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• FIRST POST
• andrewthomas2008
• 1st Oct 16, 3:39 AM
• 160Posts
• 25Thanks
andrewthomas2008
Sorry if this is wrong section

Helping nephew with homework. Want to make sure I'm answering correctly before I explain how to work it out as he isn't sure himself. I'm terrible at math so don't be brutal.

Fiona's bus fare to work is £1.50. it goes up to £1.80. write the new fare as a fraction of the old bus fare.

My answer is 1.80 - 1.50 = 0.30 then 0.30 / 0.2 = 1/5

Luke buys a house for £150000 and sells it for £200000. Write the selling price as a fraction of the original price in its simplest form.

My answer is 200000 - 150000 = 50000. Then 50000 / 150000 = 0.33 = 33/100

Last edited by andrewthomas2008; 01-10-2016 at 8:08 AM.
Page 2
• andrewthomas2008
• 1st Oct 16, 11:56 AM
• 160 Posts
• 25 Thanks
andrewthomas2008
Originally posted by sew what
I get it now.
What the hell was I doing.
• onomatopoeia99
• 1st Oct 16, 12:21 PM
• 4,175 Posts
• 9,373 Thanks
onomatopoeia99
Put the digital calculator away and do mental arithmetic.
Originally posted by theoretica
The most important piece of advice in the whole topic.
INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek.
Home is where my books are.
• Feebie
• By Feebie 1st Oct 16, 12:49 PM
• 57 Posts
• 97 Thanks
Feebie
Kind of! In this particular instance, it's easier to work mentally, but please don't underestimate the need for maths students to be able to use a calculator efficiently and effectively (e.g. knowing how to use the fraction button). In my experience, poor calculator skills can have a detrimental effect on achievement in the subject and given the new GCSE is two-thirds calculator based, they're now more important than ever.
Last edited by Feebie; 01-10-2016 at 12:58 PM. Reason: Remove quote
• onomatopoeia99
• 1st Oct 16, 12:59 PM
• 4,175 Posts
• 9,373 Thanks
onomatopoeia99
I have my A level and S level (do those still exist?) maths, and did an engineering degree more than half my lifetime ago; I know that calculators are necessary. For this problem they aren't and just make it more difficult. Knowing when to use the calculator and when not to is a vital skill too.

I'm not one of those that rant about calculators making maths too easy, because people who say that tend to think there is no more to mathematics than arithmetic and long division is as difficult as it gets .
INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek.
Home is where my books are.
• Feebie
• By Feebie 1st Oct 16, 1:07 PM
• 57 Posts
• 97 Thanks
Feebie
I have my A level and S level (do those still exist?) maths, and did an engineering degree more than half my lifetime ago; I know that calculators are necessary. For this problem they aren't and just make it more difficult. Knowing when to use the calculator and when not to is a vital skill too.

I'm not one of those that rant about calculators making maths too easy, because people who say that tend to think there is no more to mathematics than arithmetic and long division is as difficult as it gets .
Originally posted by onomatopoeia99
No, I recognise that you weren't, apologies if my post suggested this. I get frustrated when I see students trying to perform complex (or even simple) arithmetic when there is no need and they have a valuable tool at their disposal. If the op is helping his nephew with his maths, I thought I'd chip in as this may be something he could help him with too.

Haven't come across s papers in my teaching career - although I did the economics one more than half my lifetime ago :-)
• teddysmum
• 1st Oct 16, 9:14 PM
• 9,037 Posts
• 5,386 Thanks
teddysmum
As former maths teacher, I think that, beyond showing a child how useful a calculator can be, they should be banned from use in maths work, until secondary school.

A big problem with calculators is the fact that many people don't realise what type of calculator they are using; basic and scientific ones, working in different ways.

A basic calculator, as found on computers, works the four rules in the order given, whereas a scientific one works according to BODMAS (ie brackets first, then any multiplications and divisions, followed by additions and subtractions)

3X4-2X5

A basic calculator does 3X4=12, 12-2=10, 10X5=50

Whereas the other works 3X4=12, 2X5=10, 12-10=2

This calculation usually intends (3X4)-(2X5), making the second the desired answer.

I agree with the above ie don't use a calculator for fraction questions as the child is required to practice cancelling and conversion between decimal and 'vulgar' fractions often doesn't give an exact answer.
• Newly retired
• 1st Oct 16, 9:24 PM
• 2,345 Posts
• 2,721 Thanks
Newly retired
Why do you have to help him at all? It is his homework, presumably to practise something he has been taught in class. If he can't do it, he hasn't been listening, or the teacher has not explained it properly.
• onlyroz
• By onlyroz 1st Oct 16, 9:55 PM
• 13,972 Posts
• 26,739 Thanks
onlyroz
For the 1.8/1.5, the simplest way is to convert this to 18/15. Then to convert this to the simplest fraction you note that both 18 and 15 are divisible by 3, which gives you 6/5.
• Feebie
• By Feebie 2nd Oct 16, 9:22 AM
• 57 Posts
• 97 Thanks
Feebie
Teddy's mum - for some reason, I had assumed the nephew to be in secondary school, hence advice about calculators (we expect students to use scientific ones so no worries with order of operations). But, yes, if nephew is in primary school, totally different!
• andrewthomas2008
• 12th Oct 16, 6:02 PM
• 160 Posts
• 25 Thanks
andrewthomas2008
Why do you have to help him at all? It is his homework, presumably to practise something he has been taught in class. If he can't do it, he hasn't been listening, or the teacher has not explained it properly.
Originally posted by Newly retired
He isn't particularly good at mathematics, so as a caring uncle I wanted to help him.

A teacher teaching a class of 20 or more pupils is never going to be able to ensure everyone student has grasped what they have been taught. If it was as simple as you've put it then every student would flourish within the schooling system.
• Newly retired
• 17th Oct 16, 9:26 AM
• 2,345 Posts
• 2,721 Thanks
Newly retired
I appreciate your point. Especially in primary school.
As a retired secondary teacher, if I realised a parent , or relative, had been too involved in a pupil's homework, they would get no marks, but jokingly tell them that their dad could have 10/10 . The point being whether the child has learned from the homework.
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