If you have ever taught adding fractions to children you have probably seen this.
1/4 + 1/4 = 2/8
Even in a classroom filled with fifth-grade students, I’ve seen this. And every time this equation floats across my desk, or wiggles in the air on a white board…. alarms go off in my head. It is a warning that this child has a misunderstanding of fractions. That somewhere along the way they just didn’t get it.
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What to do?
The first step could be simply to go back to the basics. Get out the manipulatives and let them “play” with fractions again. Got to Teach has a great list of manipulatives you can try when building fraction number sense.
Secondly, I love spending a few minutes working on fractions every day. This daily fraction printable has children drawing models, creating equivalent fractions, filling out numbers lines, and more every day. This repeated exposure is exactly what some of our children need to be successful.
Next, it is important to provide lots of experiences in adding fractions. One way is to grab some fun activities that help our students visualize what is happening when we add fractions. These free Pie Puzzles will do just that!
Prep Work for Pie Puzzles for Adding Fractions
How to use
Pie Puzzles for adding fractions is an easy activity to help children visualize adding fractions, and there are three different levels you can use with your kiddos.
First, I would recommend starting with the puzzles that have all pictures. Allow the children to study them and figure out what the two parts would equal if the pictures were combined. As they work through the puzzles, make sure you are having them verbalize the fraction each pie represents. Once your little ones have mastered that part it is time to move onto the next step.
The second step is to pull out the puzzles with one fraction in them. After working with the pictures, the goal is for our youngins to be able to look at one pie and know what fraction is needed to get the sum.
Finally, pull out the puzzles that have fractions for the addends and the pie for the sum. Here is where the rubber meets the road. After playing with the models, can our students correctly add two factions???? Hopefully, connections have been made that will allow them to be successful in this final transition.
If they aren’t able to perform this last step, no worries. Take a step back and let them play with the other puzzles some more, or head back up to that list of manipulatives and play with adding the manipulatives.
Before long, your little ones won’t have any problem adding 1/4 + 1/4! You’ve Got This
Assess your student’s knowledge of adding fractions with these printables. Get them at my TpT Store.
Other Fraction Activities:
How to Teach Fractions from The Measured Mom
Fraction Snowflakes from Royal Baloo
Equivalent Fraction Game from Math Geek Mama