You can build fraction sense by teaching multiplying fractions with area models. Get step by step instructions as well as practice sheets to help you implement this important skill with your students.
Arrays or area models are often used when teaching basic multiplication. When we have children build 4 by 5 arrays to show 4 x 5, they are learning so much. They are learning that repeated addition is another way to multiply and a foundation for area is laid.
Expanding on this knowledge of arrays is a wonderful way to introduce multiplying fractions with area models. When we teach multiplying fractions with area models or arrays we are developing fraction sense in children that will help them be successful in fraction operations as well as higher-level math.
So how do you multiply factions with area models…..I’m glad you asked.
Multiplying Fractions With Your Youngsters
Our children will be able to learn to multiply fractions with area models very easily and interactively with the help of these activities. This approach is quite successful. This method should assist your young champ in learning basic math operations and laying a solid calculating foundation.
Here are the basic levels to multiply fractions with area models.
Step 1: Create a Whole Rectangle
The first step is to draw one whole. Let’s look at the problem 3 x 1/4. When drawing my whole, I want to be able to easily divide it into fourths. So I could create a rectangle that is a 1 by 4, or even a 2 by 4. Or how about a square that is 4 by 4. In this example, I decided to make my whole a square that is a 4 by 4.
Step 2: Take Three Whole Rectangles
Time to complete the array. We began by analyzing the fraction, and now it is time look at the whole number. Whatever that number is, that is how many wholes I need to draw. Since we will be multiplying by three, my area model must have three wholes.
Step 3: Represent the Fraction in the Rectangle
Now it is time to color in our array. As you can see in the example, 1/4 is at the top of our area with the 3 being represented laterally. All that happens here is to color in 1/4 of each whole.
Step 4: Summation of the Three Fractions
Finally, we add up what we colored in! It is a great way to reinforce that even when we are multiplying fractions we are still doing repeated addition. In our example, we colored in 1/4 in the first whole, 1/4 in the second whole, and 1/4 in the third whole…..so we have 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4 = 3/4
These sheets require very little prep-work. Simply print off the printables copy paper, and provide markers, pencils, and scissors and you are ready to go.
Two Ways to Practice
The first two printables requires children to draw models based on the expression given. One of the printables has fractions in which the numerator is always one, the next printable becomes a little more difficult with numerators greater than one.
The next printable is a cut and paste activity and requires a different skill. With this printable, the children look at a model and figure out which expression it matches. Once all the models are in the right place they then get to figure out the answers!! Once you finish with these printables, it is important that you bring this skill to life by using real-life examples for multiplying fractions.
Having children work through word problems where they draw area models and solve real-life problems helps them put another piece of this fraction puzzle together.
Download Free Printable PDF
Download the following PDF and play with your kiddo with joy.multiplying-fractions-with-area-models
Multiplying fractions with area models can be fun, and by drawing them out and coloring….multiplying fractions is a much more fun! If you have any kind of questions or suggestions, feel free to write them down in the comment box.