Rational numbers constitute a basic foundation in a child’s mathematical learning.

Understanding the core topic of rational numbers is vital for learning various advanced

concepts and connecting topics. It also depicts the math success of a child. A child

usually gets introduced to rational numbers at the elementary stage that develops a

foundational understanding of numbers. It is the time when students require to use their

former knowledge of numbers to build new concepts that diverge from their prior

knowledge.

Most of the students find it challenging and often get disheartened by the fact that they

no longer relate to this change. The lack of basic understanding of rational numbers is a

great cause for concern as these concepts are applied in various topics of advanced

mathematics and hold great academic importance. It is almost impossible for a student

to succeed in algebra without understanding rational numbers.

The use of rational numbers also prevails in our daily lives. We require them to

understand our daily calculations like following a recipe, checking shopping discounts,

exchange money, assessing the most cost-effective size of products, preparing

budgets, investing our savings, reading financial statements, etc. Hence we need to be

able to conceptualize the use of rational numbers in our daily lives.

**What are Rational Numbers?**

A rational number in arithmetic is a number that is expressed as the ratio of two

integers, where the denominator can never be a zero. The word ‘rational’ derived from

word ratio means comparing two or more values, also known as fractions. In simple

terms, it is the ratio of two integers.

The non-rational numbers are called irrational numbers. Irrational numbers are written in

decimals forms and not in a fractional form that means irrational numbers cannot be

written as the ratio of two integers. Irrational numbers have countless digits after the

decimal point. Such decimals are called non-terminating decimals. Rational numbers

are terminating, whereas irrational numbers are non-terminating.

For example, ? is a rational number, and 1/0 is an irrational number since the

denominator is zero. Another example of irrational numbers is 0.21111121…since it is

non-terminating.

**Applications of Rational Numbers:**

Learning about rational numbers is necessitated due to their various applications in

many quantities or measurements, which natural numbers or integers alone can not

represent. For example, the measurement of quantities like weight, length, mass, or

time. Rational numbers possess the ease and flexibility of representing various

quantities because they have two-part numbers, with one part available for designating

the size of the increments and the other for counting them. When a rational number is

written as a fraction, these two parts are clearly visible and are called denominators and

numerators, which specify their roles. In rational numbers such as 8 or 1.05, the second

part is missing or obscure, but it is readily supplied or brought to light.

As an integer, 8 needs no second part; as a rational number, it does, and the second

part is supplied by the obvious relationship 8 8/1. In the case of 1.05, it is the decimal

point that designates the second part, in this case, 100. The only information that

decimal point has to offer is its position; the numbers it can designate are limited to

powers of 10: 1, 10, 100, etc. For that reason, there are many rational numbers that

decimal fractions cannot represent, ?, for example.

**Conclusion:**

Clearly, the core concepts of rational numbers, their representations, and operations are

complicated. Students need to acquire this initial grounding in the rational-number

system through constant practice. An in-depth understanding of rational numbers

requires thorough practice and learning of various advanced concepts. Cuemath offers

interactive worksheets for kids to learn rational numbers in a fun and engaging way.

You can easily find some 5th and 6th-grade math worksheets on the Cuemath website.