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How to teach Fractions with a Quick Easy Visual Manipulative

Updated on August 19, 2013

Materials Needed: Fraction Models

Materials Needed:

  • plates with a decorative 24 section edge
  • ruler
  • marker

Using Fraction Models

Fractions are an important concept in an y math student development in understanding basic math concepts. Around 4- 6th grade is when student really need to start understanding and being able to use fraction in their math classes.

The goal of this activity is for the students to make several plates that allow them to visually see the fractions and how a whole is related to a fraction. The students need a visual representation of a fraction in order to see it. Many students struggle with fractions because they view it as an abstract concept.

The students will be able to create a visual model of fraction to see the differences and the similarities between the fractions.

Visual Fraction - Whole
Visual Fraction - Whole
Visual Fraction - half
Visual Fraction - half
Visual Fraction - quarter
Visual Fraction - quarter

Fraction Manipulative

The first thing you need is a plate. Not just any paper plate will do. What you are looking for is the type of paper plate that has a decorative edge that is exactly 24 sections. I have found these types of plates at Walmart and at the dollar store.

I completed the project in the picture with regular paper plates, it just required a little more measuring. So this project can be completed with the basic paper plate for for student to truly be able to divide and understand fractions I highly recommend the decorative 24 section plate.

Using a ruler I divide the plate into different fractions. I can then have the students color the plates to represent different fractions. By coloring in a section of the plate the visual representation of the fraction become very noticeable and a great tool for both visual and kinetic learners.

Create models for the following fractions

  • halves
  • thirds
  • fourth
  • fifths
  • sixths
  • eighths
  • tenths
  • twelfths

These are you basic fractions that the student will need to work with. By creating these fraction models you will have a good base of fractions for the basic of equality and understanding.


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Visual Representation: Fractions!

This is a great visual representation of fractions. When we start a unit on fractions I have the student keep these plates at their desk to look at. It gives them a chance to visually see the fractions and think about how they are related. At this points I have the student keep the whole plates as a set. As we progress with fractions we will change how we use this manipulative.

As we progress into the fraction unit and start adding and subtracting fractions I have the students label and cut apart the pieces of the plates. The fraction pieces can then be used to add and subtract fractions. By modeling the equivalences they can create a visual fraction model that extends their understanding of fractions beyond the basics.

© 2012 kthix10


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