Fractions are one of those concepts that people actually use throughout their lives. When making recipes or dividing up a chocolate bar, fractions is the concept we use. Over the years, I have seen kids struggle with basic concepts. As a result, they struggle with adding and subtracting fractions, comparing fractions and more. Here are some tips for teaching basic fraction concepts so that kids have a solid base for tougher lessons.
Fractions are a great tool to help kids visualize the size of each fraction. Try these black and white fraction strips from superteacherworksheets.com. Children will need to cut out the strips. One thing you can do is ask kids to see how many 1/6 strips it takes to make one whole. Or challenge kids to see how many 1/3 strips it takes to make ½. This is important to help kids see the relationship between different fractions. There is also an online fraction bar tool that can be easily manipulated. Finally, here are some game suggestions using the fraction bars.
Superteacherworksheets.com has a great selection of worksheets for teaching basic fractions. Try the fraction shapes worksheets where students tell what part of the fraction is shaded. There are circles divided up into fractions and labeled. Kids can cut these up to manipulate while seeing relationships between fractions. A final good one for basic fractions is the coloring fractions page where you color the box or boxes that represent the fractions. All of these are in PDF format.
Find more fraction worksheets at math-drills.com. The first two sections on this page contain blackline masters of different types of black and white and colored circles divided into fractions. There are also colored and black and white fraction bars. In addition, there are several fraction-modeling worksheets where kids are asked to do things like write a fraction that describes each model. These are all PDF worksheets.
Play Fraction Flags at oswego.org. Select the proportions of the flag, like design a flag using one fourth or halves, and then click on the flag colors to color the flag with the appropriate colors. Help kids see how much is left while playing pizza party. Finally, at nlvm.usu.edu, kids can visualize fractions by looking at circles and squares. Then, divide the shape into equally sized pieces by using the arrows. The fraction will then be shown in a ratio and fraction form.
To introduce students to fractions try reading them Fraction Action by Loreen Leedy. Using fun animals, Leedy used basic objects like sandwiches cut up to show fractions. This costs 6.95. Another good book is Apple Fractions by Jerry Palotta. For $5.99, the book uses fun elves and various types of apples to teach kids all about fractions. Both books are available from amazon.com.
Joanne Caniglia Fraction Games mathforum.org
Loreen Leedy.Fraction Action
Jerry Palotta Apple Fractions