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On a Roll: Adding Fractions

Today I have a little freebie for the older kiddos. On a Roll is a simple dice game for practicing adding fractions with like denominators and writing fractions greater than one as mixed numbers.

Now, hopefully, you recognize that this game is very abstract. It is not a good game for introducing the concept of writing fractions greater than one to mixed numbers. It is a great game for practicing the concept once the kiddos understand it.

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So how do you introduce this concept at the concrete and representational stages? Well for concrete learning, fraction tiles are a great tool. You could make your own out of fraction strips if you don’t have the tiles. To model fractions greater than one, you will need to be creative. Does that make sense? A tile kit will only have 4-fourths, so to model 6/4 you can either combine sets or have students replace 4-fourths with the whole. It’s important that when they use the tiles to model the fraction, they make groups based on the denominator. For example, to model 6/4 it would look like this:

adding fractions

If you’ve read my posts about fractions before, you know it’s all about candy bars. In explaining fractions greater than one, we use a candy bar that is scored to easily break apart, like a Hershey milk chocolate bar. If I ate 6/4, it means each candy bar had 4 pieces, and I ate 6 pieces. So I ate more than a whole candy bar. That’s an essential understanding–anytime the numerator is bigger than the denominator, I ate more than a whole candy bar.

The next step is having kiddos draw models of fractions greater than one.  Again, if they are thinking in terms of candy bars, it is oh so easy.  For 6/4, their model would look like the one below. They know that each candy bar has 4 parts, so they draw the first candy bar. They shade all 4 pieces in that candy bar, because they ate them all. They know they kept eating, so they draw another candy bar. They shade 2 of those pieces, because now the model shows they ate 6 pieces. They can easily look at the model and see that they ate 1 2/4 or 1 1/2 candy bars.  Magic!

adding fractions
How do these short little “I’ll share a freebie” posts get so long?  Ha ha.  Anyway, here’s the freebie!  Enjoy! And if you need fraction tiles, you can make your own with this file.

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24 Comments

  1. Thank you so much! I know my kids will just love this next year. I will definitely be following you from now on :o)

    Sabra
    wwww.teachingwithatouchoftwang.blogspot.com

  2. Thanks for the idea! I’m going to modify your worksheet a bit to make it work for multiplying and dividing fractions as well. We are REALLY struggling with these concepts in 6th grade!

  3. thanks for sharing! I have been following you on Pinterest and now am following your blog. just started teaching improper and mixed last week so this will make a good Friday game this week.

    1. Thanks so much for the sweet words, Kelly. No, I really don’t do much in the way of SMART board activities. We have limited access to them at my school, so it hasn’t been a priority. Sorry!

  4. Thanks so much for the candy bar tip…. mmmmmm….. chocolate! May have to teach this one over and over again with my homeschooler. Your advice and products really do make a difference. Thanks so much for all you do here!

    1. The candy bar visualization has always worked for me! Thanks for the sweet words about my blog. 🙂

  5. I teach intervention classes in 6th grade, and needless to say, fractions is a HUGE problem area. I am excited about using the chocolate bar examples to build their understanding.

  6. I’m going to use this with my son over the summer to reinforce concepts he learned this year. Thank you so much!

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