Equivalent Fractions - Lowest Terms - Level 2, via Mathematics...Level 1 of this series is equal area understanding.
1.) Students compute the factor strings of the numerator and denominator. Use the compression method to easily produce the factor string. Students must know their math facts...this is done with small bits of work...paper on this page to assist the teacher in this task. Simple divisibility rules for 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10...greatly assist in this process.
2.) Compute the GCF.
3.) Use the GCF in an improper fraction form...to determine the fraction in lowest terms...understanding that they are actually dividing by 1 WHOLE...the identity property.
4.) Compute the Factor Strings for the Lowest Term Fraction...to ensure that the GCF is equal to 1 - "One and Done" - Lowest Term (LT) Confirmed."
Students must understand the entire process to compute lowest terms and realize the mathematical reason this works....really dividing by 1 whole.
The teacher should thoroughly model the process...students follow a set procedure so they understand the mathematical steps in sequence. After much practice...spaced repetition...students learn to do this exercise mentally, as we do all things after practice.
Best to you and your students.