# How to Choose a Model to Subtract Fractions with Like Denominators

The use of models can be a powerful visual tool to understand the subtraction of fractions with like denominators.

## A Step-by-step Guide to Choosing a Model to Subtract Fractions with Like Denominators

Here’s a step-by-step guide using a number line model:

### Step 1: Draw a number line

Draw a line and mark it with evenly spaced segments. The number of segments should correspond to the denominator of your fractions. For example, if we’re subtracting \(\frac{5}{6} – \frac{3}{6}\), draw a line with 6 segments.

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### Step 2: Plot the first fraction

Starting from 0, count the segments until you reach the numerator of the first fraction. For example, for \(\frac{5}{6}\), count 5 segments and mark that point.

### Step 3: Subtract the second fraction

From the point you marked for the first fraction, count back the number of segments that correspond to the numerator of the second fraction. For example, for \(\frac{3}{6}\), count back 3 segments and mark that point.

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### Step 4: Read the result

The point you end up at represents the result of the subtraction. In our example, you would end up at the point representing \(\frac{2}{6}\), which simplifies to \(\frac{1}{3}\). So, \(\frac{5}{6} – \frac{3}{6} = \frac{2}{6}= \frac{1}{3}\).

The number line model provides a visual understanding of fraction subtraction. It clearly shows how subtracting fractions with like denominators involves subtracting the numerators, while the denominator remains the same.

For more complex problems or for students who are more visually inclined, a fraction circle or fraction bar model could be used, which involves coloring or shading the appropriate parts of the circle or bar to represent the fractions and the subtraction process.

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