Video: Understanding How to Represent Fractions on a Number Line

James is using a number line to understand fractions. Which one should he use to show sixths? Pick the reason why he should use this number line. [A] It has been divided into 6 unequal parts. [B] It has been divided into 6 equal parts. [C] It shows 6 lines between 0 and 1.

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Video Transcript

James is using a number line to understand fractions. Which one should he use to show sixths? Pick the reason why he should use this number line. It has been divided into six unequal parts. It has been divided into six equal parts. Or, it shows six lines between zero and one.

Number lines can be a very useful way to help us understand fractions. And in this problem, this is exactly what James is doing. He’s using a number line to help him understand fractions.

We’re shown three different number lines. And, we’re asked which out of the three James should use to show sixths. And then we’re given three possible reasons why James should use the number line. Each of the reasons matches one of the number lines that we’re given. And so, instead of thinking about the first part of the question and then looking at the second part. It might make sense to look at both parts together.

Let’s think about the first number line to begin with. What do we notice? Well, it starts at zero and ends with one. So, we can see that one whole has been split up into sections. And in between zero and one, the number line has been split into sections. And, the number of lines that there are to show those sections is six. If we look at the possible reasons for James using the number lines, we can see that it matches the final sentence. It shows six lines between zero and one.

What can we say about the second number line. Again, this number line starts at zero and ends in one. It’s labeled one whole. This time, there are five lines in between zero and one. But we can see where James gets the number six from because there are six sections between zero and one. These sections are not all the same size. We can see that the last section is a little bit smaller. We can see that this matches the first reason in our list. It has been divided into six unequal parts. Is this a way of showing sixths?

Our final number lines starts with zero, ends in one as they all do. And has five lines in between zero and one. The lines are all equally spaced out. So, the line has been divided into six equal parts. This is the same as the second sentence in our possible reasons.

So, the question we need to ask ourselves is how do we show sixths? Is it by dividing something into six unequal parts? Dividing it into six equal parts? Or having six lines between where you start and where you finish? When we divide a number or a shape or a number line into sixths, we split it or divide it into six equal parts. The number line that shows six equal parts is the last one. So, the correct reason why James should use this number line is the second one on our list. It has been divided into six equal parts.

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