Activities for Elementary Kids On Fractions

Help your child better understand fractions by providing extra practice at home. Each of the activities below include hands-on materials, which will likely improve your child's understanding as well as his or her motivation to learn.

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What Does My Child Need to Know about Fractions?

Fractions are introduced in third grade. At this grade level, your child will learn that a fraction is formed when a whole item is divided into parts. Your child will also be responsible for recognizing and creating equivalent fractions.

At the fourth grade level, children begin working with fractions with different denominators. Students compare, add and subtract fractions with different denominators. They also learn how to determine the decimal notation for fractional amounts. For example, your child will need to divide the numerator by the denominator (e.g., ½ = 1 ÷ 2 = 0.50).

In fifth grade, students become more fluent in adding, subtracting and multiplying fractional amounts. This includes working with fractions with unlike denominators, such as 1/3 + 4/5.

Make a Whole

Before beginning this activity, write a variety of fractions on index cards. When writing the fractions, choose amounts that will equal one whole when added together. For instance, 1/3 and 2/3.

Mix up the cards and lay them face down on the table. Have your child choose two cards. He or she should add the two amounts. If it equals one, the he or she can keep the cards. If not, the cards go back on the table. Play should continue until all cards have been used.

Depending on your child's ability level, you may want to include fractions with different denominators. This would require your child to find a common denominator when adding the fractions together.

Put It Together

To prepare for this activity, you will need to create fraction strips from construction paper. You should begin by creating a solid strip that represents one whole. Divide three other strips into fractions of your choosing.

For example, you may do one strip that is divided into fourths, one that is divided into eighths and one strip that has been divided into thirds. Cut these strips up into the divided sections. Mix up the fractional pieces and place them in a bowl. Have your child draw out one piece at a time and join the pieces together to create three solid strips.

Roll and Reduce

Before beginning this game, create a grid with a fraction written inside each box. Have your child roll two dice and use the numbers on the dice to create a fraction. For instance, if your child rolled a four and a six, the fraction would be 4/6. Ask your child to locate the created fraction on the grid and shade in the box. You may want to remind your child to reduce the fraction when possible (e.g., 4/6 = 2/3). Encourage your child to continue creating fractions until all of the boxes on the grid have been shaded in.

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