Mnemonic Weekly Tip  # 5           October 13, 2002
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The Problem
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 Many individuals, both children and adults, have difficulty with fractions.  There are a number of reasons why they have problems with fractions, but one of the most frequently observed is the problem of reducing improper fractions and converting fractions into decimals.  When confronted with these situations, the individual does not remember if the number on the top is divided into the number on the bottom, or the number on the bottom is divided into the number on top.  This is an either/or situation; a confusable for many. 
The Mnemonic

The swimming pool:  By visualizing or actually drawing a swimming pool next to a fraction, the person can easily remember which number to divide into which. 

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The number on the diving board dives into the pool that becomes a division problem. This simple mnemonic eliminates the confusion. 

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Richard Cooper