Home » Math » Mutiplying a Whole Number By a Fraction using a Number Line

interactive notebook whole by fraction

I love teaching fractions, and I love teaching them on a number line. It is so neat and organized and you can visually see what you are doing. It makes me happy to see all those little factions lined up!!

If you are in a public school you are probably deep into fractions. 5th graders have probably tackled this concept of multiplying a whole number and a fraction, while 4th graders are just about to introduce it. Whether you need a review to start the year, or just a jump start on lesson planning, I hope this can help you out a little.

If you are homeschooling, your study of fraction may be looming ahead or a thing of the past. Even if it is not where you are right now, this is a great activity to review or preview what is coming. Though your curriculum may not require you teach fractions on a number line, I would highly suggest giving it a try. Especially if you have a child that is struggling with fractions, or is very visual, this could be the difference for them.

And for everyone, I’m a firm believer in understanding why you are doing something and not just teaching the algorithm. I was never good at math while I was in school, but the process of teaching with manipulatives, decomposing numbers, and drawing models has brought in understanding of math I never would have thought possible. I actually enjoy it now.

Getting off my soap box, this post contains a FREE interactive notebook for you to use to review or begin teaching multiplying fractions by a whole number using a number line.

Detailed directions are included on the FREE printable so I won’t bore you and repeat everything, but I will take a few quick moments and discuss this concept.

In upper grades, students are very familiar with multiplying. Hopefully at this point your students understand that multiplication is a quick way of figuring out how many of a certain item you have when that item has been separated into equal groups. They should recognize that they could solve the multiplication problem by skip counting or repeated addition, but it is not time efficient.

If they understand this, multiplying fraction on a number line will not be hard for them.

Let’s say the problem in 4 x 2/5. All the students are looking for is 4 groups of 2/5. The simply have to move up the number line in 2/5 increments four times. How easy is that!!!!

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So if you have a student struggling with fractions, try getting away from the algorithm and finding manipulatives, a number line, or models and let them explore. You may be amazed at the understanding that begins to develop!!

Get you FREE interactive notebook HERE!

Need more activities, check out these resources from great teachers!!!!

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