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Friday, February 15, 2013

Equivalent Fraction Fun!

Now I know what you are thinking. Fraction Fun? That just cannot be possible. Well, I almost didn't believe my ears when my fourth graders told me they were having fun with fractions during our intervention lesson. Before we started fractions they were all in agreement that they absolutely abhorred fractions. (Which usually just means they do not understand them.)

My favorite thing about this lesson is how simple it is. Sometimes the simplest ways are the best!

To begin, I created an equivalent fraction chart. I laminated enough copies of the chart for each of my students to have one. You can get your own copy by clicking on the image above.

I began by giving students a fraction. (ex. 1/2) Students colored this fraction in on their chart with dry erase markers. Then, I asked them how many sixths would be equivalent to one-half. Students colored in the one-sixths until they lined up with the one-half. Then students could see that three-sixths was equivalent to one-half. We continued working through several problems this way.

Eventually I asked students if they noticed a pattern. One student explained that we divided both the numerator and the denominator by the same number. I asked the students why they thought we did that. This is the really beautiful part about this fraction chart. The students were able to see that one-half was three times as big as one-sixth. Their explanations were fabulous! I am so glad I let them figure the process out for themselves.

As we continued solving problems students actually began using the chart without even coloring the fractions in. Soon we will be ready to move on to the abstract phrase!

My school is currently very into Singapore Math. Their methods focus on moving from concrete, to pictorial, to abstract. This lesson would fall under the pictorial stage. We had already used pattern blocks to explore the concrete stage of equivalent fractions. 

I would also highly recommend the book Teaching Primary School Mathematics: A Resource Book. We got this book from or math curriculum director. It provides really great reasoning behind many mathematical concepts. Supposedly this is the textbook preservice teachers use in Singapore. (The price is not usually as high as it is currently listed on Amazon. The book seems to be back-ordered and independent sellers are taking advantage of this.)

The black and white copy of the equivalent fraction chart is provided for free, but if you would like color copies and copies without numbers you may purchase a pack at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

I hope you found this lesson helpful! Is anyone else's district implementing Singapore Math techniques?  

Freebie Fridays

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


  1. Once again, I'm finding a good idea on your blog. Thank you. Your students must adore you.

  2. I want to know more about Singapore Math- that seems like a really good tool for ESL!

    Everyone deServes to Learn

    1. Singapore Math has some really great strategies. You just have to be careful with some of the products out there. They aren't really true to the original style. I would HIGHLY recommend the book I listed above. (When Amazon gets some more and the price isn't ridiculous!)It is like a gold mine!

  3. Thanks! Posted it on love2learn2day Facebook page. :)

    1. P.S. Hope you'll join in on the Math Monday Blog Hop! ;)

    2. Thanks so much for sharing! I will definitely have to check out the Math Monday Blog Hop. I love working with other bloggers! :)

    3. So glad you posted this on Math Monday!

  4. I love your idea of laminating the chart... BRILLIANT! The kiddos can now use it over and over.
    Thanks for sharing,
    :0) Melissa
    More Time 2 Teach

  5. Excellent resource. I think this would work well in my summer school setting. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  6. Hi Amy,
    I just read your comment on my blog. Yes, I noticed you were right after me, when I went back to visit a few minutes ago. My first thought was, "Great, she put up that cool equivalent fraction freebie, that I downloaded just yesterday." :-) I pinned it to my Math board and left you a comment on your fb page. I am sure we will keep "bumping" into each other in this edu. blog world.
    3rd Grade Grapevine

  7. I would say that with Common Core, they might not call it Singapore Math, but lots are leaning towards that method because that's what Common Core IS I think!! PS I have nominated you for Liebster!! Go check out my blog for the deets. :)
    ideas by jivey

  8. Aw! Thank you so much for your kind words!

  9. I love the idea of laminating the sheet for students to use over and over. So simple but I am asking myself "why didn't I think of that"! Thanks for sharing!


    Your newest follower :)

    1. Thanks! There is something about dry erase markers too that really gets kids excited. It's the simple things! Thanks for stopping by! :)

  10. Interesting, what you pointed out about students abhorring what they don't understand. Isn't that just like us as adults?! And even as we grow older, we don't want to admit it anymore than they do. Glad you made believers out of them!


    1. You are completely right! The same does apply for adults. Now hopefully we can maintain the new love of fractions!

  11. As a trainee teacher in my final year of University I am finding online resources very beneficial but none more so than this. My class haven't really been grasping fractions up to now but using this resource has helped them so much! Thank you for your brilliant idea.


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