# How to Use Strip Models to Subtract Fractions with Like Denominators

Strip models, also known as bar models or tape diagrams, are a great way to visualize fractions and understand the process of subtracting them. This can be especially useful when dealing with fractions that have the same (like) denominators.

## A step-by-step guide to Using Strip Models to Subtract Fractions with Like Denominators

Here’s a simple step-by-step guide on how you can use strip models to subtract fractions with like denominators:

**Step 1: Identify Your Fractions**

Let’s say you want to subtract \(\frac{2}{5}\) from \(\frac{4}{5}\). These are the two fractions you will be working with.

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**Step 2: Draw the First Strip Model**

Draw a long, horizontal rectangle. This is your “strip model”. Divide this strip into 5 equal parts because the denominator of your fractions is 5. To represent the fraction \(\frac{4}{5}\), shade in four of the five sections.

**Step 3: Draw the Second Strip Model**

Underneath the first strip model, draw another rectangle of the same length. Divide this into five equal parts as well, representing the same denominator. To represent the fraction \(\frac{2}{5}\), shade two of these five sections.

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**Step 4: Subtract**

To subtract fractions using strip models, you need to remove the amount of the second fraction from the first. The visual way to do this is to “remove” the shaded parts of the second strip model from the first strip model. So, you would visually or mentally “erase” two shaded parts from the four shaded parts in the first strip.

**Step 5: See What Is Left**

After you remove the two shaded parts from the first strip, you should have two shaded parts left. This represents the fraction \(\frac{2}{5}\). So, \(\frac{4}{5} – \frac{2}{5} = \frac{2}{5}\).

This visual method helps to clearly see what it means to subtract fractions. It’s especially useful for those who are new to fractions or who benefit from visual learning. As you become more comfortable with fractions, you’ll likely find that you can subtract fractions with like denominators more directly, simply by subtracting the numerators.

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