# Basic Parts of a Whole Background Information for Teachers, Parents and Caregivers

This page provides information to support educators and families in teaching K-3 students about basic parts of a whole. It is designed to complement the Basic Parts of a Whole topic page on BrainPOP Jr.

A fraction is a quotient of two rational numbers and shows a part of a whole. The denominator, or bottom number of a fraction, tells the total number of parts in the whole. The numerator, or top number of a fraction, identifies the number of parts of the whole. For example, the fraction ^{1}/_{4} shows 1 out of 4 total parts of the whole. This fraction is also called a quarter, or a fourth. Guide your children to figure out that the twenty-five cent coin is called a quarter because there are 4 quarters in a dollar, so 1 quarter is equal to ^{1}/_{4} of a dollar. Guide children to explain why a fifty-cent coin is called a half-dollar. There are 2 half-dollars in a dollar, so one half-dollar is equal to ^{1}/_{2} of a dollar. We recommend watching the Dollars and Cents movie together as a review.

Familiarize your children with the language we use to describe fractions. When we split something into three equal parts, we divide it into thirds. One part of the whole is called a third. When we split something into four equal parts, we divide it into quarters. One part of the whole is called a fourth.

The Basic Parts of a Whole movie introduces children to fractions and covers simple fractions, such as one-quarter, one-third, and one-half. BrainPOP Jr. will produce movies that cover more advanced fractions and equivalent fractions in the future.

The best way for your children to become familiar with fractions is to work with them. We recommend cooking with your children so they can see how fractions are an important part of daily life, and not just concepts they learn in school.