Children typically get introduced to fractions in 3rd Grade and start adding fractions with like denominators in 4th Grade and then, in 5th Grade, they work on adding and subtracting fractions with different denominators. This lesson includes examples showing how to add fractions. It includes adding fractions both with like and with unlike denominators.
Adding fractions with the same denominator
Ensure your children can add fractions with the same denominator before tackling addition with different denominators.
They should also be able to convert the fraction to its simplest form.
Adding fractions with different denominators
A common denominator must be found when adding fractions that have different denominators. This is the most important (and probably the hardest) step in adding or subtracting fractions. A common denominator can always be found by multiplying the denominators.
Sometimes the product of the two denominators denominator will not be the lowest common denominator. Finding the lowest common denominator in such cases can be a trial and error exercise. Take the highest denominator multiply it be 1, then by 2 ,then by 3 and so on. Each time check to see if the other denominator(s) are also divisors of the number.
Reducing the answer to its lowest term
It is good practice to finish by reducing the answer to its simplest form (lowest term) if it is not in that form already.
Be sure your child understands that an answer that is not in its simplest form is not necessarily wrong.