Do you know how to add fractions?

Sam scored \( \frac{7}{10} \) on paper 1 and \( \frac{8}{10}\) on paper 2.

Add these fractions together.

What is Sam’s overall exam score?

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This Starter is intended to make students think about the meaning of fractions. The question the teacher might ask is why the normal rules of adding fractions don't apply here.

\( \frac{7}{10} + \frac{8}{10} = \frac{15}{10}\) but the overall test score is \( \frac{15}{20} \). This apparently supports the misconception that when adding fractions you add both the numerators and the denominators.

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Transum,

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

"It is a common misconception that when adding fractions you add together both the numerators and denominators. Can you explain why that incorrect method seems to work in this situation?"

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