Developing Beginning Fractions Concepts
with Online Interactive Content
By Emily Starr
For more interactive content information, visit:
Sponsored by: StarrMatica Learning Systems
TABLE OF CONTENTS
What is a fraction? .………………..……………………………….. 3
Identifying and creating fractions .…………………………... 5
Comparing the relative size of fractions …………………… 7
Visualizing the relative size of fractions …………………… 8
Finding a fraction of a group ……………………………………. 9
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Description: Teach the concept of fractions by sharing cookies equally between several kids.
1) Choose three kids and four chocolate cookies.
• Introduce the concept of fractions to your class by
asking them to figure out how to share four cookies
evenly between three kids. Problem solving can be
done as an individual, partner, or group activity.
• Have your students share their answers.
• Demonstrate the solution by giving each kid a
cookie and using the cookie cutting board and
cutter to cut the remaining cookie into three equal
• Tell the students that they just created a fraction:
one-third. Use this example as a springboard
for discussing the meaning of a fraction. Share that
a fraction is part of a whole, and demonstrate that
three thirds equal one whole cookie.
2) Return to the beginning of the virtual manipulative and choose
three kids and four oatmeal cookies.
• Give each kid an oatmeal cookie and cut the
remaining cookie into thirds. Ask your students what
fraction of the remaining cookie each kid will be receiving.
• Ask how the pieces are different from the thirds
created with the chocolate cookie. Use this example as a
springboard to discuss the fact that the same fraction can
be shown with many different sizes & shapes. What
is important is that a fraction is represented by an equal
part of a whole.
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3) Return to the beginning of the virtual manipulative and choose
four kids and five oatmeal cookies.
• Ask how four kids could share five oatmeal cookies.
Have your students share their answers.
• Demonstrate the solution by giving each kid a cookie
and using the cookie cutting board and cutter to cut the
remaining cookie into four equal pieces.
• Ask what fraction was created by cutting the cookie.
Guide the students to write ¼ and discuss the meaning
of each piece of cookie as one part out of four.
• Repeat with your students by cutting cookies into fifths
and sixths and discussing the meaning of each new part.
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Description: Teach the concept of numerators and denominators by shading shapes.
1) Create the fraction 3/8 by dividing a shape into eight pieces
and shading the first three pieces.
• Ask the students what fraction you have created. Teach
the vocabulary and meaning of the words numerator
• Note: Early on, many students may confuse the
denominator as being the un-shaded pieces rather than
the total number of pieces, so emphasize that the
denominator represents the total number of pieces the
whole is divided into.
2) Using the same shape, un-shade the first three pieces and
shade the last three pieces.
• Ask your students what fraction you have created.
• Ask why it is the same fraction when you have
shaded different pieces. Explain that any parts can be
shaded to represent the numerator. You are still showing
three parts out of eight.
3) Invite students to un-shade and shade the shape to show
different ways of representing three eighths.
• If the students don’t naturally introduce the topic with
the parts they choose, shade three pieces of the shape
that are not touching each other.
• Ask your students if this shape is still representing 3
parts out of 8.
• Explain that parts of a fraction do not need to be
shaded next to one another.
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4) Select “New Whole” and have a student create 3/8 with a
• Ask your students what conclusion they can draw from the
fact that this shape is also showing 3/8. Guide them to
understand that the same fraction can be represented by
shading parts of wholes that are different sizes and
5) Use these websites to practice naming fractions and creating fractions.
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Description: Compare the relative size of fractions with online fraction bars.
Note: You will need to download one of the file types on this site to access the virtual manipulative.
1) Ask your students which fraction is larger ¼ or 1/6. Have them share
their answers and explain their reasoning.
• Put one whole fraction bar on the screen along with a fraction bar
divided into fourths and a fraction bar divided into sixths. Highlight
¼ and 1/6 by clicking on one piece in each bar.
• Explain that ¼ is larger than 1/6 because the whole is divided into
a fewer number of pieces so each piece is larger.
2) Ask your students which fraction is larger 1/3 or 1/8. Have them
share their answers and explain their reasoning.
• Put one whole fraction bar on the screen along with a
fraction bar divided into thirds and a fraction bar divided into
eighths. Highlight 1/3 and 1/8 by clicking on one piece in
• Explain that 1/3 is larger than 1/8 because the whole is
divided into a fewer number of pieces so each piece is larger.
3) Ask your students to order these fractions from greatest to least: 1/5,
1/6, 1/3, 1/9. Have them share their answers and explain their reasoning.
• Put one whole fraction bar on the screen along with fraction bars
divided into thirds, fifths, sixths, and ninths. Explain that 1/9 is the
smallest fraction and 1/3 is the largest fraction because the more
parts the whole is divided into, the smaller each piece will be.
4) Close the lesson by using this website to demonstrate the varying size of 1/3 with the chocolate bar,
water, pizza, and group of people.
• Ask your students how all of these pictures can be showing 1/3
when the visual size of each part is different. Guide your students
to the answer that the size of a fractional part depends on the size
of the whole.
• Then, demonstrate the size of 1/9 using all four objects.
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Description: Visualize the relative size of fractions by mentally dividing a rectangular hedge into the
number of parts indicated by the denominator and estimating which part Grampy is hiding behind to
determine the numerator.
1) Project this website’s image on a marker board or interactive whiteboard.
• With a marker or virtual ink, divide the hedge into the number of pieces indicated by the
• Ask your students to estimate which section of
hedge Grampy is hiding at the end of. Have the
students answer in one of two ways:
a) Accept answer choices aloud and
have students vote on which answer should be
typed in the numerator box.
b) Have your students each write an
answer on an individual marker board and show
their answers by holding the boards in the air.
The most prevalent number is then entered in the
2) Next, ask your students to mentally divide the hedge into
the number of pieces indicated by the denominator and
answer where Grampy is hiding.
• Then, divide the hedge with a marker or virtual ink to
demonstrate the answer, and type the correct number in the
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Description: Create a colorful carton of eggs to demonstrate finding a fraction of a group.
1) Create a carton full of colorful eggs.
• Ask your students to figure out what fraction of the eggs
are specific colors. For example: What fraction of the
eggs are pink? (The answer illustrated in this picture
would be 3/12).
• Ask how figuring out this fraction was similar to and
different from finding a fraction of a whole that is split
into parts. Lead your students to discover that they are
finding a fraction of a group.
• Ask your students to create a carton full of eggs to
illustrate specific fractions of a group. For example:
3/12 yellow eggs, 5/12 pink eggs, and 4/12 green eggs.
2) Close the lesson by using this website to practice finding a fraction of a group.
• Project this website’s image on a marker board or
• Drag the requested butterflies into the jar and close
• With a marker or virtual ink, number the butterflies
inside the jar and outside the jar to help your students
figure out what fraction of the group they have
• Input your answer on the site using the number
• Continue catching butterflies and identifying the fraction
of the group that is collected.
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