In the last blog post, I gave an overview of equivalent fractions across the grades. Here I will share some tips for teaching equivalent fractions to 4th graders.
If your students need a review, check out 3rd Grade Equivalent Fractions for more ideas!
Fourth graders are developing their understanding of fraction equivalency. Lots of modeling, hands-on with manipulatives, and discussion will help students gain confidence and skills.
#1- Egg Cartons
Use an egg carton and eggs to model 1/3. Students will see that there are 4 eggs when 1/3 of the egg carton is full. Ask students to keep the 4 eggs, but divide their egg carton with string in a different way to make a new fraction equivalent to 1/3.
Use a geoboard to model 1/4. Tell students to divide their boards into eights and sixteenths to find equivalent fractions. For a challenge, don’t give them the denominator, but ask them to find as many equivalent fractions as they can.
#3 – Ratio Tables
Use an Input/Output or Ratio Table to find equivalent fractions. Remind students that any number multiplied by one is equal to that number. Next, model that 2/2 = 1, 3/3 =1, and so on. After that, it’s easier for students to understand that when 1/2 x 2/2 = 2/4, 1/2 = 2/4.
#4 – Math Sorts
Use Math Sorts to encourage critical thinking and dialogue. First students will shade in the fractions and cut them out. Then students will sort them into two categories and explain their thinking. These are available without the heading for an extra sorting challenge.
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