Fractions

How to Subtract Fractions with Unlike Denominators (like 2/3 – 1/4) with Free Online Tutoring in Math

How to Subtract Fractions with Unlike Denominators (like 2/3 - 1/4)

Subtracting fractions with unlike denominators, like 2/3 + 1/4 can be very confusing.  Unless children are taught to illustrate the subtraction of the fractions, they often never fully understand what is happening with the fractions.  This leaves children with a limited understanding, which can be frustrating and confusing as they enter higher levels of mathematics.

This is the fifth article  in a series of eleven that follow a cyclical learning approach.  Each article is a complete lesson on fractions that takes children step-by-step through the process of learning fractions.  By creating mathematical models, your child will gain a deeper and more concrete understanding of subtracting fractions with uncommon denominators.  This deeper understanding will help to ensure a successful educational career. 

Articles within this series on Fractions:

  1. How to do fractions, Free Online Tutoring in Math for Understanding Fractions
  2. How to Add Fractions (like 4/7 + 3/7 )
  3. How to Subtract Fractions (like 8/9 – 4/9 )
  4. How to Add Fractions with Unlike Denominators (like 2/3 + 3/4 )
  5. How to Subtract Fractions with Unlike Denominators (like 2/3 – 1/4)
  6. How to Add Fractions that are Mixed Numbers (like 2 & 3/4 + 3 & 5/6 )
  7. How to Subtract Fractions that are Mixed Numbers (like 3 & 3/4 – 2 & 5/6)
  8. How to Multiply Fractions (like 2/3 x 5 )
  9. How to Divide Fractions (like 6 ÷ ¾ )
  10. How to Multiply Fractions (like 2/3 x 1/4)
  11. How to Divide Fractions (like ½ ÷ ¼)

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How to Subtract Fractions with Uncommon Denominators
Online Tutoring in Math: Challenge
1
Watch Me
Geraldine the Day Dreaming Giraffe

Geraldine the Giraffe is a day dreamer.  She day dreams most of the day away, while other giraffes are busy stretching their necks to the high branches for food.  Geraldine walks around day dreaming about her boyfriend Gary.  By the end of the day, she will be very hungry and will have to scramble to get enough food.

There is only 2/3 of the day remaining.  If Geraldine day dreams for another 1/4 of a day, how much of the day will be left for her to eat?

Watch this Free Tutoring for Math Video!

Press PLAY and Watch this Free Tutoring for Math Video below.  Then copy these strategies into your notes!

 

Does Your Child Need a Great Book to Read?

 

My son read every single one of these Magic Tree House books when he was young.  They really helped to develop his reading fluency as well as his comprehension.

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It is about a young lady in the time of the Pharos.  She is quite the heroine. This book dovetails perfectly with the sixth grade standard of studying Ancient Egypt.

Could your child benefit from a little One-On-One tutoring?

The problem below is called a “Work with Me” challenge.  This challenge encourages your child to work step-by-step along side me to solve this challenge.  All of the following challenges are called “On Your Own” challenges.  However, many of my students who struggle with fractions will do five or six of the “On Your Own” challenges as a “Work with Me” challenge.  They play the video, pause it, and copy the strategies until they feel comfortable and confident.  Doing the problems as a “Work with Me” challenge is like having a personal tutor.

How to Subtract  Fractions with Uncommon Denominators
Online Tutoring in Math: Challenge 2
Work With Me
Larry The Llama

Larry the Llama may look like a relaxed fella, but he is actually a top ranked runner in the llama community.  He races around his yard faster than any other llama in his herd.  Today is the annual llama race.  The course is 5/6 of a mile long.  Larry races as fast as he can for 3/4 of a mile.

How much further does Larry have to run and stay ahead of the herd in order to win the race?

Watch this Free Tutoring for Math Video!

Gather your materials and press PLAY.  We’ll solve this problem together, while you watch the math tutorial video below.
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I have scaffold the problems in each lesson. 

The first problem in this article is a “Watch Me” problem.  The second is a “Work with Me” problem.  All the rest are “On Your Own” problems. 

*If your child needs a bit more support, they should complete the “On Your Own” problems as a “Work with Me” problem.  I have a number of students with gaps in their learning and others with a variety of  learning disabilities.  I have had incredible success, by having those students complete 5 to 7 problems within each lesson as a “Work with Me” problem.  They play a bit of the video, then pause it  and copy, then watch a bit more, pause it and copy.  My students Play – Pause – and Copy until the entire problem is solved.  This is like having a personal tutor working through each and every problem with your child.  Every one of my students who has used this strategy has passed the Common Core Proficiency Exam.

