Teaching equivalent fractions? Yes, I know teaching this is as “fun” as getting a flu shot. That’s why today I am sharing with you 5 tips to make teaching equivalent fractions easier and maybe even enjoyable!
1) Incorporate Music Into Your Lessons
NumberRock has a TON of super catchy math songs that upper elementary kiddos love. They’re not too baby-ish and they present math content in a really engaging way. Try incorporating this song about equivalent fractions into your Math warm-up!
Click on the image below to check out the song!
2) Start with Folding Paper
Folding paper doesn’t appear to be a real winner of a lesson, but I find that it really helps students develop a conceptual understanding of what it means for fractions to be equivalent.
Start by having students fold a piece of paper in half. Then have them colour one-half of the paper.
Ask students what fraction of the paper is coloured. 1/2
Next, ask students to fold their paper again.
This time there should be four total rectangles. 2 will be coloured. Ask them what fraction of the page is coloured. They will say 2/4. Then ask if you had to colour any more or less. No! Which means that 1/2 and 2/4 are equivalent.
Fold in half again.
This time the fraction will be 4/8.
You can repeat with 8/16 if desired.
3) Investigate Some Word Problems
I LOVE incorporating word problems into my math classroom. One of my favourite problem-solving activities when teaching equivalent fractions is the following:
Two fractions are equivalent. Both denominators are more than 8. What could the two fractions be?
What I love about this problem is that there are SO MANY different possible responses! Some kiddos will go with a bit of an easier solution while others will really impress you.
One teaching strategy that I always incorporate when doing problem-solving is to have students solve the problem on their individual whiteboards. I find that when they are able to simply wipe away their mistakes, they are much more likely to jump out of their comfort zone and try different solutions.
4) End with a Digital Escape Room
Virtual Breakout Rooms are seriously so much fun! Best of all, they require kids to use problem-solving skills and critical thinking in order to complete the challenges.
But if we’re being honest, my favourite part about digital escape rooms is that they require almost no prep and literally zero marking! This makes them a fantastic activity for weeks that are super busy because I can get some work done while the kids enjoy their math challenge.
This Equivalent Fractions Digital Escape Room has a fun “Escape the Dragon” theme. Your kiddos will literally be cheering that it’s time for math!
So there you have it! 5 great activities that you can use when teaching your upper elementary math students about equivalent fractions.
Need some ideas for teaching comparing and ordering fractions? Check out THIS blog post!