Newer standards require students to multiply a whole number by a fraction in 5th Grade. Here are some things to keep in mind when introducing this skill:
- Remind students about the connection between multiplication and repeated addition. The problem 3 x 2/5 is the same thing as 2/5 + 2/5 + 2/5, which is 6/5 or 1 1/5.
- Remember to return to the concrete and representational stages of learning since you are introducing a new skill. Pull out those fraction tiles or strips so students can model 3 x 2/5. Don’t leave out the number line, which is a great representation of fractions.
- Put the problems in a real-life context. Fractions are very abstract and misunderstood by many students, so you absolutely need to put them in context. Beth is making 3 picture frames. She needs 2/5 yards of ribbon for each picture frame. How many yards of ribbon does Beth need to buy?
Once you’ve done some modeling and guided practice, your students will be ready for practice. Grab the fraction cards from this post, a number cube, and these workstation instructions, and you’re all set to go!
Do you have any great tips for multiplying fractions? Add them in the comments!