Visualizing Fractions

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My third grade students started a new unit on fractions this week.  They’ve explored fractions before, but more along the lines of identifying different types of fractions and adding/subtracting with common denominators.  This new unit involves students finding fractions of sets and a heavy dose of fraction computation.  Students need to have a deep understanding of fractions to be able to add them and show a visual model.  So on Friday  the class practiced skills associated with finding fractions of sets.  Students were given this prompt:

Draw four different ways to show 3/4 in the box below.

The student models fell into a few different categories.

  • A number line
  • Pie, rectangles, squares
  • Dots or arrays
  • Angles


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The class reviewed the results and we had a discussion about the different ways to represent fractions.  Next week the class will be combining these models to add and subtract mixed numbers.

Author: Matt Coaty

I've taught elementary students for the past 14 years. I enjoy reading educational research and learning from my PLN. Words on this blog are my own.

4 thoughts on “Visualizing Fractions”

  1. For me, learning fractions through visualization is the best method because I can easily picture out what is the meaning of fraction. Also, this kind of method is like learning through actual experience because actual experience means you see, feel, or all your senses are used.


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