## Where is one whole?

When you see a fraction, you need to keep in mind what the two numbers mean. The top number (numerator) represents the number of groups or parts that you can see. The bottom number (denominator) represents the number of groups or parts needed to make one whole.

Let’s put this definition of fraction to work.

Example 1

Consider the fraction $\frac{3}{7}$. The number line shows the location of  0 and $\frac{3}{7}$. Where on the number line would one whole go? To locate where one whole would go, first remember that $\frac{3}{7}$ means 3 parts out of 7 parts. So, between 0 and $\frac{3}{7}$ there are 3 segments. Each segment is one-seventh. To locate where one whole should be placed on the number line you need to move seven spaces to the right. Use this applet to practice locating where one-whole should be placed on the number line.

Example 2

Now let's try the same idea with a different model - square tiles.

If 8 tiles = $\frac{2}{5}$, how many tiles are in one whole? # Self-Check

 Question 1 If 6 tiles is equal to $\frac{2}{3}$, then how many tiles are in one whole? [show answer] 9 tiles

 Question 2 James spent \$90 to buy a skateboard. If this is$\frac{3}{4}$of all his cash, how much money did he have? [show answer]$120

 Question 3 A family is on a Sunday drive. So far they have driven 24 miles. If this is $\frac{3}{5}$ of their trip, how long is their entire trip? [show answer] 40 miles