6th grade
posted by Marissa on .
What steps do we use to change 11/2 cups in half?

3/2 divided by 2 = 3/2 * 1/2 = ??

Change 1 1/2 to an improper fraction.
Multiply.
(1/2) * (3/2) = 3/4 
I was told that when dividing a mixed number you write the reciprocal of the second number and then multiply and that will change the answer.

You only use the reciprocal when the original problem is a division problem.
Your problem is a straight multiplication problem. 
Isn't this a division problem? I have to divide 11/2 into two parts.

It's the same thing.
(3/2) / 2 = (3/2) * (1/2)
The simpler way is to remember that "of" in a math problem means to multiply.
(3/2) * (1/2) = 3/4 
Thank you very much for your help. I had the same answer. I'm trying to explain the reciprocal to my daughter, she is worried that her teacher will say the answer is wrong.

You're very welcome.