Some Ideas for Introducing Fractions to Children

Here I am having a chat with ChatGPT about some ideas for introducing fractions to children. ChatGTP is an AI program.

I hope that you find some ideas here.

What is a good way to introduce the idea of fractions to children?

One way to introduce the idea of fractions to children is to use concrete examples and manipulatives, such as using pieces of pizza to show that a whole pizza can be divided into equal parts, and that each part is a fraction of the whole. Another way is to use visual models, such as number lines or circles divided into equal parts, to help children understand the concept of a part of a whole. It’s also important to provide children with hands-on activities and games that allow them to explore and discover fractions in a fun and interactive way.

Can you give me some examples of how you might use a pizza?

Sure! Here are a few examples of how you might use a pizza to introduce the concept of fractions to children:

Cut a pizza into equal slices and have the children count the number of slices. Then ask them to name the fraction of the pizza that each slice represents, such as 1/8 if you have 8 slices.

Draw a picture of a pizza and cut it into different numbers of equal slices. Ask the children to name the fractions of the pizza that each slice represents, such as 1/4 or 1/6.

Show the children a whole pizza and ask them to cut it into a certain number of equal slices, such as 4 slices. Then have them name the fraction of the pizza that each slice represents, such as 1/4.

Show the children a whole pizza and give them a number of slices, ask them to calculate how many slices are left and name the fraction of the pizza that remaining slices represents.

Play a game where children take turns removing slices from a whole pizza, and naming the fraction of the pizza that remains after each turn.

These are just a few examples, but the key is to make the concept of fractions concrete and relatable by using something that the children are familiar with, such as a pizza.

What is a manipulative?

A manipulative is a physical object or material that is used to help children understand a concept or idea, such as fractions. Manipulatives can be used to model mathematical concepts, such as numbers, operations, and geometric shapes. They can also be used to explore concepts such as measurement, patterns, and data analysis. Some examples of manipulatives that can be used to teach fractions include:

Fraction circles or bars, which can be used to model fractions and help children understand the concept of a part of a whole.

Base ten blocks, which can be used to model the concept of fractions in terms of place value.

Linking cubes, which can be used to build models of fractions, such as a half or a quarter of a group of cubes.

Number lines, which can be used to model fractions and help children understand the concept of equivalent fractions.

Pattern blocks, which can be used to model fractions and explore geometric shapes.

Manipulatives can be an effective tool for teaching fractions because they allow children to physically manipulate and explore the concept, which can help them to understand it better.

Can you give me some examples of how you might demonstrate what fractions are during a family meal?

Sure! Here are a few examples of how you might demonstrate the concept of fractions during a family meal:

When preparing a sandwich, cut it into equal halves or quarters and point out how each piece is a fraction of the whole sandwich.

When sharing a pizza, cut it into equal slices and label them with the fraction of the pizza that each slice represents.

Use measuring cups to demonstrate how the parts of the recipe are related to each other. For example, if a recipe calls for 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of sugar, you can point out that the sugar is half the amount of flour in the recipe.

When eating a fruit salad, point out how each piece of fruit is a fraction of the whole bowl. You can also compare the relative sizes of different pieces of fruit to show how they relate to each other as fractions.

When eating a pie or cake, divide it into wedges and point out how each wedge is a fraction of the whole pie.

These are just a few examples, but the key is to make the concept of fractions concrete and relatable by using real-life examples, such as food. This way, children can make connections between what they are learning and what they are experiencing in everyday life.

What are some other everyday scenarios where children can be introduced to the idea of fractions?

Here are a few other everyday scenarios where children can be introduced to the idea of fractions:

Cooking: When children help measure ingredients, they can be introduced to the idea of fractions by comparing the relative amounts of different ingredients. For example, if a recipe calls for 1/2 cup of sugar, children can be shown how to measure out half a cup of sugar.

Shopping: When children help with grocery shopping, they can be introduced to the idea of fractions by comparing the relative sizes or prices of different items. For example, if a can of beans is £1.50 and another can is £2.00, children can be shown how to compare the prices as fractions of a pound.

Time: Children can be introduced to the idea of fractions of an hour by using a clock with a minute hand. For example, you can ask a child to point to the minute hand when the time is 1/4 of an hour, or 15 minutes.

Money: Children can be introduced to the idea of fractions of a pound by using real or play money. For example, you can ask a child to show you 1/4 of a pound ie 20p + 5p or to show you 1/10 of a pound – 10p.

Sports: Children can be introduced to the idea of fractions by using examples from sports. For example, you can explain how a basketball game is divided into four quarters, or how a soccer game is divided into two halves.

Nature: Children can be introduced to the idea of fractions by observing the natural world. For example, you can explain how a flower is divided into petals, or how a tree is divided into branches.

These are just a few examples, but the key is to make the concept of fractions concrete and relatable by using real-life examples and everyday scenarios that children can easily relate to.