How to Subtract  Fractions with Uncommon Denominators
Online Tutoring in Math: Challenge 3
On Your Own
Banana Gobbling Gorilla

You are on safari in Africa.  As the jeep drives past a group of gorillas, you notice that one of them is gobbling a bunch of bananas.  He rips one from the stalk, but part of the banana stays on the stalk and part is in the gorilla’s hand.  The gorilla is holding 6/7 of the banana in his hand.  He bends his head forward and gobbles 2/3 of the banana.

How much of the banana does this Gobbling Gorilla have left to eat?

Watch this Free Tutoring for Math Video!

Once you complete the problem – Hit PLAY on the math tutorial video below.  Good Luck!
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Do your children get frustrated when they make a mistake?

We all make mistakes.  As a matter of fact, making mistakes is an essential part of the learning process.  This is why at the end of each of the following “On Your Own” challenges I encourage children to fix their mistakes.  Finding and fixing your own mistake is the fastest way to learn.

How to Subtract Fractions with Uncommon Denominators
Online Tutoring in Math: Challenge 4
On Your Own
Doggie Shoe Thief

Your parents just bought you a puppy.  He is tiny, fluffy, and adorable.  Unfortunately, he is also a thief.  Yes – your brand new puppy steals shoes.  He rips them off of people’s feet as they walk past.
The lady in the photo above has shoes that slip partway off her feet each time she takes a step. She walks past your pup and her shoe slips a little.  Now only 5/6 of her foot is covered by her shoe.  Your puppy launched himself toward her shoe.  He gripped it and pulls the shoe another 2/3 of the way off.

How much of the shoe is left on the lady’s foot?

Watch this Free Tutoring for Math Video!

Once you complete the problem – Hit PLAY on the math tutorial video below.  Good Luck!
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How to Subtract Fractions with Uncommon Denominators
Online Tutoring in Math: Challenge 5
On Your Own
Skateboard Sam

Skateboard Sam is on a quest.  He wants to the the first 6-year old to ride his skateboard the entire length of Gopher Road. Gopher Road got its name, because there are thousands of gophers on both sides to the road.  Skateboard Sam loves riding his skateboard, while the gophers stand on their hind legs and watch him roll past.  Gopher Road is 4/5 of a mile long.  Skateboard Sam has rolled for 3/4 of a mile.

How much further must Skateboard Sam ride his skateboard in order to accomplish his quest?

Watch this Free Tutoring for Math Video!

Once you complete the problem – Hit PLAY on the math tutorial video below.  Good Luck!
Is it time for a relaxing cup of Tea?

Try a cup of Teavana Peach Tranquility tea.  I am sure that you will love it!

How to Subtract Fractions with Uncommon Denominators
Online Tutoring in Math: Challenge 6
On Your Own
Comfortable Ted the comfort seeking Grizzly

Comfortable Ted the comfort seeking Grizzly is constantly looking for the perfect place to sit.  He found a tree stump and was able to 2/3 of his rump on it, while he sat and watched a rabbit hopping around. Later he found an ant hill to sit on.  He was only able to fit 2/9 of his rump on the ant mound, but he had to flee because the ants started biting him.

How much more of his rump fit on the stump?

Watch this Free Tutoring for Math Video!

Once you complete the problem – Hit PLAY on the math tutorial video below.  Good Luck!

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How to Subtract Fractions with Uncommon Denominators
Online Tutoring in Math: Challenge 7
On Your Own
Munching Mary the Hungry Llama

Munching Mary the Hungry Llama is munching away at her alfalfa .  She was given 5/6 of a bale of alfalfa this morning.  It’s not even 10:00 in the morning, and Munching Mary has already eaten 1/3 of a bale.

How much alfalfa does Munching Mary the Hungry Llama have left to eat?

Watch this Free Tutoring for Math Video!

Once you complete the problem – Hit PLAY on the math tutorial video below.  Good Luck!
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How to Subtract Fractions with Uncommon Denominators
Online Tutoring in Math: Challenge 8
On Your Own
Lenny the One Armed Lobster

Lenny the One Armed Lobster is feeling a bit lopsided.  His right claw is 5/7 of a decameter long.  His left claw is so small you can’t even see it.  Lenny’s left claw is 5/14 of a decameter long.

