• best teaching practices
• # Making Half

## Finding Half Using Fraction Bars

Before diving into equivalent fractions, I have found that letting students explore by building ½ with fraction bars helps build a foundation for equivalent fractions.

After this simple hands on activity, students will understand
– The denominator needs to be an EVEN number in order to take half
– There are multiple combinations to make a half
– All of these combinations have the same value (are equivalent)

This activity will build a strong foundation of equivalent fractions.

## Making 1/2 with Computation

If students have a solid foundation of making a half with fraction bars, this will be a very easy transition (and might I say a confidence booster)
1) There’s a total of 36 pieces
2) What is half? This is where long division can come into play if students don’t automatically know what half of 36 is.
3) Half of 36 is 18
4) Just to reiterate the concept of what a whole is 36/36 is one whole. If we take half of 36 pieces, there will be 18 pieces in each of the two sections.

Simple enough?
After a couple more whole group examples, we move onto partner activities/math stations!

## Activities to Practice

“I can make fractions equal to a half”
Directions:
Flip over one card at a time. Both partners will need to find the fraction that equals the half! The player that wins rock, paper, scissors needs to explain verbally why the fraction card is equal to a half. That player gets to claim the card!

Sentence Stems:
“……is equivalent to ½ because…..is the same amount.
I know this because…..

A ½ or Not a ½: That is the Question
– Give students a big sheet and make a T-chart
– Students work in pairs (or groups of 4 – two pairs) and sort their fraction cards
– They need to ‘prove’ and ‘give evidence’ of their choice
– Students will do a ‘gallery walk’ and ‘flag’ the ones that are incorrect on others’ posters
– Come back and fix before final glue

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/

What are some things you teach students to understand 1/2?

• best teaching practices
• # Fractions Introduction

Start off with a quick conversation to activate prior knowledge *tip: have visual pictures available for students to see “Where and where do we use fractions in everyday life?” on the highway, music, shoe size, cooking, pizza, etc “What does ½ mean to you?” there are two total pieces and one is shaded “What does […]

• best teaching practices
• # Decimal Investigation

Building a strong understanding of how our base ten system works is always so important. Taking the time to help students understand this will help with ‘regrouping’ when it comes to adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing – it’s worth the time! Ones – Tenths – Hundredths – Thousandths  One whole 1.00 One whole is […]

• best teaching practices
• # Dividing Decimals with Models

Aubrey’s mom is planning to make her famous orange limeade and asks Aubrey to go to the store. Aubrey ended up buying 3 oranges for a total of \$2.67. How much does each orange cost? “What is division?” Division is when you take the total of something and split it up equally. #1 Make the model: 2 wholes / […]

• building conceptual understanding
• # How many more zeros until illiterate?

We know 10, we know 100, we know 1,000 … how far until we’re unsure? We had an interesting conversation the other day. We talked about how we have met grown adults who don’t know how to read big numbers correctly. Do we have a fear when it comes to larger numbers? How about the common saying “oh, I’m just bad […]