Build fraction sense and deepen understanding by challenging kids to see and name fractions on a number line. This FREE set of clip cards makes practice with fractions easy!
Do your kids struggle to understand that fractions represent a quantity that is between 0 and 1? This tends to trip up so many students. Maybe even those who seem to have a good understanding and maybe can even correctly compute with fractions! This is a vital understanding, however, to build a strong fraction sense foundation. If your kids need to better understand how fraction numbers fit in with whole numbers, try teaching fractions on a number line. This will help them to better visualize fractions, as well as lay a foundation to make sense of mixed numbers.
So today I have a simple activity to help children recognize fractions using number lines.
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*This is a guest post from Rachel at You’ve Got This Math.
Why use Number Lines to Teach Fractions?
We all know that children learn different ways. If you have a child that is struggling to recognize fractions using models, showing fractions on a number line may help them understand fractions better.
There are definitely other benefits of teaching fractions on a number line. Putting fractions on a number line helps children see that fractions are numbers between 0 to 1. And on a number line this concept is clearer than it is with a other pictures or models.
Once children can recognize fractions on a number line, they are so many other concepts that can be taught. I love teaching equivalent fractions and comparing fractions. It is so clear to see equivalence and compare fractions on number lines!
Fractions on a Number Line
Now that you are convinced that number lines are a great tool for teaching fractions, let’s discuss how to introduce them.
First, children need to understand the parts of a fraction.
The denominator, the bottom number of the fraction, tells us how many equal parts are in a whole.
For example, let’s say that there are four equal spaces between the 0 and the 1.
This means that the denominator for this number line can be four.
Now the numerator is the top number of the fraction. It tells us how many parts of the whole we have.
Let’s go back to the same example. If the dot marked on the number line comes after two equal spaces, this means we have two out of the four equal parts. So our numerator is 2, the denominator is 4, meaning the fraction is 2/4.
Fraction Clip Cards Prep-Work
Let’s get ready for our fractions on a number line clip cards.
- First, print off the pages using card stock paper.
- Next, cut them out and laminate them.
- Finally, gather up clothes pins and dry erase makers.
How to use Fractions on a Number Line Clip Cards:
Some of our kiddos will be able to look at the clip cards and immediately see the answer.
Others may need a little more support, and using the dry erase markers may help.
The first step is to figure out the denominator. And this can be done by circling all the parts between the two whole numbers.
In this example, you can see that there are four equal parts between the 0 and 1. This means that the denominator is four.
Next, we have to figure out numerator. We figure this out by seeing how many spaces or parts we move up till we get the dot. On this number line, we move up three equal parts before we get the dot. So the numerator is 3.
Finally, we place our clip on the correct fraction 3/4.
I hope your kids enjoy this fractions on a number line activity.
Want More Visual Fraction Ideas? Check out These Posts:
- Exploring Fractions with Area Models
- Get Them in Order: Comparing Fractions Game
- Visual Equivalent Fractions Board Game
- Convert Improper Fractions Using Visual Models
Rachel is a homeschool mom to four little ones, ages 2 to 6. She is a former public elementary teacher, and has recently begun blogging at her page You’ve Got This. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.
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