Can you give us more examples but this time use more complicated fractions?

Sure! Here are a few examples of how you might use more complicated fractions to introduce the concept of fractions in everyday scenarios:

Cooking: When cooking with children, you can use fractions to explain more advanced measurements. For example, you can use 3/4 cup of flour, 1/3 cup of sugar, or 2/5 of a teaspoon of salt. You can also use fractions to help children understand how to double or halve a recipe.

Shopping: When shopping with children, you can use fractions to compare prices of different items and help children understand the concept of discounts. For example, if an item is on sale for 20% off, you can explain that the item is now 4/5 of its original price.

Time: You can use fractions of an hour to help children understand the concept of elapsed time. For example, you can ask a child to tell you how much time has passed between 9:15 am and 10:30 am. The answer is 75/60 of an hour (or 1 hour and 15 minutes)

Money: You can use fractions of a pound to help children understand the concept of change. For example, if the cost of an item is £3.75 and a child gives you a £5 bill, you can explain that the child will receive £1.25 in change, which is 1/4 of a pound

Sports: You can use fractions to explain the concept of score in different sports. For example, in a soccer game, you can explain that a team scored 2/3 of the total goals or in baseball, you can explain that a player had a batting average of 3/5.

Nature: You can use fractions to explain the concept of symmetry in nature. For example, you can explain that a butterfly’s wings are divided into 2/3 and 1/3 or that a snowflake is divided into 8/8.

It is important to note that when introducing more complicated fractions, it’s also important to provide children with hands-on activities and games that allow them to explore and discover fractions in a fun and interactive way.

Can you suggest some games that would be useful for exploring fractions?

Sure! Here are a few games that can be used to explore fractions in a fun and interactive way:

Fraction War: This is a card game where players are dealt cards with fractions on them, and they take turns laying down cards. The goal is to lay down a card with a larger value than the previous card. Players can compare fractions by finding a common denominator and comparing the numerators.

Fraction Bingo: This game uses bingo cards with fractions on them, and players take turns drawing cards with fractions on them. The goal is to be the first player to get a bingo by covering all the fractions on their card.

Fraction Race: This game is played with a game board and game pieces. The game board is divided into spaces with fractions on them, and players take turns rolling a die and moving their game piece to the corresponding space. The goal is to be the first player to reach the finish line.

Fraction Memory: This game uses cards with fractions on them, and players take turns flipping over cards to find matching pairs. The goal is to find all the matching pairs as quickly as possible.

Fraction Fill-in: This game is played with a game board and game pieces. The game board has spaces with fractions on them, and players take turns placing their game pieces on the corresponding spaces. The goal is to fill in all the spaces on the game board.

Fraction Domino: This game uses dominoes with fractions on them, and players take turns laying down dominoes to build a chain. The goal is to be the first player to lay down all their dominoes.

These are just a few examples, but there are many other games and activities that can be used to explore fractions. The key is to make the concept of fractions concrete and relatable by using hands-on activities and games that allow children to explore and discover fractions in a fun and interactive way.

What are some good websites that allow children to explore fractions in a fun way?

There are many websites that allow children to explore fractions in a fun and interactive way. Some of the best ones include:

Coolmath4kids.com

This website offers interactive games, puzzles, and activities that help children learn about fractions in a fun way.

Funbrain.com

This website offers a variety of interactive games and activities that help children learn about fractions, including a game called “Fraction Sorter” where children sort fractions by size.

Education.com

This website offers a wide range of interactive games and activities that help children learn about fractions, including a game called “Fraction Frenzy” where children use visual models to compare fractions.

Khanacademy.org

This website offers interactive tutorials and practice problems that help children learn about fractions.

BBC Bitesize

This website offers interactive games and activities that help children learn about fractions in an engaging way, along with videos and explanations that help children to understand the concepts.

 

IXL.com

This website offers interactive practice problems and quizzes that help children to learn and reinforce their understanding of fractions.

These websites offer interactive activities and games that can help children to understand fractions better by making it fun and interactive. It’s also important to note that some of these websites may require a subscription to access all their features.

Online Fractions Games

Triplets
https://www.mathplayground.com/Triplets/index.html

Online Fractions Games

Fractions are much easier if you have a good visual understanding of what is going on so online fractions games are an excellent way to explore fractions.

Consider bookmarking this page as there are a lot of links on this page. (Ctrl+D).

Topmarks

One site that I have been using for many years is Topmarks. This has grown and been kept up to date. The graphics are simple and straight-forward and the games fill the screen – unlike some older sites when they have not been updating the resolution as time has moved on.

Some of the games are embedded from different websites, for instance, the BBC allows you to embed some of their games into your own website so you can see that the style of these games is quite variable.

Other games are flash-based and many people no longer have flash enabled so they have a helpful guide to show you have to enable flash if it is not working on your computer.
Games for KS2 include:
Fraction Matcher

In this game, you can play the games against the clock if you want to. There are lots of different levels that you can choose from. This starts with very easy – halves, quarters, three-quarters, and by level 8 it is much more challenging as you can see here.

