denominator is.

Here are some things to know about fractions:

First, the numerator is the top number and the denominator is the bottom number. Second, when adding or subtracting fractions, if the denominators are different, then the child needs to find the common denominators within the fractions before adding them together.


Finding the Greatest and Least Common Multiples of 3 and 4


Next we move on to learning about Common Denominators. First, the child needs to be able to differentiate between the greatest and least common denominators. The Least Common Denominator refers to the lowest common multiple of the two given fractions in the problem. The Greatest Common Denominator refers to the greatest common multiple of the two fractions given in the problem.


Second, after figuring out the greatest or least common denominator of the two fractions, the child needs to find out what the common multiple is of the two denominators. Third, after the common denominator is found, the child needs to figure out what integer equates to the common multiple in order to multiply the numerator and either add or subtract the remainder of the problem.


Finding the greatest and least common denominators takes a great deal of practice. But if your child continues to practice at home, he or she will become masters in no time. All it takes for you as a parent is to be patient and to put great effort in to helping your child learn.

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