Common Denominators with Cuisenaire® Rods

To find a common denominator for fractions like 1/2 and 1/3, use a red rod and a light green rod to represent the denominators 2 and 3. Next, create a multiple train by stacking copies of each rod color. When the trains are the same length, the train is a common multiple of the two denominators. The first common denominator of 1/2 and 1/3 is 6. Notice that 12 is also a common denominator of the fractions 1/2 and 1/3. Because 6 is the smallest multiple of the denominators, it is the least common denominator.



Common Denominators using the Brainingcamp Cuisenaire® Rods virtual manipulative.

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