Level 8
There are lots of games on this site but let me just pick out a few.

One is called Fraction Beach in which you get buckets of sand when you get a correct answer.

There is an interactive tutorial called Proper Fractions – it has pictures of ducks on the front of it.  Cartoon characters explain what is happening and ask questions. This activity is aimed at 9 to 10-year-olds.

Another game that looks interesting is called Converting Fractions to Decimals. This is a futuristic mission game where you need to crack open the vault using your knowledge of fractions and decimals.

In Decimals Jeopardy you can play in teams or on your own against the clock.

When playing Treefrog Treasure, you have to collect jewels and in this one there are lots of different levels as well.

For those children who like the BBC characters Dick and Dom, there is an equivalent fractions game which includes some rather rude noises! Here is a video of me having a go at playing it.  Can you bet my score?

Click here to try the game.

There is another game with Dick and Dom in it where you have to find the antidote to the plague. In that one, you’re comparing and ordering fractions.

 

Splashlearning

A much newer website – which is free at the moment is Splashlearning.  https://uk.splashlearn.com/parent-dashboard#/math

There are lots of different activities for all ages and because I am from the UK it changed from talking about Grades to Years!

Splashlearning
Spalashlearning

 

 

Dolphin Racing

Dolphin Racing from the BBC was one of my favourites. It’s still ok if you have the right Flash player but otherwise it won’t play.

Here are some more videos and activities from the BBC.

NCTM

Fraction Card Game

This is a good game which involves a bit of thinking rather than the speed of the arcade games below.

NRICH

For getting children to think more deeply but in an enjoyable way the NRICH site is fantastic!!

Consider bookmarking this page as there are 58 activities in the Fractions and related topics but you can narrow this down by Key Stage.

As a teacher this has got to be my favourite maths site and is well worth exploring.

Math Playground

In Math Playground the games are more like arcade games and so are popular with the children. This is an American site and has notes for teachers.

I haven’t figured out what happens in Fraction Forest games so let me know in the comments if you have or if you have found any instructions.

These tend to be more challenging, so are more useful for consolidation, speed tests and/or revision.

Math Playground

Education.com

Another American site with quite an arcade feel.

Education.com has 12 games – you need to scroll down to see all of them which isn’t always obvious.

Here are some of them:

Online Fractions Games
Online Fractions Games

MathsGames.com

On MathGames.com you can choose a game, then a grade, then a skill like fractions.

Math games
Online Fractions Games

Printable fractions games

From the TES Fractions Board Game, Equivalent Fractions Game,

A variety of Fraction Board games here.

 

Primary Resources UK

Primary Resources has a whole load of games, activities which teachers have created and shared. Well, maybe more activities than games. This is another site I made a lot of use of as a teacher.

Teaching Ideas

Teaching ideas is similar in some ways to Primary Resources. Here are their fractions ideas.

Some resources from Amazon

You might want to see if you can use some of these ideas to create your own resources.

(Disclosure – these links go to Amazon UK and I get a small percentage from them which helps to pay towards to cost of maintaining my websites.)

Magnetic Teach Yourself Fractions

Fractions (Brighter Child Flash Cards)

Fraction Action Snap

Learning Resources Deluxe Rainbow Fraction Circles

Learning Resources Soft Foam Magnetic Rainbow Fraction Tiles

Learning Resources Rainbow Fraction Dominoes

Equivalent Fractions Snap Card Game

 

Books

Lift-the-Flap Fractions and Decimals (Lift the Flap Books)

The is an Usborne book and although I haven’t seen this one they are usually very good. This book gives you a super guide to fractions, decimals and percentages. There are over 125 flaps to lift so that you can discover what they are and how to use them. Learn about simplifying fractions, improper fractions, and converting to decimals and percentages.

Wipe-Clean Fractions 7-8 (Key Skills)
Here we meet some friendly animals helpers. The book aims to build confidence in understanding the concept of fractions and offers plenty of practice.  It includes extra notes for adults.  The answers are at the back of the book.

Fractions and Decimals Activity Book (Maths Activity Books)

 

This is a book with a difference.  You will find fraction robots, numerator ice-cream cakes and decimal mazes. At the back of the book are 4 pages of stickers and all the answers.

10 Minutes a Day Fractions (Carol Vorderman’s Maths Made Easy)

Carol Vorderman has written this maths workbook on fractions.  It encourages your child to spend 10 minutes a day practising fractions, decimals, and percentages.

Year 6 Maths Reasoning – Fractions, Decimals and Percentages for papers 2 and 3: 2018 tests (Collins KS2 SATs Smashers)

This last book has short tests with self-assessment and answers

Feedback

Let me know how you get on in the comments below and as always enjoy the process and spending time with your child!