3rd Grade Equivalent Fractions: Problems and Lessons

Students in 3rd grade learn to compare simple fractions. If your child needs extra practice with equivalent fractions at home, use the following lessons and practice problems.

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How to Teach Your 3rd Grader about Equivalent Fractions

The Basics

Before getting into equivalent fractions, make sure your child understands the basics about fractions. Write a fraction, such as 1/2, on a piece of paper and ask your child to identify the numerator and the denominator. The numerator represents the part, and the denominator represents the whole.

Use Visuals

At first, it can be hard to understand how the same amount can be represented by two different fractions, like 1/2 and 2/4. One of the best ways to help children understand equivalent fractions is by using visual aids.

Number Line

On a number line, the same point can be labeled by several equivalent fractions. You can help your child recognize that fractions like 1/2 and 2/4 are equivalent by creating a number line. You will need three colored pencils. Using one color, draw a number line. Label the left-hand side 'zero' and the right-hand side 'one'.

Use a different pencil to mark the midpoint of the number line, and ask your child what fraction that represents. Write '1/2' underneath the mark. Then, using another pencil, add a mark halfway between zero and 1/2 and another in between 1/2 and one. Point out that there are now three marks between zero and one. Label these new marks 1/4, 2/4 and 3/4.

Now, ask your child to identify the two fractions that are on the same mark (1/2 and 2/4). Explain that, even though the fractions are different, they are equal.

Pie Circles

Your child can compare two fractions with common denominators, like 6/7 and 3/7, by drawing pictures. Begin by drawing two circles and divide them both into seven equal parts. Use the first circle to represent 6/7 by shading in six parts. Then, on the second circle, shade in three parts to represent 3/7. Your child will then be able to identify which fraction is larger by looking at the drawings.

Practice Problems

In the following practice problems, your child should use the greater than (>), less than (<) or equal to (=) symbols to compare the fractions.

1. 3/4 _ 1/4

2. 4/6 _ 2/6

3. 1/3 _ 2/6

4. 1/6 _ 6/6

5. 2/5 _ 1/5

6. Name two fractions that are equal to 2/3.

Answer Key

1. 3/4 > 1/4

2. 4/6 > 2/6

3. 1/3 = 2/6

4. 1/6 < 6/6

5. 2/5 > 1/5

6. Two possible equivalent fractions include 4/6 and 6/9.

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