2nd Grade Fraction Lessons and Teaching Strategies

Although fractions often aren't taught until the 3rd grade, there are fun ways to begin introducing fractions in the 2nd grade - or even sooner. These concepts and strategies can help.

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Explaining Fractions to 2nd Graders

Basic Fraction Concepts Defined

Fraction
One part of a 'thingamajig' (a pie, apple, circle, etc.). You write a fraction as two stacked numbers with a line separating them.
Denominator
The bottom number, which tells you how many equal parts the 'thingamajig' is divided into.
Numerator
The top number, which tells you how many of those thingamajig parts you're talking about.
Comparing fractions
If you have two fractions with the same denominator, the one with the biggest numerator is the biggest fraction.

Fun Ways to Introduce Fractions to 2nd Graders

Read Fraction Storybooks

Nowadays you have a choice of many books to help you begin. Some that teachers often recommend include:

  • The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins (available in a Big Book format)
  • Fraction Action by David A. Adler
  • The Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar Fractions Book by Jerry Pallotta
  • Apple Fractions by Jerry Pallotta (a healthy alternative to books about candy)
  • Eating Fractions by Bruce McMillan

Play Games

If you have opportunities for your class to work on the computer individually or in groups of two or three, make use of the host of fraction games available online. Additionally, there are numerous board games, pie puzzles and card games that you can make or purchase.

Why not create a fraction game for the playground or gym class? Your class can be divided up into fractions and the playground can be sectioned out into fractions with different activities to be performed within each of the sections.

Draw, Rhyme and Sing!

Your students can draw fraction pictures of orange slices, write fraction stories about sharing a pizza and act out fraction scenarios with measuring cups. Make up humorous rhymes (e.g., 'Our family has six people, and mom made us a pie. She cut it in twelve pieces. We each got two - oh, my!'). Listen to songs about fractions. Such activities appeal to the various learning styles of your students and can help reinforce the lessons.

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