 Project Math Access

### Division of Fractions

Division of fractions is similar to the multiplication of fractions. The difference in the operation is summarized briefly below. The problem is written as though it were a multiplication problem. The divisor is written under the dividend. When it is brailled, it is inverted. Then, the numerator becomes the denominator and the denominator becomes the numerator. The same procedures are then used as in a multiplication problem. Reduction to lowest terms, and/or conversion to a mixed number is done if necessary.

A word of explanation is called for here. Division of fractions is represented in print in horizontal form. The first fraction in the horizontal line is the dividend and the second number following the division sign is the divisor. Attention must be paid to inverting the divisor only in order to carry out the operation correctly.

If one or both of the portions of the division problem is or are mixed numbers, these must be converted to improper fractions before the operation is carried out. Once the conversion has taken place, the same procedures are used as those which are described above.

```#15.  2 3/4 / 3 1/2

2 3/4 = 11/4
3 1/2 = 7/2

11/4
2/7

22/28 = 11/14

ans. = 11/14
``` Use of the braillewriter as a calculation tool is essential for a blind youngster's fundamental understanding of the steps involved in the four basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of both whole numbers and fractions. Blind students who rely solely upon the talking calculator have no opportunity to learn these steps. The abacus is an excellent tool for teaching the steps involved in arithmetic operations, but it does not afford the student the opportunity to emulate how sighted individuals perform these operations. A point of emphasis: the braillewriter should not be the only tool available for blind students to perform arithmetic calculations. As a student becomes more proficient with the braillewriter, greater emphasis should be placed on the use of the abacus. As the mathematical concepts become more complex, and after the student has mastered the basic operations, greater reliance should be placed on the talking calculator.