How much larger is Lenny’s right claw than his  left claw?

Watch this Free Tutoring for Math Video!

Once you complete the problem – Hit PLAY on the math tutorial video below.  Good Luck!
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How to Subtract Fractions with Uncommon Denominators
Online Tutoring in Math: Challenge 9
On Your Own
Rachel the Racing Red Panda

Rachel the Racing Red Panda loves to run.  She scurries over branches, under logs and even up steep cliffs.  She is racing against all the other red pandas in her neighborhood.  The course is 3/4 of a mile long.  Rachel is in front, and she has already run 3/6 of a mile.

How much further must Rachel run in order to complete her race?

complete her race?Watch this Free Tutoring for Math Video!

Once you complete the problem – Hit PLAY on the math tutorial video below.  Good Luck!
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How to Subtract Fractions with Uncommon Denominators
Online Tutoring in Math: Challenge 10
On Your Own
Rhet Rhino

Rhet Rhino wants to grow up to be just like his dad.  His dad’s horn is 3/5 of a meter long.  Rhet’s horn is 1/3 of a meter long.

How much will Rhet’s horn have to grow before is it is as long as his father’s horn?

Watch this Free Tutoring for Math Video!

Once you complete the problem – Hit PLAY on the math tutorial video below.  Good Luck!
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Drill & Kill

Here is where we Drill until we Kill all our mistakes!

  1. The following problems can all be solved with the same strategies we used to solve the first ten problems.
  2. Solve all four problems on each page.
  3. Watch the video & correct your work.
  4. Review your work with your teacher.
  5. If you get all 4 problems correct, your parent or teacher may tell you that you’re ready to move to the next book within this series.

Good Luck!

Drill & Kill Any Mistakes
Challenge
11

Problem 1

2/3 – 5/8?

 

Problem 2

3/4 – 2/7?

 

Problem 3

4/5 – 3/6?

 

Problem 4

5/6 – 4/9?

Once you complete the problem – Hit PLAY on the math tutorial video below.  Good Luck!

Drill & Kill Any Mistakes
Challenge
12

Problem 1

5/8 – 1/3?

 

Problem 2

5/7 – 2/4?

 

Problem 3

5/6 – 2/5?

Problem 4

7/9 – 4/6?

 

Once you complete the problem – Hit PLAY on the math tutorial video below.  Good Luck!

Drill & Kill Any Mistakes
Challenge
13

Problem 1

3/5 – 7/15?

 

Problem 2

3/4 – 5/12?

 

Problem 3

5/6 – 5/18?

Problem 4

1/3 – 2/9?

Once you complete the problem – Hit PLAY on the math tutorial video below.  Good Luck!

Drill & Kill Any Mistakes
Challenge
14

Problem 1

3/8 – 1/4?

 

Problem 2

5/9 – 1/2?

 

Problem 3

3/7 – 5/21?

 

Problem 4

5/6 – 1/9?

 

Once you complete the problem – Hit PLAY on the math tutorial video below.  Good Luck!
Need Help with Multiplication?

I have a series on Multiplication that is specifically designed for children who do not have all of their multiplication facts memorized.   The series is designed in a similar manner to this series on division, where each and every problem is linked to a video tutorial.  Here is a link to my series on Multiplication.

Need Help with Division?

I have a series on division that is specifically designed for children who do not have all of their multiplication facts memorized.   The series is designed in a similar manner to this series on multiplication, where each and every problem is linked to a video tutorial.  Here is a link to my series on Division.

Thank you for reading this article!

Want More Tutorials?

TeachersDungeon is an Educational Fantasy Game.  It is 100% FREE!  The game is set to the Common Core Educational Standards, and is web-based, so it can be played on any device.  Many of the questions are accompanied by tutorials like the ones you saw here.

One Last Thing

If you like this post and found it helpful, please leave a brief comment.   As a teacher, perhaps the greatest reward I receive is from parents, children, and fellow teachers who use my strategies of education and succeed.

My mission in life and as an educator is to make people feel empowered, self-assured, and happy about who they are in this world!  We all have gifts to bestow upon our world.  Go forth and do so, and know that you are awesome!

Have a fantastic day – Brian McCoy

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