Fractions for Second Grade Students

Students are often introduced to fractions in second grade. If your second grader is learning fractions, you can use the activities suggested below to help him or her visualize and practice them.

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Teaching Fractions to Your Second Grader

What to Teach

You can start by defining a whole as either one object, such as a cake, or a set of objects, such as a dozen cupcakes. Explain to your child that fractions - halves, quarters, eighths, thirds and so on - are parts of a whole.

The next step is to teach your child the terms. 'Numerator' is the top part of the fraction, and 'denominator' is the bottom part of the fraction. Demonstrate how to compare fractions that have the same denominator, such as 3/4 and 1/4. In this case, 3/4 is larger because it has a larger numerator.

Ways to Teach

There are several helpful ways to introduce fractions to your second grader. The goal is to help her visualize the fractions and make them completely understandable.

Reading Stories

You can find many story books that present the concept of fractions and their practical applications. You may find the following books helpful.

  • Apple Fractions by Jerry Pallotta
  • Fraction Fun by David A. Adler
  • Full House: An Invitation to Fractions by Dayle Ann Dodds
  • Whole-y Cow: Fractions Are Fun by Taryn Souders
  • Fraction Action by Loreen Leedy

Singing Songs

Make up your own songs for introducing and teaching fractions or ask your child to make up songs or additional verses to the songs you wrote. To stimulate your creative juices, you could find CDs with fraction songs. Look for the following titles.

  • Alligator Fractions by Jennifer Fixman
  • Fractions (1/2, 1/3 and 1/4) by Kathleen Wiley
  • The Funky Fractions Rap by Earth Tone Enterprises

Playing Games

You can find ideas for fraction games through books, such as Fabulous Fractions: Games, Puzzles, and Activities that Make Math Easy and Fun by Lynette Long. There is also a variety of free online games that will give your child practice with fractions.

Playing homemade fraction games can be a fun way to spend time with your child. For example, write fractions on set of index cards. Then, on another set of cards, draw large circles and color in portions to match the fractions on the first set. Lay both sets of cards on the table, and challenge your second grader to match up the fraction cards with the correct circles.

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