fraction-rods-2 (1)

Teaching fractions


Head of mathematics and co-creator of Imvoto

Teaching fractions

fraction-rods-2 (1)This post will document how we’ve been using Imvoto to teach Y7 and Y8 pupils about fractions.

At present, we’re just linking to the questions and other resources we’ve used. In time we’ll include feedback from teachers and students about each lesson, as well as further resources such as PowerPoint and SMART Notebook files.

3D printer resources

You can download STL files of the fraction rods we created and used in these lessons from our 123D project.

Diagnostic lesson

We started this topic by getting all students to complete a set of diagnostic questions. These took around 30-40 minutes.

Using fraction notation

Next we worked on using fraction notation in various situations, including questions involving indefinite wholes (see this nrich article).

Equivalent fractions

To us, getting pupils fluent in working with equivalent fractions was the key to their success on this topic. Our equivalent fractions questions built on familiar ideas of equivalence (120 minutes is two hours; 115p is £1.15, etc).

Comparing fractions

To allow more practice with equivalent fractions, we spent two lessons looking at comparison of fractions. Our questions again started with comparing other quantities such as money and distance (with quantities in differing units). These questions also introduced the idea of a common denominator, including finding lowest common denominators so that pupils don’t inefficiently convert `1/4 + 1/40` into 160ths to allow addition.

Adding and subtracting fractions

We moved next to working on addition and subtraction of fractions in various situations:

Especially in the final set of questions, we used a very structured approach, with pupils forced to complete an equivalent calculation with fractions having the same denominator.

Mixed question review

To round up this initial unit of work, we spent a lesson with students completing mixed questions on the concepts covered so far.

Still to come

We’ll update this post with the remaining Y7 and Y8 lessons shortly.