If you are like me, you prefer multiplying and dividing fractions to adding and subtracting them because with multiplying and dividing fractions you don’t have to go through the work of rewriting the fractions with common denominators.
The Maths is Fun website has a page which uses pizza slices to remind us WHY we need to find a common denominator when adding and subtracting fractions.
Understanding WHY we do certain things in maths is equally important to knowing HOW to do the steps!
Below is a link to a video clip where Derek Owens addresses “what you can and cannot cancel” when simplifying algebraic fractions.
As Derek comments, there are many students who are confused about what they can cancel when working with algebraic fractions. Don’t be one of those students. Always factorise the numerator and the denominator and THEN see if there are terms you can cancel.