Adding and subtracting fractions is typically introduced in 4th Grade and is limited to fractions with like denominators. In 5th Grade students then move on and use equivalent fractions to help add and subtract fractions that have different denominators.
The following information and resources will help your child with adding and subtracting fractions.
Encourage your child to start adding and subtracting fractions with the same denominator before trying to work with fractions with different denominators.
Be sure your child understands equivalent fractions before tackling adding or subtracting fractions.
Adding and subtracting fractions requires fractions with unlike denominators to be changed so that all fractions have the same denominator.
This short lesson shows how to add and subtract fractions.
The above lesson includes audio (so remember to switch on your speakers). Use the play/ pause button if you need to stop and start the lesson.
Related Fractions Lessons
The steps shown in the above lesson are also shown below using two fractions: 3/4 and 5/6.
There are two methods of adding or subtracting mixed numbers. Either add the whole numbers and then add the fraction parts, or convert each mixed number to an improper fraction before calculating. remind your child to reduce any answers to their lowest term and to change any improper fractions to mixed numbers.
When adding/ subtracting mixed numbers:
The example below shows the adding of two mixed numbers.
Note: An alternative to the above method involves changing the mixed numbers to improper fractions (7/3 and 15/4), converting these to equivalent values (28/12 and 45/12), adding these, and finally changing the improper fraction to a mixed number.
Use the worksheets below to practice adding and subtracting fractions
More Math Help
The equivalent fractions page will help when working with fractions with different denominators.