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equivelant fractions in 3rd grade

Equivalent Fractions – With a FREEBIE!


Fractions: Take Two!!

Okay… a few weeks ago, I shared the beginning of our fraction unit with you. You can check out that post here! This time, we’re talking about equivalent fractions…

Let’s dive into the rest of our fraction fun!

fraction vocabulary

(You can check out these posters and so many other fun activities for introducing fractions, here!)

Start with a Numberline

After reviewing our key vocabulary again (every time, folks, every time! I mean do you ever catch yourself saying, “Man, I went over that vocabulary too much!”? Yeah… me neither…), we were ready to move on and learn about how to put fractions on a number line.

fractions on a numberline

To demonstrate this, I passed out fraction cards with fraction sets between 0 and 1. Then, I had two students stand at the front of the room holding a long piece of string. We worked together to place the 0 and 1 cards first. Then, moved to halves, fourths, and thirds. We discussed how we were partitioning the line into sections as we went.

equivalent fractions

Introducing Equivalent Fractions

Now, we were ready to move on to equivalent fractions. To introduce the idea, I used these awesome fraction models. Next, we made a reference of all equivalent fractions for one-half on our whiteboard. Students worked on their own personal whiteboards, while I recorded upfront.

For small group, I pulled a few students to my table and we worked together again to review this concept.

equivalent fraction activities

I also found this great little freebie from Jan Lindley to help with my re-teaching of this concept! You can check it out here!

Equivalent Fractions

Differentiation Works

I had one friend who really struggles with cutting and pasting. Our ISN is his Achilles heel. So, while most of my students worked to create reference pages in their math ISN’s, he asked if he could tell me a story instead… I was like, “Ummm…SURE!?”

differentiated learning for fractions

Now, you might not be able to read his story, but you can definitely see all of his equivalent fractions!

Moral of the story... don’t be afraid to allow your students to show you what they’re learning in their own way. Did he prove that he understood equivalent fractions? For sure!

Bonus: neither he nor his teacher was frustrated with one another for not completing the assignment! Allow for differentiation, folks… your students’ abilities will blow your mind if you allow them to access the information in a way that they can relate.

Comparing Fractions

Finally, we were ready to move on to comparing fractions. After our practice so far, comparing fractions with like denominators was easy (pie and cookies always work well!). But comparing fractions with different numerators and denominators? That proved to be a bit trickier!

So, after LOTS of discussions with reasoning, we completed this fun comparing fractions activity…

comparing fractions activity

To complete the activity, each student got 3 sets of a certain type of food item. They were challenged with writing their own comparing story using the food items as inspiration.

comparing fractions
Finally, they were allowed to draw and write their own comparison problems. I love this one with the camera and the GF chocolate for Mrs. Langton!
comparing fractions free

You can grab this little fun activity here for FREE!!

A Quick Trick

Of course, it is super important that students can use reasoning to compare fractions, but sometimes you just need a “quick” way to compare to fractions (especially if they’re really close in size!). One of my teammates shared this little trick with me…

At the end of our fraction unit, I showed my kids and they LOVED using it to check their work! WHEW! They mastered fractions, and we had some fun in the process! Don’t forget to grab your fraction unit here, and then let me know how it goes.

Check Out These Fraction Activities

In need of some tools for your fraction unit? This unit has vocabulary posters, tons of hands-on activities, games, and quick prints! Check it out here in my website store or on TPT!

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9 Responses

  1. I've been teaching Math for 33 years and I have always used 'cross multiplication going up' to compare fractions. (You are simply finding the numerators of two fractions with a common denominator [demon1Xdenom2].) When the kids forget the method, I simply cross my arms in front of me with my index fingers pointing upward. They instantly come up with the correct answer.

  2. How does teaching cross multiplying to compare fractions help students make sense of what they are doing… Yes gives them the right answer but do they know why? This method does not help develop number sense related to fractions.

    1. I think if you re-read the post you will see that I discuss how important it is for students to use reasoning when comparing fractions. I only suggest the butterfly method at the end as a way for students to check their reasoning. A "quick" check if you will. I agree, only using cross multiplication does not teach number sense, but it is effective in checking our reasoning. Thank you so much for stopping by!

    2. I don’t think you’ve read the post… it explains the use of this “trick” in only rechecking work. If you read the whole post you would see that! 🙂

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Hi, I'm Leigh.

The Applicious Teacher is all about creating hands-on and engaging lessons that align with the standards while still having time for your life. This is your place for ideas, tips, and resources for the REAL teacher!


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