Fractions
Explore resources designed to improve fractions instruction in elementary and middle school.
- View a visual diagram of all four practices
- Watch a topic overview and download planning templates
- Listen to an expert
Explore the subtopics below to learn more about the recommended practices:
To learn more about the research underlying these practices, view the IES Practice Guide, Developing Effective Fractions Instruction for Kindergarten Through 8th Grade.
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What Teachers Need to Know About Teaching Fractions
Fractions > Overview & Tools
Dr. Francis “Skip” Fennell describes the knowledge teachers need to teach fractions effectively, paying special attention to multiple strategies for representing problems involving fractions. He...
Resource Type
Expert Interview
The Importance of Fractions Instruction
Fractions > Overview & Tools
Dr. Siegler discusses why competence with fractions is critical for more advanced math and why U.S. students have difficulty grasping fractions. He also describes the developmental sequence that...
Resource Type
Expert Interview
Visual Diagram: Fractions Instruction
Fractions > Overview & Tools
This diagram serves as a visual overview of the recommended instructional practices for teaching fractions in elementary and middle school, along with information on the knowledge teachers need to...
Resource Type
Visual Diagram
Understanding Ratios
Fractions > Ratio, Rate, Proportion > See How It Works
This development session for teachers and coaches demonstrates strategies for teaching ratio, rate, and proportion concepts. Follow the full session through the PowerPoint, Focus on Ratios, and the...
Resource Type
School Example
Cross-Multiply? Not So Fast
Fractions > Ratio, Rate, Proportion > See How It Works
Eighth-grade co-teachers lead a class through activities involving ratios. Students use concrete materials, build-up strategies, and cross-multiplication to solve the real-world problems found in...
Resource Type
School Example
Multiply or Divide?
Fractions > Fractions Operations > See How It Works
This staff development session provides suggestions for helping students understand fraction multiplication and division concepts. Follow the full session through Focus on Fraction Operations and...
Resource Type
School Example
Solving a Real-World Fraction Division Problem
Fractions > Fractions Operations > See How It Works
A fifth-grade teacher poses a fraction division problem and challenges students to find different approaches to a solution. One student uses a number line; others use build-up strategies. See their...
Resource Type
School Example
Ways to Measure 1 1/2 Cups
Fractions > Fractions Operations > See How It Works
A fourth-grade teacher asks students to help solve his problem of measuring 1-1/2 cups without either a 1-cup or a 1/2-cup measuring cup, and instead with the use of many other size measuring cups....
Resource Type
School Example
Grade 5 Number Talk
Fractions > Fractions Operations > See How It Works
Follow a teacher’s lesson on adding and subtracting fractions using fraction equivalents and relationships. Children share their strategies for solving the problems described in Dumb Friends League...
Resource Type
School Example
Multiple Interpretations of Fractions
Fractions > Fractions as Numbers > See How It Works
Professor Jonathan Brendefur describes how he helps teachers understand and teach different interpretations of fractions. He explains the importance of explicitly teaching about various...
Resource Type
School Example
Fractions on a Number Line
Fractions > Fractions as Numbers > See How It Works
A fourth-grade teacher describes students’ challenges in moving from a part-whole interpretation of fractions to seeing them as numbers. Student pairs work on locating fractions and decimal and...
Resource Type
School Example
Making and Using Fraction Strips
Fractions > Fractions as Numbers > See How It Works
Watch how a third-grade teacher introduces unit fractions through a game that involves “covering up” a unit with fractional parts. Directions for two variations of the game are included in Fraction...
Resource Type
School Example