How to Add Pi Fractions

August 19, 2023
David Sunnyside

pi is one of those rare, special numbers that seems to pop up in just about every area of math. We study it in middle school as a way to calculate the circumference of a circle, and then we learn to use it for everything from finding the area of a triangle to finding the radius of an atom.

It’s a fascinating number with an incredible history, but there are some misconceptions about pi that students often encounter. For example, many students think that dividing pi by itself will give you the exact value of pi, and that’s just not true. pi is an irrational number, and as such, it has a never-ending decimal expansion.

This means that trying to divide it will result in infinitely long numbers with a random distribution of digits. To get a close approximation of pi, you need to use something like the continued fraction method.

Continued fractions allow you to add two or more fractions together while keeping the denominators the same. In order to do this, you must first find the lowest common denominator of the fractions you are adding. This can be done by multiplying the numerators and denominators of each fraction by 2. Once you have this information, you can then subtract the two fractions.

This is a great way to practice addition and subtraction with fractions in any grade level! If you’re looking for more practice with this skill, check out the Add & Subtract Fractions Monthly Color by Number Math Practice Pack, which includes eleven sheets that all focus on this one concept.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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