Top 5 Tips for Decomposing Fractions

As I have mentioned in previous posts about fractions, starting with hands on and pictorial activities is vital for helping primary intermediate level students understand fractions. Today I would like to share my top 5 tips for decomposing fractions. These are mainly focused on 3rd – 5th grade, but may be helpful for some older and younger students as well.

fraction-decompose-tips

1.)  I love using my pizza game for hands on fractions!  If you don’t have a pizza game, you can use plastic fraction circles or make pizza fractions from paper plates. Show your students a fraction of a pizza such as 5/6. After guided them to name the fraction, show them one way to decompose it by giving 2/6 to one student and 3/6 to another student. Point out that 2/6 + 3/6 is a way to decompose 5/6 and ask if they can name any other ways.  Act out other representations such as 2/6 + 1/6 + 2/6 by giving those slices to other students.  Try this with several different students.

decompose-fractions-pizza-game

2.)  Give students color tiles or unifix cubes. Give specific directions such as make a rectangle with 3 red, 2 blue and 7 yellow.  What fraction of your tiles are not yellow? (5/12)  Move the red and blue apart a little to show how 5/12 can also be represented as 3/12 + 2/12.  Do this with a few other fractions as well.

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3.) Give students pictures of fractions and have them cut them up to show ways to decompose the fraction.

decompose-fractions-activity-1

4.) Coloring Practice – Give students pictures of fractions with nothing shaded.  Give them directions on what color to color different parts.  Then guide them to write number sentences to decompose the fractions.

decompose-fractions-2

5.) Play Games!  Make your own games to practice decomposing fractions or try one of the games I have available on my TpT page.

decompose-fractions-match

decompose-fractions-spinner-game

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2 thoughts on “Top 5 Tips for Decomposing Fractions

  1. Pingback: Decomposing Fractions |

  2. Pingback: Helping Students Understand Fractions |

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