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This lesson provides a step-by-step introduction through a visual and conceptual approach about fractions. Basic terminology is covered, followed by procedures for classifying and comparing fractions, and finding equivalent fractions.
See the fact file below for more information on the fractions or alternatively, you can download our 41-page Understanding Fractions
worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- A circle is a geometric shape we have encountered in the previous lessons. The circle can be used to represent one whole. We can divide the circle into equal parts.
- We can shade a portion of a circle to name a specific part of the whole.
- A fraction names part of a region or part of a group. We use them to write and work with amounts that are less than a whole number but more than zero. The form of a fraction is one number over another, separated by a fraction (divide) line.
- The top number of a fraction which shows the number of shaded parts.
- The bottom number of a fraction which shows the total number of equal parts.
- Note that the fraction line means to divide the numerator by the denominator.
- Why is the number ¾ written as “three-fourths”? We use a hyphen to distinguish a fraction from a ratio. A fraction names a number that represents the part of a whole. When writing a fraction, a hyphen is always used.
- It is also important to take note that other shapes, aside from a circle, can be divided into equal parts. For example, we can let a rectangle represent one whole, and then divide it into equal parts.
- All the fractions from the previous examples have the same numerator. Each of these fractions is called a unit fraction.
- Unit Fraction
- A unit fraction is a fraction whose numerator is one. Each unit fraction is part of one whole (the number 1). The denominator names that part. Every fraction is a multiple of a unit fraction.
- Equivalent fractions are different fractions that name the same number.
- The fractions 2/3 and 4/6 are equivalent. Two-thirds is equivalent to four-sixths.
- The fractions 3/4, 6/8, and 9/12 are equivalent. Three-fourths, six-eights, and nine-twelfths are equivalent.
- There are two simple strategies in identifying equivalent fractions.
- Use Models
- Think about the number of equal parts in the fraction tiles.
- Draw a Diagram
- The rectangle is divided into thirds. One part is shaded.
- Fractions can be expressed as whole numbers in fraction form. Let us take the value of 1 as an example.
- To express the whole number value of 1, you can always use fraction models. In this case, 4/4 represents four equal parts that make up for one whole. Therefore, since both the whole number 1 and 4/4 has the same value, it is equivalent to each other.
FRACTIONS ON A NUMBER LINE
- Another way to think about fractions, in addition to the common “slice of pizza” or visual models, is to consider them as numbers on a number line.
- The denominator of a fraction tells about the number of equal parts that a number line should be divided into. The numerator tells about the parts we’re talking about.
COMPARING FRACTIONS: USING MODELS
- Since you already know how to draw fractions using models, you can now use these models to compare fractions.
- Comparing fractions means seeing which fraction is larger or smaller.
- A fraction is larger if it refers to a larger part of the whole. A fraction is smaller if it refers to a smaller part of the whole.
- Example. Last night you brought home a whole pizza which was divided into 8 equal slices. Your brother ate 3/8 of the pizza and your sister ate 5/8 of the pizza. Who had the largest share of the pizza?
- Since the pizza was divided into 8 slices, this means each slice is 1/8 of the whole pizza.
- If your brother ate 3/8 of the pizza, how many slices did he eat?
- He ate 3 slices because 3/8 means 3 out of 8 slices.
- If your sister ate 5/8 of the pizza, how many slices did he eat?
- She ate 5 slices because 5/8 means 5 out of 8 slices.
COMPARING FRACTIONS: USING NUMBER LINES
- Since you already know how to draw fractions on number lines, you can now use your number line skills to compare fractions!
- A fraction is larger if it’s farther from 0 on the number line. A fraction is smaller if it’s closer to 0 on the number line.
COMPARING FRACTIONS WITH LIKE DENOMINATORS
- In the previous lessons, you learned how to compare fractions using models and using number lines. Little do you know that it’s easy to compare fractions with the same denominators.
- Recall that the denominator is the total number of equal parts the whole was divided into.
- Fractions with the same denominators are divided into the same number of equal parts. To compare fractions with the same denominators, just compare their numerators.
- Let’s do this example. Which is greater, 2/8 or 6/8? How do you compare these fractions without drawing models?
- For fractions with the same denominators, the fraction with the larger numerator is always greater.
- Since 6 is greater than (>) 2, you know that 6/8 is greater than 2/8.
COMPARING FRACTIONS WITH LIKE NUMERATORS
- Recall that the numerator is the number of equal parts we’re talking about. Note that the bigger the denominator, the smaller each part becomes.
- For fractions with the same numerators, all you have to do is compare the denominators. The fraction with the bigger denominator is smaller.
- When the numerators are the same, just compare their denominators. The denominators are 5 and 7.
- 5 is less than (<) 7. Therefore, we know that 3/5 is greater than 3/7.
Understanding Fractions Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the fractions across 41 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Understanding Fractions worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the visual and conceptual approach about fractions. Basic terminology is covered, followed by procedures for classifying and comparing fractions, and finding equivalent fractions.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Lesson Plan
- Understanding Fractions
- Divide the Circle
- Fraction Match
- Part of a Whole
- You’re My Equal
- Equivalent Fractions
- Missing Fractions
- Comparing Fractions
- Comparing Problem
- Represent the Fraction
- Color by Fraction
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Link will appear as Understanding Fractions Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, May 29, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.