Bring Hands-On Learning To Your Fraction Unit With These 3 Unique Ideas

What do you think of when you hear/read the phrase “hands-on fraction unit”?

When you first hear the words “fractions” and “hands-on” your mind probably jumps right to making fraction strips with your students or those magnetic pie pieces that you attach to your whiteboard while you teach students about parts of a whole.

This blog post is not about those things.

All three of the ideas I’m sharing today will give your students the opportunity to experience fractions in ways that are unique, and engaging, and truly help them build a strong foundational understanding of fractions concepts. Get ready to learn three new ideas for making your fraction unit a more hands-on learning experience.

Give Every Student Their Own Reusable Fraction Strips

Fraction strips. They sure are helpful for building an understanding of parts of a whole, but boy do they require a lot of organization…and coordination for young hands to use successfully. If you cringe when your fraction unit looms on the horizon because you can instantly picture all the fraction strip pieces strewn about the room like confetti, you are going to love teaching with this new tool

Simply print these pages on card stock, then slide them into a sheet protector and hand them out to each student to store in their math binder. Your students will be able to quickly create accurate fraction models and represent fractions on a number line.

Rather than having to line up fraction strip pieces or hand draw fraction strips that are divided inaccurately, your students will simply use a whiteboard marker to shade in fraction strips and location their fractions on a clean number line. When it’s time for the next problem, they simply wipe their reusable modeling tools clean and get back to solving.

A bonus tool that’s included in this resource is your new Paper Clip Number Line Models. This tool is designed to strengthen students’ ability to partition a number line into equal parts. Print and laminate the number line strips. Have students place small paper clips on the number line to practice spacing equally. Change the number of paper clips to match the denominators of various fractions. Once equal spacing is solidified, begin representing fractions on the number line models.

Here’s why teachers like you love teaching fractions with these reusable tools:

“My students were really struggling with modeling 1/5ths and 1/7ths and I found this product at the PERFECT time! Why doesn’t my math curriculum come with a practical resource like this?? Thank you always!” – Adelyn F.

“I love this product and my kids do as well. I use it with small group instruction during math workshop. the kids also use it as a center during math time. they actually fought over them so I had to make more copies to put into our write & wipe so that everyone could use them! Success!” – Juan P.

“Such a great resource! This allows students to really visualize fractions. My favorite aspect is the number lines. Students struggle with the concept and this is easy to use and helps students so much! Thank you!” – Michelle R.

Use A Project As An Assessment At the End of Your Fraction Unit

Continue the hands-on focus on your fraction unit by celebrating students’ learning with a beautifully unique math project. This Fraction Flower Festival Project has everything you need (including a completed sample project and editable rubric) which makes adding this math project to your schedule a no-brainer.

During this garden-themed math project, your students will work to prepare for the Fraction Flower Festival. To begin, your students will select one of three flower types they’re interested in designing.

Three flower options are provided to make differentiation easy. The flower challenge levels are determined by how often students will work with equivalent fractions to find an accurate solution to each included word problem.

Once they’ve selected which flower they’re interested in designing, your students will:

• Add color to the stem, leaves, petals, pistils, and stamen of their flower.
• Build their flower by following detailed steps that require the application of fraction math skills.
• Create detailed fraction models as they solve word problems that correspond to their unique flower design.
• Complete a self-assessment of their project using a three-part rubric.

Throughout the process of the Fraction Flower Festival project, students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge through creative design, engage in rigorous problem-solving, and build organizational skills.

Every step of the Fraction Flower Festival experience is outlined in a project guide that includes clear visuals and step-by-step instructions. Rubrics and reflection prompts will encourage your students to reach their learning goals. The format of this math project guide makes it an ideal resource for:

• At your seat & hands-on enrichment during math workshop or guided math
• Math center work
• Digital learning (a Google Slides version of the entire project is included)
• Parent volunteer or teacher’s aide enrichment station
• A focal point for a fractions room transformation
• An alternative assessment that allows you to measure student understanding on a deeper level as a culmination of your fraction unit.

Here’s why teachers like you love using this project for their fraction unit:

“I have all the PBL units from Laura Santos, and they never fail to amaze! This PBL was created with purpose and is very clearly laid out in steps, and easy for students to keep up with. I love that I was able to give my students the option of which flower they wanted to create, definitely helped with engagement. I could also use this to work with different levels in the future. My students developed a deeper and more connected understanding of fractions using this resource.” — Liyana S.

“I love all of these projects! It is always scaffolded so well for my students, and everything is so clear and easy to organize. It sets myself and my students up for success, and I truly believe that it extends their knowledge and understanding of the skills.” — Mitchell

“My students are always excited to do another project from Laura! This project was the perfect authentic assessment to use to check for mastery of fractions and equivalent fractions. Low prep and high reward!” – Alison J

Using Unique Games To Help Students Articulate Their Fraction Knowledge

Math games are a friendly way to invite students to articulate their understanding of fractions through words and written problem-solving work. When you carefully select games that give your students an opportunity to practice foundational fraction skills while having fun & communicating with their classmates, learning is amplified.

If you are looking for games that get your students up, moving, talking, and laughing, Core Inspiration’s Hands-On Math Games are a perfect fit for your classroom.

One of the best things about these math games is you can easily walk around the room while students play and get a better idea of each student’s level of understanding when it comes to the fractions skills you’ve introduced so that they can plan and adjust instruction accordingly. No printable worksheets to add to your grading pile…just straightforward, meaningful observation data.

Your students will be having so much fun playing, they won’t even notice how much “work they’re getting done” and how much data you’re able to collect!

When you use these math games in your classroom, you will effortlessly:

• Build student independence through hands-on learning daily
• Foster collaboration between students
• Help students develop math communication skills
• Develop stronger problem-solving skills in your learners

No matter how you organize your math block, these games make it a breeze to incorporate hands-on math practice in your classroom. Teachers have successfully used these games for

• Hands-on rotation during math workshop
• Partner work /math with someone
• Low-prep station for aides and parent volunteers
• Guided math centers
• Alternative assessment tools

Here’s why teachers like you love using these hands-on games for their fraction unit:

“These fraction games are super low prep and highly engaging for my students. They add an element of fun in learning about fractions.” – Jesse R.

“I was extremely impressed with the quality of the games, the simplicity of the directions and the materials, and the number of games in one pack. Because I love everything else Laura does I’m excited for these games to become a part of our math workshop routine each week!” – Emily G.

“My students loved being able to independently play these games. They were low-prep and highly engaging!” – Chelsey Y.

Ready To Bring Hands-On Learning Fraction Unit?

I hope you’re feeling inspired by these new ideas for how to make your fraction unit more hands-on and engaging for your students. Which of these three ideas will you be incorporating into your own teaching? Be sure to let me know in the comments below!

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