Standards

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.NF.B.3
Understand a fraction a/b with a > 1 as a sum of fractions 1/b.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.NF.A.1
Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b.

Summary

Before you jump into teaching how to add, subtract, multiply or divide fractions, assess your students’ understanding of fractions. This introductory fraction lesson starts with four videos. Would you rather use slides and give more detailed explanations to students? There are links to PowerPoint presentations you can download and edit (PPT and PDF). We also offer math games that teach fractions, Fish Lake (for Mac, Windows and iPad) and Forgotten Trail – playable on the web on Mac, Windows or Chromebook computers!

Technology Required

To play Fish Lake, you need iOS devices (iPhone or iPad), Windows PC, or a Mac computer.

Time Required

20-50 minutes 

PowerPoint Presentations

Below are PowerPoint slides based on the videos above as well as two, more concrete explanations. Find more resources at Fractions By Topic: PowerPoint and PDF.

What are Fractions? – If you want to start introducing fractions with the basics, check out this PowerPoint. What is a fraction? What’s a numerator? What’s a denominator?

Understanding Fractions – This presentation explains that a lake can be broken into four parts, called ‘quarters.’ The number of those parts in the shadow can be used to track how much time has passed. This PPT is from the video above.

 

Introducing Fractions with Snares and Rabbits – An example of fractions, with a young boy who is setting snares to catch rabbits. One-fourth can be the distance along a trail.

One-Half is Fair – What is one half? Why is it a good idea to divide something in half when two people need to share? This PPT goes with the video above.

What is Half? – When we discuss fractions, it isn’t always about dividing a thing, like a pizza. We can divide the work to be done in half, or the amount of distance being traveled. This PPT goes with the video above.

Fractions Videos

Multiple examples are essential in introducing fractions. Here are four videos that give examples in different contexts.

Video: Understanding Fractions

This explains how Native children could use fractions to keep track of time.

Video: What is a Half?

An explanation of the concept of “half” expressed in fractions, using multiple examples such as travel to shapes.

Video: Is One-Half Fair?

How many times have you heard kids insist something wasn’t fair? This video uses fractions and the concept of one-half to determine if two people are doing the their fair share of the work, getting their fair share of a pile of blankets.

Video: What's a Numerator? What's a Denominator?

Parts of fraction explained with a pile of fish. You have 125 fish, 25 of which are over a foot long. What is a basic fraction that expresses this idea?

Games Teaching Fractions

Fish Lake: A 3D Adventure Game

 In Fish Lake, players practice with fractions while learning math problem-solving strategies. They’ll also be introduced to Native American history. Who knew you could get this excited about fractions? Recommended for grades 4 and up. Runs on iPad, Mac and Windows computers.

Forgotten Trail

Follow two teenagers who apply their knowledge of fractions, decimals, measurement and statistics to retrace the Ojibwe migration through the U.S. and Canada. Plays in a web browser using a Mac, Windows or Chromebook.

Comments (2)

  1. Pingback: Converting a fraction to equal 1 - Educational Resources for Grades 3-8

  2. Pingback: Equivalent Fractions: Lesson Plan - Educational Resources for Grades 3-8

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