# effective strategies for teaching equivalent fractions

Discussion in 'Fourth Grade' started by magister, Jan 26, 2014.

1. ### magisterRookie

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Jan 26, 2014

What are some effective ways to teach equivalent fractions? I'm tutoring a group of fourth graders and would love to have some ideas from the teachers here. Thank you.

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Jan 26, 2014

The way we teach is to show students that you can take a fraction and multiply the numerator and denominator by the same number, and viola! You have an equivalent fraction. Also, have the students do a lot of work comparing them to see if they are indeed equivalent. You can use visuals too to help them see. For example 4/8 and 1/2. Don't know if that helps any, but there you go!

4. ### mathmagicEnthusiast

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Jan 26, 2014

Start with some tangible/visual examples. A couple things I did way back when during student teaching was going out to the 4-square court and asking them to describe what one of the four squares would represent in terms of a fraction (1/4), shading it in. I then asked them to split each square in half, and see what that square now represents (2 out of 8 equal pieces, 2/8), noting that they just doubled the number of pieces and number of pieces that are shaded (which gives the tangible understanding of why "multiplying the num/denom" works).

We then took that and slowly worked towards that abstract concept that Luv mentioned in class.

5. ### knitter63Groupie

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Jan 27, 2014

When I teach equivalent fractions, I explain that they are multiplying the fraction by 1- we call it the Big Red one, and I draw a large 1 in red around the fraction that equals 1. (ex. 2/2) Most of my kids understand that any number multiplied by 1 is the same number, and we discuss that it is the same for fractions. The exception is that size of the fraction piece changes.

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Jan 27, 2014

I've heard a friend talk about using legos to teach equivalent fractions. It sounded pretty cool.

7. ### iteachbxEnthusiast

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Feb 5, 2014

Pattern blocks can be helpful in the beginning for a visual. The yellow hexagon is the whole. The red trapezoid is a half. The blue rhombus is a third. The green triangles are a sixth. The kids can stack them on top of each other to figure out which fractions are equivalent.

8. ### czaczaMultitudinous

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Feb 5, 2014

Love this!

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Feb 5, 2014

Let them check if two fractions are equivalent by using cross-multiplication.

10. ### mathmagicEnthusiast

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Feb 5, 2014

This would probably first need to be developed conceptually.

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Feb 5, 2014

Two words: chocolate bars! Hershey bars work great to demonstrate this.

12. ### magisterRookie

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Jul 21, 2014

Ever try fraction strips? They visually demonstrate fractions from 1 to 1/12 in a stacked layout. You can do a lot w/them, like comparing fractions too.

13. ### Michael S.Companion

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Jul 24, 2014

This worked well with some of my fifth graders that needed to revisit the concept of equivalency.