March is the month that we go ALL in on teaching fractions in my classroom! It’s kind of like spring cleaning in your house….time to go crazy! Fractions are very important to teach to the upper elementary grades and there are some really fun ways that you can work on teaching fractions (like with food)! These activities build a foundation with hands on and visual displays. Here are my 4 favorite activities for teaching fractions:
This simple introduction to fractions activity is what I use to begin my fraction unit in my classroom. This set includes three different activities to introduce your class to fractions. Everything you need is included. I use two of the activities during whole group instruction, and then the name in fractions activity as a math center or for individual student work. My students usually get really creative with this fun, hands-on activity and LOVE to work on this activity!
2. Number Line Activity
This activity is really fun for students to learn fractions and it’s a good movement activity!
First, create a number line on the carpet with masking tape for each set of numbers.
Next, create fractions index cards. One card per for 0, halves, fourths, and eights, and 1. I usually use different colored index cards/cardstock per set.
Put students in groups around the room assigning them each to a different number line
Have them explore creating how they think they would break up the number line.
Then, you can walk around the room and have the groups share what they created. After that, I have the 3rds and 6th combine into one group and have them figure out what that would look like. This helps students to start noticing equivalents fractions.
3. Chocolate Hershey Bars
This activity for teaching fractions uses food so it’s clearly going to be my favorite this year while pregnant! Plus- who doesn’t love chocolate?!
For this activity, I use a Hershey’s chocolate bar and break it into EQUAL pieces and label the pieces. I use the mini Hershey’s bars and give one to each student and have them break theirs into fraction pieces. I tell them to break them into fraction pieces. I don’t necessarily tell them what to do, but the goal is to break it into thirds. After having students look at their own Hershey's bar and let them make conclusions, we read The Hershey's Milk Chocolate Fractions Book (here is a link to a read aloud).
4. Lego Fraction Activity
My final favorite activity for teaching fractions is for my tactile learners! You can easily use legos to build and decompose fractions. The easiest thing to do right now is to pre-make Ziploc bags of legos for your students. Give them about 10 total but they can all have different colors and sizes. You can give them a fraction to make and see what they come up with. You could also have them work in groups with this activity or let student leaders take turns explaining what fraction they built with their legos.
You can check out MANY more activities for teaching fractions here!
All of these activities are activities I have used in my mini-lesson. In my classroom, we use Workshop Model every day. Do you also use workshop model in your classroom? In my online course, Elementary Math Workshop Academy, I talk all about organizing centers, creating groups, and running them effectively. I highly suggest checking it out if you use Workshop Model in your classroom.