Next year, I am changing jobs from an academic coach (supporting teachers in all subjects for grades PK-3) to an instructional facilitator (same concept, different name) for just math and science in grades 3-5. I am very excited about the opportunity! This summer I have been brushing up on different strategies and ideas that I can have ready when my teachers need help. Today I am going to share with you a simple way to help students visually see fraction equivalence.
Building a fraction kit just requires strips of different colored construction paper. You can provide scissors but if you really want to keep it simple, then folding and tearing will get the job done. Here is how it is done:
Choose five sheets of construction paper. I used the regular size but you can use the larger type if you would like a bigger fraction kit pieces. Cut the construction paper into small strips (like you see above).
Give each student five different color strips. On the first strip all the students should do is write the number 1 in the middle.
Fold the second strip of paper in half and tear along the line (no scissors needed). Write 1/2 on each piece of paper and place under the whole strip.
Fold the third strip of paper in half and then in half again. Then tear along each fold. You should have four pieces. Write the number 1/4 on each piece of paper.
Fold the fourth strip of paper in half, in half again, and in half once more. Tear along each fold. You should have eight pieces of paper. Write the number 1/8 on each piece.
Fold the fifth strip of paper in half, in half again, in half again, and in half once more. Tear along each fold. You should have sixteen pieces of paper. Write the number 1/16 on each piece.
Now you have a complete fraction kit that serves to help students visually see fractions equivalence. For example, students can now prove that 1/2 = 2/4 or 1/2 = 1/4 + 1/4 or 1/2 = 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/8.
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