Sunday, July 20, 2014

Equivalent Fractions

Fractions can be hard for many kids. Here is a lesson that I used to help teach this concept to one of my students.

Introducing the concept:
To introduce the concept of equivalent fractions, I first used an example with colored Easter eggs across a pole. On the top, I put one yellow egg, and on the bottom I put two blue eggs (for the fraction 1/3). I also put a number with each ("1" on top, "3" on bottom), explaining that the bottom number is the total number of eggs. I explained that for every ONE egg on the top there would be TWO eggs on the bottom. I then added another yellow egg to the top, and changed the top number to "2", and asked how many more blue I would need to add to the bottom. They said they would need two more. I then changed the bottom number to reflect the total number of eggs, 6. I then explained that it's still the same fraction as the first, which we call equivalent fractions.

After a few more examples of this, I started introducing the math of the fractions. What did we need to multiply the top and bottom number by in this example? (2)

Next, using my Equivalent Fractions Activity, I walked them through solving equivalent fractions problems.

After lining up the fraction (as shown below), students figure out what they must multiply the fraction by to get the second fraction. In the example, it needed to be multiplied by 3. They slide the "3" into the proper spot. Then they multiply across to solve for the equivalent fraction, and write their answer in. (Laminating works great for this- write with dry erase marker and wipe away for next use!)

This really helped my student understand why equivalent fractions work the way they do, and was a great springboard for adding fractions with unlike denominators.

If you would like to purchase this activity, click on the picture below to be taken to my TPT store!