How to Teach Fractions


Having taught fractions to third graders for many years, I know how challenging the concept can be. I had used a couple different math curriculums over the years, but they all lacked in several important (and in my opinion necessary) areas. Read on to see if you are missing these too and how I solved the problem.
Most programs my districts provided consisted of a quick introduction and then a couple weeks worth of fractions worksheets. Here's what was missing:
  • vocabulary 
  • hands-on exploration
  • seeing fractions presented in different forms
  • spiral review of the concepts
Knowing what was missing from the boxed curriculum the school provided, seeing where hundreds of third graders had demonstrated misconceptions over the years, and having researched best practices for math instruction at an advanced level, enabled me to create resources for my own students that truly made a dramatic difference in their test scores.

But much more important than test scores, my students...
  • fully understood fractions
  • felt confident in their abilities
  • were ready to move on to higher-level skills in future grade levels
  • could apply the concepts to real-world situations
Here is what I (and now over 2,200 other classroom teachers and homeschool families) have used with great success:


Fractions activities for 3rd grade (or even 2nd, 4th, or 5th) can be fun. Introducing and teaching a fractions unit is easy with these Clutter - Free worksheets and printables. Vocabulary, fraction strips, anchor charts and more are key to understanding fractions on a number line, ordering, comparing, reducing, decomposing, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and converting fractions to decimals on worksheets or in word problems.


This resource can be instantly downloaded and used as a stand alone COMPLETE TWO WEEK FRACTION UNIT or as a complement to strengthen any math curriuclum. It includes TWENTY ACTIVITIES to choose from so all of your students have amply opportunity to have their specific learning needs met in a manner that clicks for them.

In addition to the activities, the resource contains a teaching plan with explanations of each of the fraction projects, fraction games, and fraction activities that are included. 

Below you will find:
  • photos that show just “a fraction” of what is included...yeah, I crack myself up. :)
  • reviews of this resource from some of the teachers who've found this resource has helped them and their students
  • a link to a FREE FRACTION ACTIVITY inspired by the book Picture Pie by Ed Emberly

Fractions activities for 3rd grade (or even 2nd, 4th, or 5th) can be fun. Introducing and teaching a fractions unit is easy with these Clutter - Free worksheets and printables. Vocabulary, fraction strips, anchor charts and more are key to understanding fractions on a number line, ordering, comparing, reducing, decomposing, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and converting fractions to decimals on worksheets or in word problems.
Fractions activities for 3rd grade (or even 2nd, 4th, or 5th) can be fun. Introducing and teaching a fractions unit is easy with these Clutter - Free worksheets and printables. Vocabulary, fraction strips, anchor charts and more are key to understanding fractions on a number line, ordering, comparing, reducing, decomposing, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and converting fractions to decimals on worksheets or in word problems.

Fractions activities for 3rd grade (or even 2nd, 4th, or 5th) can be fun. Introducing and teaching a fractions unit is easy with these Clutter - Free worksheets and printables. Vocabulary, fraction strips, anchor charts and more are key to understanding fractions on a number line, ordering, comparing, reducing, decomposing, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and converting fractions to decimals on worksheets or in word problems.

Fractions activities for 3rd grade (or even 2nd, 4th, or 5th) can be fun. Introducing and teaching a fractions unit is easy with these Clutter - Free worksheets and printables. Vocabulary, fraction strips, anchor charts and more are key to understanding fractions on a number line, ordering, comparing, reducing, decomposing, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and converting fractions to decimals on worksheets or in word problems.

Fractions activities for 3rd grade (or even 2nd, 4th, or 5th) can be fun. Introducing and teaching a fractions unit is easy with these Clutter - Free worksheets and printables. Vocabulary, fraction strips, anchor charts and more are key to understanding fractions on a number line, ordering, comparing, reducing, decomposing, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and converting fractions to decimals on worksheets or in word problems.

Fractions activities for 3rd grade (or even 2nd, 4th, or 5th) can be fun. Introducing and teaching a fractions unit is easy with these Clutter - Free worksheets and printables. Vocabulary, fraction strips, anchor charts and more are key to understanding fractions on a number line, ordering, comparing, reducing, decomposing, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and converting fractions to decimals on worksheets or in word problems.

Fractions activities for 3rd grade (or even 2nd, 4th, or 5th) can be fun. Introducing and teaching a fractions unit is easy with these Clutter - Free worksheets and printables. Vocabulary, fraction strips, anchor charts and more are key to understanding fractions on a number line, ordering, comparing, reducing, decomposing, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and converting fractions to decimals on worksheets or in word problems.
Fractions activities for 3rd grade (or even 2nd, 4th, or 5th) can be fun. Introducing and teaching a fractions unit is easy with these Clutter - Free worksheets and printables. Vocabulary, fraction strips, anchor charts and more are key to understanding fractions on a number line, ordering, comparing, reducing, decomposing, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and converting fractions to decimals on worksheets or in word problems.

