## Summary

Learn the best game for teaching equivalent fractions, along with some great, simple differentiation strategies.

# equivalent fractions

After 6 years of teaching Kindergarten, I found myself staring at a 5th grade math curriculum. I was used to counting to 100 and adding to ten, *how in the world was I going to teach fractions? I barely understood them myself!*

Maybe you’re like me and overwhelmed with the idea of fractions, or maybe **your students shut down whenever the word fraction is said**. Either way, Frackin’ Brackin’ the game of equivalent fractions is the best way to teach resistant students, and hesitant teachers, all about equivalent fractions! Differentiated for grades 4-6, students can use this game to form a basic understanding of equivalent fractions or to practice multiplication and gain a deeper understanding of the value of a fraction.

## The Dreaded Fractions Unit

What happens when you hear the word “fractions”? Maybe you’re a math person and you get excited! Or, maybe your heart starts to beat faster and your palms get sweaty. Fractions are really amazing, but they can also be intimidating. Many of us use whole numbers throughout our day-to-day lives, but fractions tend to appear more sporadically. Especially those odd fractions like ⅘. Whether you love fractions or wish you could turn around and run the other way, this game for equivalent fractions features step-by-step lesson plans to take the fear out of fractions for your students. Anchoring in number sense and quantity, through this game your students will gain a deeper understanding of equivalent fractions and their *value within the number system.*

## Equivalent Fractions Meaning

Similar to reading, when teaching math terms the more you can anchor your students learning in terms they already know, the greater success you (and they!) will have. When introducing the term “equivalent fractions” to your students, have them look for parts of the word they already know. Ideally, before introducing equivalent fractions they should have ample practice with the idea of fractions (and, possibly, fractions as quotients (division!)).

Encourage students to examine the word “equivalent”. The base “equi” means, “equal” a term I’m sure your students are familiar with. So, “equivalent fractions” quite literally means “fractions that are equal”. Once students have a strong understanding of the term, they can gain a better understanding of the value of individual fractions. Frackin’ Brackin’, a game of equivalent fractions, walks students through the definition and teaches number sense and quantity of fractions. It is differentiated for grades 4-6 beginning with individual fractions and working up to multiplying fractions.

### Equivalent Fraction Examples

Equivalent fractions are equal fractions. They are often used in conjunction with the term “simplified fractions”, or the equivalent fraction in its smallest form. It is helpful to reduce fractions to their simplest form because, as students work through larger and more lengthy problems, they can keep the numbers they are using manageable. Examples of equivalent fractions are: 5/10 is the same as ½, 5/15 is the same as ⅓, and 4/24 is the same as ⅙.

## Equivalent Fractions on a Number Line

## Understanding Related Numbers

When I began teaching equations with fractions for the first time, I noticed many students leaving fractions such as 5/10 or 4/12. I would ask “How much is that?” or, “Which sum is bigger” and would receive a blank stare. Many students had the math correct (or close), but had *no idea what it actually meant. * **When students do not understand what a number is, they are unable to think logically through their mathematical processes. **

To gain an understanding of equivalent fractions, students must first have some foundational knowledge of related numbers. What is a related number? Related numbers are numbers that work together “nicely”, or numbers that trigger a “Wait! I usually see those numbers together reaction!”. These number sets are often in our addition/subtraction, or multiplication/division facts.

## Differentiating Fraction Activities

It can be challenging to differentiate fraction activities. Fractions are challenging for any student, but even more challenging for those who are still mastering their multiplication and division facts. In frackin’ brackin, teachers can choose if students find equivalent fractions to “easier” fractions such as 5/1, or 6/12 to harder, more uncommon fractions such as 7/28. They can also choose between individual fraction cards or those with multiplying fractions.

Here are some easy ways to differentiate frackin’ brackin’, in addition to the differentiation already done in the game! These suggestions can also be used to differentiate any equivalent fraction activity. You can learn how to differentiate other parts of your classroom here.

### Fraction Bars

If you can purchase, or cut and print, fraction bars these can be helpful to students when learning fractions. Fraction bars compare different fractions to the value of a whole. For example, it will show one whole, then two halves, then three thirds…usually until approximately twelths. This allows students to visually see that two-fourths is the same value as one-half.

### Multiplication Charts

Having a multiplication chart accessible when learning equivalent fractions can be the key to a student who is struggling with multiplication facts ability to understand equal fractions. Using a multiplication chart helps students find related numbers and build their number sense around both multiplication and equivalent fractions.

## Equivalent Fractions Games

## Hype Your Students Up

Frackin’ Brackin’ makes for a great themed day activity. Do you have a sports day for Spirit Week? Grab your brackets and get going! The hype factor can be big in this equivalent fractions game. Students can create their own teams, or use one of the pre-chosen cards. When a team loses, they can join the winning team ending the game with two large teams working against each other. Frackin’ Brackin is a great way to practice equivalent fractions and to build comradery among your class!

## Equivalent Fractions Worksheet PDF

So, there ya have it – equivalent fractions can be a ** beast**. But with a little creativity and planning, you can take the fear our of fractions while your students have a blast learning.

Looking for more information on teaching fractions? Check these out below!

## Leave a Reply