2.2: Addition of Rational Numbers
Learning Objectives
At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
 Add using a number line.
 Add rational numbers.
 Identify and apply properties of addition.
 Solve realworld problems using addition of fractions.
Vocabulary
Terms introduced in this lesson:
 adding a negative number
 LCD/LCM
 least common multiple
 equivalent fractions
 commutative property
 associative property
 additive identity
 additive properties
Teaching Strategies and Tips
Use Examples 13 to provide a visual frame of reference for adding real numbers. Eventually, students will need to add numbers without using the number line.
General Tip: Move to the left on the number line when faced with a negative number or subtraction.
Additional example:

Represent the sum
−7−5 on the number line.
Solution:
Starting at
Use Examples 4 and 5 to introduce LCD (lowest common denominator) and LCM (lowest common multiple). Although they have different meanings, the difference is subtle.
Additional examples:

Find the LCM of
24 and30 .
Solution:
The lowest number that both

Simplify
524+130 .
Solution:
In order to combine these fractions we need to rewrite them over a common denominator. We are looking for the lowest common denominator (LCD). We need to first identify the lowest common multiple (LCM) of
Teachers are encouraged to reinforce the notions of LCD and LCM using visual representations as illustrated in Example 4.
To help students learn the difference between the associative and commutative properties state the rule that is used when doing each example in the classroom and then have them note the differences.
Error Troubleshooting
General Tip: Students who have difficulty with LCD and LCM at this point, might benefit from factor trees, which are discussed in the next lesson.
For instance, in Example 6, students are asked to combine two denominators having a common factor. The factor trees for

12=2×2×3 
9=3×3
To find the LCM, start by taking all of the prime numbers
General Tip: Students need constant reminding that adding fractions cannot take place without common denominators. Although memorizing rules such as,

ac+bc=a+bc 
ab+cd=ad+bcbd
may prove helpful, teachers are encouraged to explain why denominators must be the same. Use an approach similar to the following:
 Measurements involving feet and inches cannot be added until a common unit is chosen. For example, the sum of
7inches and3feet is not equal to10inches ,10feet , or10feet−inches . Converting3feet to36inches allows us to add the7inches to it:7in+36in=43in .  The same is true with fractions. “Halves” and “fourths” must be first converted to the common unit “fourths.” Similarly, fractions representing “halves” and “thirds,” will need to be converted to a third unit, “sixths,” the LCM of
2 and3 .  Example 4 uses a visual argument to justify the need for common denominators. In one direction, the “cake” is sliced according to the first fraction,
3/5 ; in the other direction it is sliced according to the second fraction1/6 . The sum of3/5 and1/6 can now be found – but only in terms of the little squares since the total number of squares represent the common unit.
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