Fractions activities for 3rd grade (or even 2nd, 4th, or 5th) can be fun. Introducing and teaching a fractions unit is easy with these Clutter - Free worksheets and printables. Vocabulary, fraction strips, anchor charts and more are key to understanding fractions on a number line, ordering, comparing, reducing, decomposing, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and converting fractions to decimals on worksheets or in word problems.

Fractions activities for 3rd grade (or even 2nd, 4th, or 5th) can be fun. Introducing and teaching a fractions unit is easy with these Clutter - Free worksheets and printables. Vocabulary, fraction strips, anchor charts and more are key to understanding fractions on a number line, ordering, comparing, reducing, decomposing, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and converting fractions to decimals on worksheets or in word problems.

Fractions activities for 3rd grade (or even 2nd, 4th, or 5th) can be fun. Introducing and teaching a fractions unit is easy with these Clutter - Free worksheets and printables. Vocabulary, fraction strips, anchor charts and more are key to understanding fractions on a number line, ordering, comparing, reducing, decomposing, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and converting fractions to decimals on worksheets or in word problems.

Fractions activities for 3rd grade (or even 2nd, 4th, or 5th) can be fun. Introducing and teaching a fractions unit is easy with these Clutter - Free worksheets and printables. Vocabulary, fraction strips, anchor charts and more are key to understanding fractions on a number line, ordering, comparing, reducing, decomposing, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and converting fractions to decimals on worksheets or in word problems.





Fractions activities for 3rd grade (or even 2nd, 4th, or 5th) can be fun. Introducing and teaching a fractions unit is easy with these Clutter - Free worksheets and printables. Vocabulary, fraction strips, anchor charts and more are key to understanding fractions on a number line, ordering, comparing, reducing, decomposing, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and converting fractions to decimals on worksheets or in word problems. 
Fractions activities for 3rd grade (or even 2nd, 4th, or 5th) can be fun. Introducing and teaching a fractions unit is easy with these Clutter - Free worksheets and printables. Vocabulary, fraction strips, anchor charts and more are key to understanding fractions on a number line, ordering, comparing, reducing, decomposing, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and converting fractions to decimals on worksheets or in word problems.
Fractions activities for 3rd grade (or even 2nd, 4th, or 5th) can be fun. Introducing and teaching a fractions unit is easy with these Clutter - Free worksheets and printables. Vocabulary, fraction strips, anchor charts and more are key to understanding fractions on a number line, ordering, comparing, reducing, decomposing, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and converting fractions to decimals on worksheets or in word problems. 
Fractions activities for 3rd grade (or even 2nd, 4th, or 5th) can be fun. Introducing and teaching a fractions unit is easy with these Clutter - Free worksheets and printables. Vocabulary, fraction strips, anchor charts and more are key to understanding fractions on a number line, ordering, comparing, reducing, decomposing, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and converting fractions to decimals on worksheets or in word problems.
The other problem I faced using the boxed math curriculum was that my students would forget what they had learned over time. This was because they would be introduced to a topic, practice it for a few days, be assessed and then move on. This meant we would then need to take time from class for "test prep" later in the year and I never felt great about their level of retention.

I solved that problem by creating my own system for ongoing spiral review.

This was KEY to
  • helping students who had demostrated proficiency retain their knowledge
  • letting students who had not quite grasped concepts when they were introduced to have repeated opportunities for practice until mastery
  • allowing me easy, ongoing assessment of student abilities which I then used to form focus groups for small group instruction during math workshop
  • making it easy to provide consistent homework routines for families
Fractions are a big part of each of the monthly spiral reviews.

Homework is easy with math spiral review no prep printables. Elementary teachers also love them for morning work, quizzes, RtI, bell ringers, guided math workshop warmups & assessments. Homework folders, packets, or binders make organization and management easy. They eliminate the need for test prep yet increases standardized test scores. They’re for second grade, third grade, fourth grade, & fifth grade & include answer keys, digital projectable, & data analysis. Grab the free samples.


Many teachers find fractions to be a challenging concept to teach and students who excel with computation skills sometimes struggle when it comes to fractions and geometry.

I am confident that by teaching your students the vocabulary and providing them with hands-on, creative activities to practice the concepts you will see huge gains in their understanding of fractions and find them to be a really enjoyable topic to teach.





On Thursday  I blogged about some of the activities that I had done in my classroom to teach my third graders about fractions and shared some materials from my Fraction Packet. You can read that post here.

This year I have really been trying to incorporate more math literature into my lessons. Above are the books that I had borrowed from the public library that focused on fractions. I plan to order a couple to own.

Whole-y Cow: Fractions Are Fun was simple and engaging. I read it to my second grade son before I brought it to school and he quickly understood the concept of fractions in a set. 

Full House: An Invitation to Fractions was a book that my students enjoyed listening to and I modeled the fractions on the board as I read it aloud.


The other books were worth checking out and worked well as a center during my math workshop rotations.



Click on any of the books below to read full descriptions and see additional images via Amazon.


  


   



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