Linking up today with Meg, over at The Teacher Studio! Fractions is a huge part of the fourth grade math curriculum. For some reason, this concept is always very difficult for my students to grasp. To make the concepts of equivalent fractions more concrete, we started off with Fraction Fringe.
Step 1: Fold 3 sheets of 8-1/2" x 11" paper in half: 4-1/4"x11". (I used whatever random sheets of colored paper I had in my cupboard.)
Step 2: Next, stagger the paper, about 1" apart, then fold TOWARDS yourself. Staple at the top. (Now students will have 2 step booklets each.)
Step 3: Take one step booklet (set the other aside). Label the BOTTOM step: 1 whole.
Step 4: Leave 1 whole, but take the other steps and cut them in half. (Leave the very top flap intact: use as title/cover.) Label the step above 1 whole: 1/2, 1/2
Step 5: Continue cutting each step in 1/2: students will end up with a fringe of fourths, eighths, and sixteenths
With the second booklet, cut into thirds, sixths, and twelfths. There will be an extra "step", which I usually have the students just cut off.
Now the fun begins! Call out various equivalent fractions: "How many sixths is equivalent to 1/3?" (Student use their Fraction Fringe to hold up and compare.) They can physically touch and see why certain fractions are equivalent, even though they have different denominators. Fraction Fringe is also terrific for adding fraction: "What is 2/4 + 1/8?" Again, students can pick up the fringes to see the total.
How do you introduce equivalent fractions? I'd love to hear from you! Click on the button below to learn about more successful lessons!