Subtracting fractions with common denominators

Subtracting fractions with common denominators can be made simple. Just tell your students to follow the two steps below. We’ve also included some powerpoint and PDF files with examples in English and Spanish. If you come to this site often, you know we LOVE examples for teaching math.

3 simple steps to subtracting fractions with common denominators

  1. Make sure the bottom numbers (the denominators) are the same. That is, make sure you really do have a common denominator.
  2. Subtract the top numbers (the numerators).
  3. Put the answer over the same denominator.

That’s it. You’re done!

Use this candy store example to teach about subtracting fractions with common denominators
Subtracting fractions with common denominators
in the candy store

Here is the question to pose to your students:

You own a candy store. You have containers of candy divided into eighths. You start the day with 28/8 containers of candy. You sell 4/8 containers. How many containers do you have left?

PDFPOWERPOINT
An example of subtracting fraction with like denominators  

IN SPANISH: Un ejemplo de resta de fracciones utilizando común denominador
Subtraction fractions with like denominators  

IN SPANISH: Un ejemplo de resta de fracciones utilizando común denominador

If you want to get fancier, you can reduce the fraction to lowest terms, but that’s not required for this lesson. If that IS your next step, check out this lesson plan on equivalent fractions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *