In this blog post I will share with you 3 word problems you can use with your students when introducing fraction equivalence. Put away those manipulatives for this lesson. Students will only need their pencil and paper 🙂
Practice Problem #1: Whole-Group Instruction
These word problems are perfect as a whole group introduction to equivalent fractions. Do not tell students this is what you’re looking for.
- Give each student a copy of the word problem
- Display the word problem on a projector or write it on board/chart paper
- Students must draw a picture that shows how they came to their solution
- Students share their solutions
Problem 1: There are 6 sandwiches for 4 children to share equally. How much sandwich will each child get?
Be sure to keep an eye out for students with different but equivalent solutions. Students should come up with 1 2/4, 1 1/2, or 6/4.
Ask the students if these amounts are the same. Have them explain their thinking.
Practice Problem #2: Focused Practice
Students have now discussed how different fractions can be equivalent. In this second problem, encourage students to find two ways to write the solution. Have students discuss how the different answers are indeed the same amounts.
Problem 2: Six children equally share 4 cookies. How much cookie will each child get?
Practice Problem #3: Exit Ticket
Use this last problem as an exit ticket. Students are to complete this on their own without assistance. Again, encourage students to write the solution in multiple ways. Collect and use this as a way to group students for future lessons during small groups.
Problem 3: There are 4 medium pizzas for 12 children to share equally. Ho much pizza will each child get?
Area Model Examples
The most common way for students to show their work is to draw area models. Encourage students to show their work using different shapes.
You partition a circle into thirds very differently from a square. Partitioning a rectangle into twelfths is simpler than trying to partition a circle into 12 equal pieces.
Using graph paper also helps with drawing area models. I always buy a class set of composition notebooks with graph paper at Target during the back to school sale. They are each $0.50! You can also print graph paper.
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Continue Your Instruction!
Now that you’ve introduced equivalent fractions, you’re students are ready for independent practice. Click on each image to learn more.
Interactive Math Centers: These math slides are perfect for an interactive white board or Google Classroom assignment. Google Slides and PowerPoint versions are included.
Math Sorts: These no-prep centers are a student favorite! Students cut and organize math cards into categories. Math sorts are the perfect partner activity 🙂
Want more fractions resources? Check out the following blog posts 🙂