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Positive Rational Numbers
Teaching About Rational Numbers
Harry Guffee

This song is available on Harry Guffee's Got Math?

Soul music meets rhythm and blues in this expository narrative about the relationship between decimals, fractions, and percents. 

Ladies and Gentlemen:
The numbers that fall in between consecutive whole numbers include 
Positive Rational Numbers

Positive Rational Numbers can be written in any of three forms, any of three notations;
As fractions
As decimals
As percents
Each form has its own special characteristics
The forms are interchangeable, but the ways of doing standard operations
With the three notations are very different

Got Math?

Fractions are used to name part of a whole object
Or part of a whole collection of objects
Or to compare two quantities
A fraction is a number in the form a/b 
Where a and b are whole numbers and b is not zero

A decimal is a name for a fraction whose denominator is a power of 10 
For example: 1/100 = 0.01, 1/1000 = 0.001
So a fraction with a multiple of ten in the denominator can also be written
As an equivalent decimal number 
And, because a fraction can also represent division
That is to say that the fraction 2/3 can be thought of as 2 divided by 3
So that when you divide a numerator by a denominator,
You can express that fraction as a decimal equivalent

A percent is a fraction with 100 in the denominator
The word percent comes from the Latin words "per centum":
"Per" meaning for and "centum" meaning one hundred; 
Ergo, 60 percent means 60 out of one hundred
A percent always represents a percent of something
And that something is the whole thing, or 100%!


See more of our Math Songs

Many thanks to Harry Guffee  for permission to publish these lyrics.
© 2002 Pine Mountain Music.  All rights reserved. Printed with permission.

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