• best teaching practices
  • Less than, Equal to, or More than ½

    Now that students have had plenty of practice with comparing fractions to a half, this part is just building upon that same foundation!

    Hands On with Fraction Bars

    Building upon what students know, they are now ready to compare a fraction to a half! In order to help students understand this in a little more depth, start with a quick hands on activity.

    Activity: Less than, Equal to, or More than ½

    – Work with their partners to figure out if the specific fraction is more, less, or equal to 1/2

    “…. is less than, equal to, or more than ½ because …. is equivalent to ½ and …. is less than, equal to, or more than ….

    7/12 is more than 1/2, because 6/12 is equivalent to 1/2, and 7/12 is more than 6/12” 

      

    What I’ve seen that has helped students tremendously is the verbal communication part of this. Whatever activity you choose to do to help with practice, make sure they are verbalizing their thinking. Using the sentence stem that has been provided!

    Moving away from Fraction Blocks

    Comparing Fraction half to a fraction with an even denominator

    1. Total of 24 pieces
    2. Take half of 24 (divide by 2)
    3. There are 12 in each half
    4. If there are a total of 24 pieces, one half is equal to 12/24
    5. 12/24 is less than 1/2 because 12/24 is = 1/2 and 17 pieces is more than 12 pieces.

     

    Activity: Card Talk. Around the World.
    “I can compare fractions to a 1/2
    1) Find an empty desk and flip over the card.
    2) Both partners find the fraction half (look at the denominator and find half of the denominator). Discuss your fraction halves – if you need, use your fraction strips.
    3) Compare the fraction to a 1/2 verbally.
    4) Record your findings.
    5) Flip the card face down and find a different empty desk.

    Comparing Fraction half to a fraction with an odd denominator

    The great thing about this is that if you have read in my previous post about comparing fractions with a common numerator, this will be NO PROBLEM!

    Review: when fractions have a common numerator, they have the same number of pieces, so you have to look at the denominator, the size of the piece.

     

      

    Comparing 4/7 to a 1/2

    1) You can’t take half of sevenths because it is an odd number.
    2) Make a fraction that is equivalent to a half with the same numerator. 4/8 is equivalent to 1/2
    3) Use the skill of comparing fractions with a common numerator by looking at the denominator. They both have four pieces so look at the denominator, the size of the piece. Sevenths is larger than eights. 
    4) Make the final comparison with the half.

    4/7 is more than 1/2, because 4/8 is equivalent to 1/2, and sevenths is larger than eighths.

    Activity: Card Talk. Around the World.

    1) Find an empty desk and flip over the card.
    2) Both partners find the fraction half (look at the denominator and find half of the denominator). Discuss your fraction halves – if you need, use your fraction strips.
    3) Compare the fraction to a ½ verbally.
    4) Record your findings.
    5) Flip the card face down and find a different empty desk.

     

    Practice, Practice, Practice, Practice, Practice!
    What has helped with this tremendously is providing sentence stems for students to refer back to!

     

    Honestly, if you take the time to break fractions down to where students are building a good foundation with ample amounts of practice, your students WILL ROCK FRACTIONS! My students have had more confidence with fractions than ever before and the 5th grade teachers have come to me saying they’ve never had an easier time teaching fractions. Break it down, make it fun, and have students conversing!

    This is a part of our fraction series. Check out these other posts!
    – http://mustardseedteaching.com/fractions-introduction/
    – http://mustardseedteaching.com/pizza-fractions-unit-fractions/
    – http://mustardseedteaching.com/comparing-fractions-with-common-denominators-common-numerators/
    – http://mustardseedteaching.com/making-half/